I'm happily engaged to another woman, and yet, I find myself adhering to more conservative religious dress standards. I have seen glimpses of others like me online — the ba'al teshuvah lesbian on Tumblr who actively dates women; the queer "frum from birth" Jew who got a tattoo to commemorate his struggle with traditional Torah observance; the genderqueer Muslim I went to school with who wears a hijab; the Seventh Day Adventist and Pentecostal LGBTQ activists who blog for other queers in their denominations.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of Philosophy posts.
Not everything on Offbeat Home centers around the physical. Sometimes being an Offbeat Homie is all about the mindset.
When someone cuts me off in traffic, I imagine that they're in a terrible hurry and didn't see me. When a young man asks to use my cell phone in a bad part of town, I hand it over and ask if he needs anything else. When I'm taking a Greyhound bus ride and the bus is half full of freshly released prisoners, I always happen to end up right in the middle of their group of seats. I am often called naïve. But I won't let that change my world.
When you accomplish a goal, are you the type to doubt that your accomplishment is worth acknowledging at all? If you succumb to the zombies of self-doubt, you risk burnout, loss of motivation, and being generally bummed out. Besides that, the zombies are really not good for your self-esteem. I struggle against them myself. Here's what I've come up with to try to help remind myself to be my own cheerleader and celebrate my accomplishments.
In recent years, I've begun to develop my own theory: people are either movers or stayers. I've met people who have lived in the same town their whole lives, and never felt the need to leave. I've met others who have "itchy feet" and are constantly on the move: six months here, two years there. So, I'm a little curious, Offbeat Homies: where do you fall on the mover/stayer spectrum?
There's a word in Korean "삐딱이", or "bbiddaki." I've heard it translated as "rebel," but my mom says it is closer to "sarcastic." I think a very literal translation would be "one who stands crookedly." I've been chewing this over for a while, and I think my peeps are onto something…
We wanted land. We wanted to grow real food, and raise animals for real milk and real meat and real eggs. We wanted to sit at our dining room table without a goat jumping from chair to chair. I had enough of a background in historic agriculture (to say nothing of a full-time job doing historic agriculture) that I was willing to take the leap out of the suburbs and into hobby farming. My husband quickly jumped onboard. We are the ones who are actively resisting the industrial food systems of the twenty-first century. Are we radicals? Absolutely. Are we rabid? No. We've just simply assessed the way things are going locally, nationally, and globally, and chimed in with Bartleby the Scrivener: We would prefer not to. We are not alone.
I don't celebrate New Years for a few reasons. But the most important reason I don't celebrate New Year's is because I already see each day as a fresh start. I don't need to party it up one day a year in order to cherish the fact that I get a chance to begin anew.
I've been thinking a lot about being mindful — about how to be as present as I can. Then I realize I am thinking so much about being present that I am letting it distract me from BEING present! So tonight, I tried a little exercise based on one of the mindfulness practices I learned during childbirth preparation: see, hear, feel, breathe.