Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life Happening

You know what's been missing from this blog recently?  Anything at all personal, or actually about my life in the here and now.

Well, that's not entirely accurate.  Everything I write is personal really, in the sense it's important to me and draws heavily on my personal experiences and background.  But often, writing all the posts about unschooling that I do, as much as they draw on my life, I feel like there's a distance between where I am in my life and what's happening as I write the post, and the post itself. 

So I decided that today felt like a good time to write about what's been happening in my life, how I've been doing, and all that jazz.  Considering it's been a long time since I wrote about my life at all, I feel like there's a lot of catching up to do.

Since the fall, when I did a ton of stuff, and then just came home to cold weather and not much of a local community, I haven't exactly felt at my best.  Well, okay, I'm trying to be honest here: I've been downright depressed, on and off.  No, not clinical depression, but the kind where you're miserable, have no motivation to do anything, feel drained by being constantly cold (I don't do well in cold weather), and find being around people too frustrating to bother doing.  Top that off with some seriously self-hating feelings and stress caused by external events, and it's really not fun (I want to make it clear that I haven't been feeling constantly horrible since the fall.  Just that I've been dealing with all this since the fall, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the time). 

What external events, you ask?  Well, a couple of them are other peoples business, or too private to share details publicly online, but suffice it to say there were days of hospital visits while my father was sick and in the hospital (he's better now).  Worrying about and trying to help a friend, and really wonderful person, whose life has been going to hell.  And a repeat of the whole thing I went through when turning both 18 and 19 (birthdays tend to be a little rough for me), now that I'm rapidly approaching my 20th Birthday (it's on March 16th).  I feel like THIS, now, as I leave my teen years, is when people are going to expect me to "be an adult" even more than ever.  I start obsessing about the fact I'm not earning money right now, and start thinking that everyone must secretly think I'm a failure because of it, even if they pretend not to (yes, I realize this is neither rational nor true).  Birthdays are rough.  Or, at least, the time leading up to them is.  Because this year, I've decided to do something different.

This year, for my 20th birthday, I'm renting a house, apartment, or similar place for a week, and hosting a gathering!  Some really great friends are coming, and I'm SO looking forward to it (though there's definitely still stress attached to organizing it...  What if hardly anyone ends up being able to come?  What if people don't enjoy it?  And even worse, what if I don't find a good place to rent?  Yes, that's right, I haven't found a good place yet [if you have ideas/a place you know of, please contact me!]).  I can get sucked into thinking about things in a negative way really, really easily.

I'm also writing an unschooling zine!  Like, not an ezine, but an actual, hold in your hands zine, that I'm going to be selling once it's finished at the anarchist bookfair (as well as by order, of course.  It'll be available to all you lovely blog readers who are interested!).  I started it a couple months ago, and have hardly written any more for it since, but I plan on changing that now that I have a deadline (the bookfair!).  It'll cover all the basics, in a series of short chapters, so it'll really be like a short book on unschooling...  This project is pretty exciting to me!

Which leads me to another thing.  Right now, the only place I write is in my (often dark and cold) bedroom, on my desktop computer.  That's it.  I don't have a laptop, and the only time I can ever bring myself to write with pen and paper is when I'm writing poems.  Otherwise, I get way too frustrated at the slowness and hand-cramping, PLUS I'd have to then transcribe it onto the computer. *Shudders in horror* So I've been looking seriously into getting a laptop, and thus being able to write in the rest of the house, outside in the sunshine, in cafes, when I'm traveling... 

Problem is, I have no money.  Well, okay, I have a very small amount of money which is all going towards my big birthday bash next month (everyone who's coming is chipping in, but that still means I'm paying my portion).  Some of you may remember me posting about wanting a laptop on my blog's Facebook page, and I was thrilled and so grateful to actually have a couple of people offer to give me their old laptops!!  The kindness of people can be amazing.  So I was going to get one from a local friend, only when she was getting it ready, it decided to crash.  So, no laptop.  And that has made me realize that if I get a really old used laptop from someone, I'm planning on doing lots of writing on it, and IT COULD CRASH AT ANY MOMENT thus destroying all my work.  So I think I should maybe look at getting the lowest end/cheapest new or newly refurbished laptop I can find.  Except I still don't have any money, which is a dilemma, but I've got a couple vague ideas in mind that may, possibly, be helpful...

So, is that enough rambling about my life for you?  Aren't you glad I don't do this very often? ;-) But I do feel it's important every now and then to, I don't know, check in with readers, I suppose, so that those who are interested can see behind the (I try to have) well edited posts with real points, and into what's really happening in Idzie's life... 


  1. i totally know how you're feeling- especially about the cold. I really like winter, but feel like, ok, this is enough, hit the Winter Wall.
    As far as feeling like a failure---I'm sure you'll get this a billion times--- are you crazy? You're an inspiration for all the folks who read your blog, listen to you speak-- both to the kids who are sharing a similar life experience, and the parents of those kids, who hope their kids will end up as grounded as you are.

    Hardly anyone knows what they want to "do" when they're 20. I'm 45 and still trying to figure it out. The most important thing is that you keep doing what you love. Writing, taking photos, blogging--- trust me this will all lead to something.

    So- hang in there! (and btw- as long as you back up your files to an external source, if your...wheneveryougetit- laptop explodes, it will all be ok.

  2. I feel you. I will be 21 in June and while I do have a job and am making money I still live with my parents because really $8 an hour is not enough to live on, but I also have other reasons for staying with my parents, like it is easier to work on our joint business ventures and stuff.

