My roommates like to remind me of how homeschooled I am.  

That’s fine with me- it’s only an insult sometimes, and it’s never something I’m ashamed of.

Homeschooled doesn’t really refer to my education for them, it refers to how I live my life now.  

I was homeschooled til 8th grade (except for 3rd grade), and it was a mixture good and bad.  The good was so good; my mom was an incredible teacher and offered me a broad and strong education.  I was isolated at some points though, and it got lonely at times.

Anyone who knew me in 8th grade through high school knows it wasn’t a completely smooth transition. I was bullied.  I struggled with depression.  Body image.  Struggled to fit in.  These difficulties were definitely connected to being homeschooled, but were even more indicative of the moment that everyone must face, when the world loses little bits of its magic,and people are suddenly not assumed to always be nice.

By senior year things were much better, and I was eager to head off to college.  Now I’m done with college, and I feel like I am facing both endless possibility and endless limitations.  

I maintain many of the same values that my parents, particularly my mother, instilled in me while I was homeschooled.  We clipped coupons, shopped at thrift stores, and gardened.  Even though I told my grandpa when I was like 6 that I had never owned anything but hand-me-downs and thrift store clothes, we did have some new things too.  It was a nice balance that I try to incorporate into my life today.

This means that I will always shop the clearance racks.  And I will recycle the hell out of everything, if I can’t find a way to reuse it, that is.  I will clip and organize coupons.  I will use egg shells and banana peels in my garden.  I will have a garden.  I will cook with whole foods whenever possible. 

It’s not just about cutesy and cheap.  It’s about making sense out of consuming, and doing so in a healthy way.  My mom taught me to be respectful of the world around me from a young age, and being a little homespun is one way that translates to life today.  Tease me for wearing dresses I made, and for saving lightbulbs that are burnt out to make terrariums from, and for growing herbs in the window sill.  But I have no doubts that I will continue to wear homemade and thrifted clothes, have tiny plants inside repurposed containers, and enjoy fresh basil in my pesto.