By Idzie Desmarais / I’m Unschooled. Yes I Can Write!
Most of what I share is advice and theory, deeply rooted in my personal experiences, but not often about my own learning journey. So as the new year starts–and thanks to a bit of inspiration from Sue Patterson’s unschooling manifesto–I wanted to sit down and consider what types of attitudes I want to cultivate, and what pieces of advice I want to give to myself, as I continue my own grown-up unschooling. These are not so much specifics: “read more books” or “take up running,” these aren’t new year’s resolutions (easily made and as easily broken), but instead I hope will act more as my own mini-manifesto for the coming year, a year in which I hope I can work on growing, healing, and learning bravely. Here goes!
My unschooling mug! (Society6)
- Recognize when I’m stuck, and don’t let myself stay stuck for too long.
- Get help when I need it. Professional help, support from friends, classes, whatever. I’m not a one-person island, and reaching out for support, in whatever way is needed, is a good thing.
- Push outside my comfort zone. This is one of my biggest goals for this coming year! As a person with generalized anxiety disorder, pretty much EVERYTHING is outside my comfort zone, and the longer I stay in my little zone, the smaller it becomes. I need to always be expanding it, step by step, little by little, outwards if I want to do better.
- Fun is important. Really important! It’s okay to enjoy something even if it doesn’t have an immediate, obvious “point.”
- Quiet times are good in moderation, but a balance needs to be found. I love daydreaming and enjoying the small things of everyday life: –a good cup of coffee, a good cuddle session with my cat, a wonderful new novel. However, I can get so wrapped up in them I become isolated. Other people need to be a regular part of my life, too.
- Stop comparing myself to others, and finding myself lacking. If I truly believe what I say about each person having their own unique timeline, I can’t keep thinking I’m at the “wrong” point on it.
- Don’t ever be embarrassed to share what I’m interested in or excited about, even if–or maybe especially if–it’s something that I know some people would dismiss as unimportant.
- Celebrate every tiny little success as if it’s a Big Deal, because it IS a big deal! It’s important to recognize progress, whether it’s big steps forward or small ones.
- Despite what I tell myself, coffee does not actually help me do anything. Use it in moderation.
- Inspiration doesn’t usually just pop up all on it’s own. Finding inspiration is work, a deliberate practice of paying attention, doing new things, engaging in conversation with others, and being genuinely thoughtful about what I read and see and hear.