Six years is a very long time and this is a very long blog! In the next six years, for my life especially, my oldest son will be 14 years of age. Giovanni will be 12 years old and the baby…well, he wont be a baby anymore at 9. The age of my children is a big part of the plan. I do not expect my kids to embrace the wilderness like I do. They seem excited about it today but I have to consider what I would be asking them to leave behind in the future. Maybe they will love their school and have many friends they don’t want to leave. Maybe they love their electronics too much and would never commit to uprooting our lives.
This is one of the most difficult things to overcome when you want to make this life change. Your mind is the hardest thing to keep convinced and focused. Negativity in any form can set you back on your journey.
I struggle with this myself and my passion makes it so difficult to keep things positive. The more your eyes are opened, the more frustrated and annoyed you will become with society. Instead of becoming the angry hippie, you really have to focus on the idea that you want freedom and they deserve theirs. Much easier said than done, I know.
This life change has been 7 years in the making already and that is how long it has taken me to completely wrap my mind around the idea and open my eyes completely. It has been a process of strange encounters, disappointments and ignorant conversations to create this vision for me.
The moment I stood in the grocery store and really want to eat healthy but could only afford a box of mac n’ cheese, I thought…well that’s dumb. Another moment when my son was struggling so bad in school that the staff was demanding medication be administered. They then questioned my ability to parent my child because I asked to do my own research and find alternatives. As my kids played outside, people would stop and scream nasty comments like “You must want your kids raped!” What? The time I planted a garden in my back yard of my duplex and my neighbor said, “This looks like crap, where are all the flowers?” I responded, “I am growing veggies so that I can slowly stop spending so much on produce at stores!” She looked at me with the craziest look and said, “Well, that seems like a waste of time when you can just go get it.” Her opinion was as if farming or gardening was beneath her. How could you even live without people to grow your food, lady? You are the one that’s living under a rock! I can mention hundreds more of instances like these.
As my passion for freedom grew, the more I was regarded as someone rebellious or against the grain. This only drove me more mad with disappointment in society! I am the strange one because I don’t trust a pharmaceutical company who makes money when I am sick? I am the crazy one because I want to make my own products instead of trusting some factory or plant to keep the best interest of MY children in mind when they are making smart business decisions to cut costs?
Passion is something that will keep you motivated but you have to control your thoughts from becoming negative. Like I said, I struggle with this terribly.
Expect people to not understand. Expect people to laugh and make jokes about hygiene. Expect people to judge your ability to make this a reality. Expect them to hope you fail.
I get so carried away in trying to save the world and convince them this life is better. It is crucial that you live it and leave it. It is expected of society to be ignorant. Let’s be real. Most of society today has no desire for anything else. They are content. They have no survival skills and no interest in learning them. Let’s be even more realistic and go as far to say that the off grid living has become the alternative lifestyle (oddly enough) and the comforts of this new world will only become more prevalent. Keeping the mind set is important to keep on track but keep it separate from our desire to explain yourself. Live the life and people will see on their own.
I found out the hard way that when you are sharing your vision with people, it can be discouraging for a couple different reasons. The first thing to understand is that they will be genuinely interested and have a million questions you won’t be able to answer at first. This may come off as an attempt to convince you not to do it or to challenge your ability. I would get upset knowing I had done all this research and someone sitting in front of their TV with dominoes pizza and a bud light is telling me I don’t know what I am talking about. You will also get discouraged because no matter how thought out your explanation or how thought out your plan, there will be the skeptics who will just plain mock your ideas. Either way, keep it positive! Keep your mind fresh and open. You will be just a close minded otherwise.
Failure is your fault. No one but you can make this journey and it all starts with your mind.
I want more out of life. I want to live free from government and society. Off-grid living means something different to everyone, but essentially it is the same idea. The motives are almost always aligned but the extent of the lifestyle is what differs.
“I want only to work so that I may live. I want to live so I may stay strong.”
This is my life quote. Yes, I said this. I strongly believe that the old saying of “work smarter, not harder” is the way to go. However, I think manual labor is something that our bodies crave to remain grounded and keep a sense of balance in our life. I am not talking about back breaking labor of toting buckets water when you could pull them with less effort. The fact that you are fetching water gives you two things. A sense of accomplishment that our souls long for and it also makes us appreciate things that the earth provides.
I prefer the manual labor that produces a result needed for me to survive versus the exhausting hours of my life given to the CEO of a company just earn money that I then give back to other people for things needed to live. Am I the only one that thinks that cycle is so savage and just wrong? Why is our society so obsessed with becoming more and more successful to live a life of “luxury”?
Technology is amazing and I choose to stay up to date and not ignorant to the advancements in our society. However, I also pick and choose what elements I allow into my daily life and I am also looking forward to the day I cut ties with it all. There are tons of opportunities to make money living off the grid, thanks to the advancement in technology and the internet. I have learned so many things about making money online and have mastered several of them. I was a stay at home mom and managed to pay bills on my own with money made online, but today I have a 9 to 5 job because I cannot stay home and stare at a screen all day. The amount of money I needed to make to continue living the life of a “normal” person meant that I had to spend hours and hours and hours with my face to a computer screen. I thought staying home and working from home was going to give me so much more time with my kids but it was not the quality time I was looking for. In order for me to have that quality time, I had to change my lifestyle to one that required much less money or none at all.
This is “my why”. Why would I want a life other than the “norm”? Well, it is very simple, really. Instead of me just laying my whys out, can I ask you a few questions?
What would you do if grocery stores one day did not exist? How would you eat? What would you do if the power plants no longer existed? Would you know how to cook? What would you do if your water company became contaminated? How would you live if no one bottled your water? What if you couldn’t just run to Wal-Mart and buy your deodorant, toothpaste or shampoos? Would you know how to make them yourself? How many times a day do you take out a bag of trash to the street? What would your yard look like if there were no garbage men or big waste plants? What would you do if you could not just buy formula at the store?
I know that these scenarios are likely to never happen in our lifetime, but the real problem I have is putting so much faith in corporations and other people to take care of my family. Whether or not I get the awesome opportunity to utilize all these skills, I would take comfort that my ability to survive surpasses even the president of the United States. I will not label myself as a “prepper” or one who is preparing for a life lived in fear of world destruction, but I would prefer to be one who agrees with nature and lives to be free.
Follow my six year plan to living off the grid and take this journey with me. I will continue to blog about progress, ideas and skills as I learn them. Let’s get garden soil rich!