Thursday, October 23, 2008

Defining Deviancy...

When I hear the word deviant today, I usually get an instant picture in my mind.  I see a young teenager, outcast as a result of either her persistent rebellion or extreme social awkwardness.  Or I imagine someone whose (ahem) "bedroom practices" are (ahem again) "unconventional."  It might seem strange, then, that I would choose deviant, of all adjectives, to promote a specific type of living.  Let me explain...

According to Webster's dictionary, a deviant is "someone who departs from the usual or accepted standards in society."  It comes from the Latin word meaning "turning out of the way."  And that is precisely what I feel I've done over this past year.

For instance, I "turned out of the way" when I quit my promising career in corporate America to start writing about domestic affairs.  I "departed from the usual standard" when I forfeit a steady income in order to stay home--without children, nonetheless!  And within the context of these choices are a whole bundle of other unorthodox decisions that deviate from the norm, which I will talk about in more detail in the weeks to come.

I certainly never intended to become a deviant.  In fact, the majority of my life prior to these most recent events have been precisely the opposite--I've lived well within the "usual and acceptable standards."  But, perhaps like many others who stray off the beaten path, I'm starting to like my new status.  Even better, I'm seeing how sometimes the solutions we've been searching for are found in unlikely places.  

We just need to deviate a little to find them.

Join me next week as I talk about "going off the the grid"--it's part of Deviancy 101.  And please send me your stories of deviancy (not the bedroom type!  I don't want to know!) by emailing me at

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