Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Successful unschooler? Adult? What??

Lately, several people have referred to me as a "successful unschooler", or made similar comments of that type. Recently, someone in their mid-twenties commented that there were few people "our age" at the convention. What??

When I first got a comment about being a "successful unschooler", the first thing that came to mind was that I wasn't finished yet!! So what, I would have graduated from high school last year had I been schooled. That means nothing. I still live at home (I mean come on, I'm only nearly 18!), I don't have a job. The next thing that came to mind, following quickly on the heals of my first thoughts, was what constitutes success? Why was the first thing I thought of for success getting a job? I don't even believe that our wage system is right! So what IS success, and what is my personal success as an unschooler being judged on? I really don't know.

The other comment that really hit home was that about age. People "our age". I don't consider myself an adult yet, although legally, I will be incredibly soon. I know what he meant, in the sense that I am a young adult now, which I suppose does put me in the same category as someone in their twenties. However, it still feels weird. Here's another one. What makes you an adult? I've never been a fan of using purely age as a judge. I'm not a child the day before my 18th birthday, and an adult the next day. Things just don't work that way. I suppose the first thought that comes to mind is that moving out would be a good marker, but I have issues with that as well. What about the people who live with their parents into their thirties? I don't think that they're still children. And besides, in traditional communities, large extended families would often live together. I don't think where you live is an accurate judge at all. So maybe age is just another box that our society has made... Cutting everything into neat categories. Perhaps the only real judge, the only thing that makes someone an adult, is how they feel. Who they feel they are.

If that's the case, I have no clue what I am!

I certainly don't feel like an adult. But neither do I feel like a child. But really, isn't that what the teenage years are or? Transitioning from child to adult? But I don't really feel entirely like I'm in the same boat as many younger teens, either... I have many younger friends, and they're totally awesome, but I guess I feel a bit like I'm further on in that transition, closer to that magical age of Adulthood. Which makes sense, I suppose. Especially lately, now that I'm going through a bit of a period of baby lust, which freaks me out a bit considering I'm still 17!! That isn't an actual issue at all, seeing as I'm single, but in conversations lately on abortion, teen pregnancy, and similar matters, I've realized that at any point from now onwards I would not be upset to be pregnant, and that feels like a pretty big realization.

I don't know what I'm trying to get at at all in this post... I guess I'm just putting my thoughts out, seeing what they look like written down, and if I can glean any further meaning or answers from my tangled thoughts.

In some ways, I really feel like I'm in a big transition. In other ways, I feel like nothing is changing at all. I still need my mom, I don't want to move out. But things are changing. I'm just not sure how much...



  1. I know how you feel, although I don't think any one ever called me a successful unschooler, but yeah, I still have the bigger part of a year till I'm 18 but, yeah.

  2. Oh yes. I am totally with you. Some days I feel totally adult, some days I want to be 10 again. Go figure. And the baby lust thing? Me too. :-D And I'm still 16! *sigh* Ah well. :-)

    As far as categorization goes, isn't that what our controllers are trying to do? They like to have us in nice little boxes so that they can keep track of us easily. Isn't that nice of them? /sarcasm. Yeah.


  3. You know why I love this blog so much? Because you are so honest. Seriously, if I ever experienced baby lust (which, um, I very well might) I would never, in a million years have the courage to blog about it. I guess I'm just scared of people judging me. I try not to be, but I am. But you, on the other hand, just throw it out there. And I love that.

  4. Owwliv: I got those types of comments from unschoolers with younger children, so they're probably just happy to see that unschoolers do not become horrible people when they reach their teens. ;-P

    Sheila: Yay! Glad to know I'm not the only one. ;-) *Sighs* yup, I think you're right about that, sadly. I hate boxes...

    Stella: Aw, thanks! :-D I think a big thing with me is that I worry that people will judge me on different things than most people... Did that make sense? Also, I've made HUGE strides in the last year with that. I used to worry what people thought all the time, but I've gotten better at simply ignoring that little voice that worries so much!

  5. You just rock in my opinion...teen/child/adult or not, you just rock.

    I can relate to the baby-lust too. All I wanted was to have babies from about the time I was 14 until I actually had my son at 21...but the lust NEVER stops ;)

  6. Aww, thanks so much! *Blushes happily at compliments*

    I think a lot more teenage girls than will admit to it go through baby-lust at some point... :-P

  7. Idize thank for writing this, i have been wrestling with the same issue, and your blog has shown some much needed light on an issue that I most teenagers go through and know one really talks about.

    - Laura

  8. Laura: It's true, it is something that's rarely talked about! I have no clue why... Thanks for commenting and following. I really appreciate it. :-)