the nonexistent recipe for intrepidity


It's interesting, because there isn't really a name for it. No label.

People ask me like, "so what are you going to do?" and I say "I'm a writer." "Oh, so journalism."

...No.

I tell stories. It's not something you learn, or something you go to college for, it's something you're either born with or you're not. People would love it if I just made it a little easier on them. They would love for me to not be that one that people point to when they meet and say "so, you're the rebel in the family, I can tell." People would love it if I was that normal little boxed up talking point that could be discussed pleasantly among friends over dinner.

But I'm not.

I'm a storyteller. I'm not in college. I fall easily in love with people and trees and graffiti and fiction. And I would rather frolic in the slums with the kids who got left there for misfits than have a job or a 'normal life'. I would rather talk to this girl in Ghana about how she never realized water was clear until a well was drilled in her village, than ever have a career.

What do I want to be when I grow up? A leaf carried on the wind. Blown to the farthest reaches of the earth to find the dark, broken places and write about what I find there. Kiss the wounds. Wash them clean.

Yes, I fight the system. Yes, I ruin everything for those who want things to stay the same. But growing up as the daughter of two artists taught me that I didn't have to do it the way it had always been done. That it was okay to peel off the number. Reject the inmate uniform. It was okay to say:

I'm never changing who I am.

It's okay to speak out. It's okay to stand, it's okay to swim against the current,

And it's absolutely vital to not care what anyone else thinks or says about you.

Storytelling means that I rocked my grades but I couldn't stand schoolwork, it means I'm not in college because I don't want to be. It means I stay up late because I can't fall asleep at night because I'm thinking too much. It means my heart is in Africa, my soul is in India, and my body is pretty much everywhere else. It means I want to write stories about kids who spray paint train cars at night and ask serious questions about what everything means, I want to write stories about kids who lost their parents to AIDS, or to a stoning, or to genocide. I want to write about girls who don't have lips or noses anymore, and tell them that they're still beautiful. I want to sing with little kids who live in garbage dumps in India, and hug them and love the heck out of them. I want to tell stories about the planet, and how things can't go on the way they are if we expect to continue to have sustainability. Stories about the ocean and about whales and about the ecosystem and how it works and how much we rely on it.

Is there really a degree, or a formula for that? Or is that just something He put there? Is it something I learn or something I simply just...trust?

It's not a thing, it's an infection.

So, yes. I'll be called a rebel forever, and people will be frustrated with me and will think I'm weird or crazy or something else. But I won't pretend that I'm not a spark from a fire carried up into the treetops by the wind. Because I can't hide that. Because I am that. I won't pretend that I don't want everything to be different just as fervently as everyone else wishes things to remain as they are. I won't pretend to blend because I don't, and I won't try and act as if I have an ordinary life because I've never actually experienced one.

And, honestly, despite everything we've ever been taught or preached to about, we actually don't have to do things the way they've always been done. We don't have to do everything we're told, fit the societal mold, take the pill, play the role.

I mean, what is life? I grow up and go to school so I can have a 'good' job that I may or may not like, so that I can get up early every morning until I retire and work in the same space everyday, so that I can make enough money to support a nice, complacent, western lifestyle? Is that it? And we pay to be taught this. Parents pressure their kids about it. Western culture forces this down our throats.

I guess I find this really painful, because I don't know what a normal western life is like. I've kind of grown up in this artist realm tucked away in the forest between mountains, laid back bohemian cities and skiing districts. I've been told that I don't understand the value of  money, and maybe I don't... but based on what I've seen, I don't think I want to understand it.

For me words like 'career' don't really make the cut, because I wasn't slowly boiled into comfort with the word and it's meaning. And to this day it still sounds like work, and I'm still not a fan. So there's storytelling. And I tell stories and sometimes people laugh or cry or fall in love with the meaning. That's not a career, at least, I don't consider it one. I consider it life. Breathing in and out. The pumping of my own heart, blood in my veins-- it's not work. It's not a job. It's not part of what we've been conditioned to accept. It simply...is.

Storytelling, dancing, punk rock, art, surfing, creating... it's not a job, or a career. And you shouldn't do it for the money. Or the lifestyle that the system portrays as normal.

Do it because you love it.

And yes, you too will be known as a rebel. But that's okay.

Because I can honestly tell you that it is worth it.

xo,
Kate

photographs equal || washington state california and oregon || oceans and forests and oh my gracious beautiful || by this kaikamahine








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9 people commented on this post.

  1. I really really enjoy your writing, dear.

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  2. Stunning pictures! You are amazing at writing...

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    1. thank you soo much, J, that means so much.. (:

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  3. After reading the whole of this text is to certify that I will visit more often. :)

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  4. OH MY WORD. okay, so i wasn't stalking you blog, i swear. but i ran across this post and - YOU SAID IT. AUUGH you said what has been needing to be said. being a rebel, being unconventional, and un-normal, is the. best. thing. EVER. i love this post. can i print this out and hang it on my wall? :)

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comments are like dark chocolate and they make this kid way happy. I love hearing from you guys! (check back because I reply...and I love checking out your blogs, so don't leave me without a link to yours!) ♥