    My dad knows a website that sells refurbishment computers fairly cheap when I can get him on the phone later I will send that website your way, to at least help you start looking.

  3. Talking of zines, did you know that your DIY Life zine is featured in Teal Triggs' book "Fanzines"? There has been a big debacle about her not contacting zine authors for permission to use their work. If you don't have one already, you are entitled to a free contributor's copy.

    Love the blog by the way. I've been a reader for a while but haven't said hi before.

  4. That website is hope it helps you.

  5. I would totally be interested in the 'zine. Yes, please!

    Have you thought about doing more monetizing on your blog? You have a large and loyal following, you would probably do really well!

  6. @Jana: Aww, your comment totally cheered me up when I read it, so thank you so much for writing it!! :-) The support is very much appreciated.

    @Megan: Yeah, I totally get that. And even if I was making a ton of money, I have no interest in moving out at this point, either. Thanks for the site, I'll definitely check it out!

    @Holly: I was contacted ages ago by the author, so I knew the zine was featured in that book. What I didn't know until now was that I should have a free copy, as well! So thanks for letting me know, I'll contact the author... Also, I'm really glad you like the blog! :-)

    @Missy: Yay! I just hope I get it finished soon... Must do some hardcore writing. I have thought about doing more monetizatizing of the blog, but really, the idea doesn't sit well with me at all. It sucks, since I know that would be a simple way to make a bit of money, but it just feels a bit squicky to me! Maybe I'll get over that feeling at some point, but at this point I'm almost more inclined to simply add a 'donate' button to the blog, since that seems far more personal and less...commercialized, I guess. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion!

  7. jana Christy said...
    Idzie- Have you thought about using Kickstarter for one of your writing projects? It seems an ideal way for you to make some money,as you have such a large group of folks who follow your blog & FB feed? I was thinking along those lines for a project I'm working on, that evil mainstream publishing (who is paying my bills right now) won't touch... just a thought!

  8. Hi Idzie,
    Ever thought about working to at least pay for your laptop, leasure activities. Lots of writers do have to have a job at the start of their career, before they can live on what they earn from what they publish.
    At 17 or 18 most teens have already started paying for their things, don't you agree?

  9. Keep smiling ... sometimes I think the weather really does bring out the doldrums (I can't believe I just used the word "doldrums" lol)

    I have a completed manuscript and a 3/4 finished novel backed up on two (not one, two) thumb drives. My laptop is fairly new, but I take no chances with my writing.

  10. I'd just like to quickly say that I'm a big fan of your blog and your writing style. This is a resource I'll be using when unschooling my own children (as yet unborn), so I wanted to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing!

  11. @Louise: I think we get your opinions at this point, no need to start harassing me by commenting aggressively on every post you read! The way we, and I, choose to live is a matter for the four of us in my family, not for anyone else, to decide. I share as much as I do about my life and education because I'm passionate about freedom-based educational alternatives, and want to help others choosing a similar path by writing and speaking about my personal experience and knowledge on the matter. I'm not seeking anyone's approval, and what you, or anyone else outside of my circle of immediate family and close friends, think of how I choose to live has no impact on on my life. Think whatever you want: it's a human right, but unless you actually have something constructive or respectful to say, I'd ask you kindly to refrain from commenting. Another good option, if reading what I have to say upsets you so much, is to simply not read this blog. That's what I do when I come across a blog that really pisses me off!

  12. hi Idzie
    just stumbled across your blog- not sure how- but thankful to the fates that guided me here. i'm a mom to 2 boys and we unschool. however, i used to be a public school teacher- so i struggle with my inner teacher at time- wanting to force feed something to my kiddos because "someone" said it was important for them to know. i appreciate your honesty and i also am encouraged by young adults who are outside of the box and enjoying it.

    write on, gal!

  13. Really really enjoying your blog and thought processes too.
    I am an unschooling Mum as well. My 3 children have never been to school or nursery. I write about us here
    which is rather funny because my blog is called outside the box as the comment above says outside the box!
    Keep it coming!!

  14. Hi Idzie!

    In regards to old laptops that may crash at any moment -- yep, that's true, but the very same thing may happen to new laptops as well. And desktop PCs. And while is true that the age of the hardware is directly correlated with the rate of failures, if your aim is to keep your data safe then you really need to rely on some external storage solution (memory sticks, online places). So, if I were you, I think I will still go for the free old laptop doubled with frequent backups online AND a memory stick.

    I see that Louise's comment did not went too well with you (I have no clue about other comments of her) but, really, I'd second the opinion of trying to get small "surviving" jobs. (The kind of which lots of new-comers to Canada are getting when they first set foot in this country.) And it's not only because of the money supposedly resulting, but mostly because of the experience -- it is likely that you'll meet a very diverse group of people from which unexpected things could be learned.

    From my experience, I'd say 20s is the best time for mobility (as in travelling a lot). So if I were you, I'd keep this in mind when planning for the next decade.

    Best wishes and Happy birthday! :-)

  15. @Augustina: Good point about the laptop (it's been pointed out to me several times now, and after my initial panic of OMG OLD LAPTOPS CRASH I COULD LOSE EVERYTHING, I'm now quite happy getting an old one and backing up my files a lot :-P).

    Louise is my aunt, which is why I responded as I did. I don't appreciate extended family members being judgmental and hostile about the choices I, and my immediate family, choose to make.

    Anyway, thank you for your comment and suggestions!

  16. suggestion re: laptop crashing and losing all your work.
    I've found that Google Docs is really awesome because you can access it from any computer.
    Good luck with the zine and the party! I'm sure they'll both be positively awesome. :D