I always considered myself a rebel. But if I reflect on it, I’m not sure I really am. Fear keeps me bound by rules that tell me to get an 8 to 5 job, save up for retirement, find a nice man and keep my house clean. But my heart is not always in any of it. I’d like to be a writer who writes in the morning and serves coffee at a coffeehouse in the afternoon. I’d prefer to work as a hostel-owner on the Appalachian Trail. Or better yet, I’d like to do some kind of job for six months a year and take six months off.
There’s a guy on Match who ended his profile with “P.S. No tattoos, please.” He had contacted me and had been chatting me up for a week before I noticed it. I messaged him and told him I had two, and I wasn’t interested in someone so closed-minded. He ended the interaction saying he thought I was an interesting person. I resisted answering, but I wanted to say, “Most people who are ballsy enough to get tattoos are interesting. But you’ll never know because you have some stupid preference that has nothing to do with the person.” Next….
Don’t we all rebel against something? If we invest in a mainstream life, we might rebel by eating too much or running up debt. “You can’t put limits on me!” those behaviors scream. I want. I get. Or what about all of these sexual harassers who hide in their offices and prey on coworkers in secret. Their mainstream life is not wild enough for them, so they take what they want from women who are less powerful than they are. We rebel but we are too chicken to rebel out loud.
I admire the rebels who live their whole lives in rebellion. They thumb their nose at money and create. One of my artist girlfriends who is also a shaman says she creates something every single day. Her house is colorful and eclectic. It is never clean because she’s painting. She and her husband are both artists. They teach. They protest for things they believe in. They invest in their family of choice. They rebel until it’s mainstream for them. They are my heroes. I want to grow up and be like them.