While I’m a great fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, I have to wonder if Bilbo misinformed Frodo when he said “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
As a homeschooler from age six, I am firmly convinced that you can be knocked off your feet inside your door because my life has always been different in many ways. People have always felt free to tell me what they thought of my style of education. I’ve been accused of being everything from sheltered to brainwashed, but “normal” has never been one of the words used to describe me.
Where I lived, normal was playing basketball, going to dances, running track, going to games, shopping for school clothes, trying to do homework at five in the morning because of the game last night, hating classes, falling asleep in school, passing with a low score, and hating education.
It didn’t bother me too much that I wasn’t normal. I was, as Bilbo puts it, too swept away on my adventures to care what normal was. I was too busy working, preparing for college, and going where my passions took me.
Since I left home for college, the road has knocked me off my feet, and I still do not know where I will end up. I completed my B.A. in three years, lived in Macau for seven months, and got my Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language. After years of teaching ESL, now I am an author – having completed my first book Toxic and am almost finished the sequel.
As I sit at my computer today, I have to smile because I am not still normal. And I’m glad that I’m not. All the best adventures start in the ordinary and lead into the abnormal. It’s not normal for a prince to use a glass slipper to track down his love. It’s not normal for a boy and a horse to be shipwrecked on a desert island together. It’s not normal to walk through a wardrobe and enter a different world. It’s not normal for God to willingly sacrifice His son to save His created – the same ones who sinned and hated Him.
So, that’s why when people accuse me of being abnormal, I grin. Homeschooling taught me to love the adventure of life. In other words, I love the different, the irregular, and yes, even the abnormal. And as I continue down the road of life, I’m still waiting to see where I’ll land.
But until then, I am reminded of the quote from the movie “Hook”. At the very end, Granny Wendy says to Peter, “So…your adventures are over.” Peter replies with a slight shake of his head, “Oh, no. To live…to live would be an awfully big adventure.”
May you be swept off your feet and have an abnormal life!
I have always struggled with the question “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology…only to find myself with no desire to work in that field. I switched careers to Teaching English as a Second Language and obtained a Master’s from Seattle Pacific University. Teaching at universities and community colleges gave me eleven years of incredible experiences, remarkable coworkers, and unforgettable friends from many different countries. However, the distant mountains began to call, and I responded, not knowing where I was going or what my purpose was. After a year and a half of traveling through the quiet places that are left in the world, I settled in Montana with my husband and my dog. I have begun to write the stories I heard on the wind.