There comes a time in most of our lives when change is needed. The change can be small like a new haircut, or change can be bigger like a new job; at times, however, change can affect an entire lifestyle. Our life, like many others that we have encountered, has been an ongoing book with chapters ending and new ones beginning. Each chapter is a change and represents a new start. The time has come, once again, for an old chapter to close, and a new one to begin. Like so many before it, the idea of change began small and through careful nurturing and care grew into a bigger idea fanned by the frustration of life and fed by the hope of happiness.
As we said, change began small; smarter lifestyle choices brought on by the diminishing size of a paycheck. Those changes grew into the idea of less dependence on “stuff” and more focus on what we really need. That was never more evident than when we moved from one county to another in Georgia to start a new job. The move took three days which included packing every square inch of the biggest truck U-haul had to offer, driving to the new house, unloading the metal piñata, driving back to the old house, repacking the truck once again to the limits of capacity before finally driving back to the new house and unloading the seemingly endless supply of boxes and various other material items in our possession. After seeing just how much was there and the utter uselessness of the majority of it, we purged and sold off and gave away a huge portion of what we once could not live without. A funny thing happened at that point, the world did not end and we did not miss the items we no longer had. We had learned that minimal living is not that bad and it is ok to have things, but there is no need to go overboard. Slowly, we made more and more changes to our lifestyle, all the while feeling comfortable in our choices.
In the middle of these adjustments and changes to life are our kids. We have three girls who are now 5, 7, and 16. The two younger kids, Rainbow and Sparkles, have been unschooled from the beginning. We felt that the public school system would not be a fit for their personalities and would serve to limit them rather than allowing them to blossom on their own. That choice has been amazing for them and they are learning everyday on their terms and loving every moment of it. Rainbow and Sparkles both enjoy the freedom to explore interests on their own and figure out just what is important to them. They have been on board with our changes and, in most cases, have helped plan and participate in all that we do as a family. Our oldest child, Soccer Chick, is a recent addition to the unschooling world and has enjoyed her new found freedoms to learn and really pursue what she wants to do; not what she is being told to do. Since her departure from the public school system, she has spent time finding out who she is and what path is right for her. Like Rainbow and Sparkles, she has taken to this new lifestyle and is looking forward to what the future holds.
As a family, we have decided to start the next chapter of our life and finally shed the weights of doing what we are told and embrace the freedoms of doing what we want. Our plan is to begin again, this time through traveling the country and living life on our terms. Together we will experience life on the road as we go from city to city and state to state to free our minds and embrace all of what this country has to offer. The campgrounds, parks, and open country will be our backyards as we live, work, and learn our way to a better life. This is our family, this is our life, these are our choices, and this is our journey.