I was watching "The Happening" last week, when a selection in the movie reminded me of life "off the grid." It's the part where the main characters find themselves seeking refuge with a nutty older woman who lives completely isolated from the rest of the world. With no electricity or radio or television, she truly was "off the grid."
The surprise of her guests regarding her lifestyle choices got me thinking that going off the grid isn't without its objections. Sometimes people just don't understand (granted, the old bitty was also Completely Insane! but that's beside the point.).
Here are the top three objections, ideological and otherwise, that I've encountered this past year, and my rebuttals to them:
#1: I'm wasting my education. Stay-at-home moms probably run-up against this objection all the time. After all, the idea of spending a small fortune on a college education only to end up staying home seems like a waste to the modern world. Why bother? they ask. Well, for starters, I believe that education is never wasted, regardless of what "career" you find yourself in. Two, I use my education all the time. When I'm writing, when I'm thinking about the world, when I'm strategizing for my business, and more. The idea that a college education is only good for the 9-5 seems plain silly to me.
#2: I'm unwisely making myself vulnerable by depending on someone else's income (my husband's, in my case). I will talk a lot more about the "money issue" next week, but briefly--dependency isn't always a kiss of death. Neither is one full-time income (as opposed to two). More on this to come...
#3: To willingly walk away from the opportunity to build a traditional career is to take a step back. And stepping back diminishes the hard work and progress gained by women over the last several decades. To be sure, I don't want to be ungrateful for the ladies who have paved the way for women to leave the kitchen and enter the workforce. But I do want to make clear to myself that stepping out of the workforce and into a more entrepreneurial and domestic life is not a step back. Many of the issues that we are facing today can be mitigated in part by a brand of leadership that flourishes outside of the 9-5. Leadership that advances--not restrains--women.
There are other obstacles I've had to work through, and am still working through, in addition to these. Like how to build a successful career on my own from scratch, how to navigate changing roles in my marriage (believe me, there have been lots of squabbles this past year), how to overcome isolation, how to stay disciplined, etc. etc. But tackling the top three--mainly to convince myself--has proven to be the consistent challenge.
What are your objections to going off the grid? Or what objections have you overcome? Share your thoughts with me by commenting here or emailing me at email@example.com.
Previous Deviancy 101 posts:
Stick around later today for another Smarty Pants post (because as fun as it is, I have to know more than the People Magazine headlines...).