Wednesday, January 08, 2014

On Hippie Moms & Being Amber
A few weeks ago, I reconnected with a girl from high school that I had always liked and admired, whom, since high school, has become this sort of cool hippie mom. And not just a hippie momlike, part of a movement of cool hippie moms. All of them seem to be super pretty beach babes who hula hoop and raise chickens and knit their own colorful, multi-pattern scarves and even have this circle of friends called the "mama crew." And they're all about "intentional parenting" and "unschooling" and it's kind of this weird sort of culture that reminds me of moms from the 50s and 60s, where their whole lives are about having babies and nurturing their children, only these moms do it in dreadlocks and Fifth Wheels. 

Like one of her friends (I feel into a deep rabbit hole on this one…there were some fantastic blogs by this crew. Sue me.) redesigned and renovated this Fifth Wheel that is a BEAUT on the inside and runs on vegetable oil, and this woman and her husband and their kids have traveled all over the country in it, just living wherever the mood strikes them and making (an obviously pretty great) living by blogging and holding workshops on stuff. 

And when I say "hippie", I'm not talking about the dirty tent hippies of our parents' time…I'm talking about "Hey, I'm super attractive but love the earth, so let me just put together this outfit that would look ridiculous on anyone else but makes me look like the West Coast goddess from your better dreams and then I'll have a baby so my hot bearded husband has a real reason to call me "mama" which most people would hate but it totally sounds super romantic and sexy when it's ascribed to me and then I'll impress everyone with my gluten-free bread-making skills that I like to practice in my tiny-but-ridiculously-amazing-and-entirely-made-from-rehabbed-materials dream cabin, whose building progress you can follow on my extremely well-read blog."

Kind of like this:

Or this:


Studying this kind of life, it's one that I both envy tremendously and yet know that it's just not for me, you know? Kind of like the women who live up here (in the northwoods) who are super into cross-country skiing and mountain biking and wear second-skin spandex ski leggings into a bar without batting an eye: Sometimes I kind of want to be like that, but deep down I know that that's just not tribe. Like there's this part of me who wants to be all fresh-faced and organic all the time and pierce my nose and grow dreadlocks and get knocked up by some hot hippie carpenter (you know, Jesus was a hippie carpenter) so I can hula hoop with the mama crew, but then I know I would just tire of always smelling essential oil all over the place, you know? And I would LOVE to just have this fun little nomadic family that travels all over, and sometimes I want to do the thing where I grow all my own food and I homestead my life and go back to the earth, but making sure everything is organic and 100% pure or made from scratch all the time is just hard work…and then I think about how it's just nice to go to the mall sometimes. Get my Starbucks and buy a $20 sweater at Old Navy. That kind of thing. 

My point:

You know how, on Pinterest, you see that "Comparison Is the Thief of Joy" image about 500 times a day? I don't think it's entirely true. I think, sometimes, it can actually bring one more joy…if you do it right. 

Kind of like with what I mentioned the other day, sometimes I'll look at the lives of some of my old friends and feel an initial small stab of envy…until I put myself deep enough into their lives (or what I imagine their lives to be like) to realize: Hey, still not for me. Or sometimes I'll take a look into the lives of the hippie moms above, and I'll be inspired to emulate the things I admire (um, mainly hot hippie carpenter husbands, but also a commitment to organic/Fair Trade/locally-sourced ev'raythang, and I do totally want to build one of these in the future, especially #1 and #5,) while simultaneously affirming the things that I like better about my own style/living space/purpose/life (my free-flowing, undreaded locks; my decidedly Patchouli-free perfume collection; the freedom to not have to bake my bread). Doing a little comparison shopping from time to time can actually strengthen my resolve to Be Amber, and therefore bring me more joy. 


How about you? Tell me: What lifestyles out there (RunBikeTri vs. happily non-RunBikeTri, urban vs. small town, entrepreneur vs. corporate, nun vs. Carrie Bradshaw, etc) do you sometimes wish you could emulate/make yours? 

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