We’ve been in Benicassim for about two and half weeks now, finally settled into some rituals and rhythms. But I can’t sleep. I am a total insomniac and my mind is so full of possibility. I feel like I’m in a wave of inspiration and there is definitely no way I can rest.
I’m pretty sure my son is dealing with this too.
I think we are both processing so much, because so much has happened in a two-month period. Going from Denver to Chicago to Alicante to Amoraleza to Granada to here has given us a ton of input. A lot of things have happened on the way, a lot of good and amazing things.
One of my favorite things about this journey is that my son and I now have real conversations. Our relationship has radically shifted, and while I do nag him from time to time about cleaning up his dishes or wiping the counters, my maintenance and need to control him like I did before doesn’t exist like that anymore, or maybe at all.
A big part of the Ayahuasca journey was learning that my son is totally capable. I knew it before, but I had messengers speak to me. And even he spoke to me in that lucid dream– “I’ve got this mom, I’ve got this.”
Ever since then, we have been able to have very deep and healing conversations.
Today, we’ve been up since who knows when, talking until at least 3 am–about everything, and I do mean everything.
I knew the winds were changing.
He keeps reminding me that we started this trip with no expectation, no knowledge of when or where we would go next and that ANYTHING was possible.
I’ve had it in my mind that yes, this is a one-way ticket, and anything is possible, but I really want to stay in Spain. I am in love with Spain. I really just need to figure out this visa thing. Our 90 day grace period is coming to an end, and all the answers are grey about extending it. Everyone says the best bet is to leave the Schengen area for 90 days and come back, but I’m thinking there’s got to be another way. If we go to Germany, it’s possible that I could get a freelance visa for a year, that’d work.
I have been emotional for a bit here now. I think mijo and I are a tinge on the lonely side. I love the fact that our lives are so simple right now, but there’s not much socialization going on for either of us which is why I keep trying to connect with my friends in Colorado. It’s a crazy perplexity that I think a lot of travelers talk about–you have everything you could want in the world, but then something is missing, not a lot because everything is here, but just a little something.
I want to speak Spanish, I really do, I’ve been studying everyday. It takes me a lot of effort and courage to attempt a Spanish conversation with the lady we rent the villa from, but I want to. I’m so certain we would be such good friends, like super duper good friends, if there wasn’t a language barrier. For now, I just go off of this feeling and try to engage her as much as possible. I manage to stutter or say something in the super wrong tense to her everytime we talk. I smile, laugh, point, shrug, and look at her in the eyes knowing we know, but we don’t know how to say it to each other.
Anyhow, the point is, we are admittedly lonely. Mijo has made a friend that is a girl, which has been good, but not everything he is needing. I hear him chatting with his long distance friends frequently and just pray that will fulfill him for awhile.
He is also insistent that he needs to go back “home,” to Denver, to finish his album. He’s also certain he needs to make contact points in LA and New York City, this is his intuition talking to him.
I’ve spent hours on the phone with my mother getting pep talks as I cry through the phone saying I don’t know how to keep going and I don’t know what to do. Everytime our conversations end, I’m re-encouraged, recommitted to traveling for an entire year with my son–knowing it doesn’t matter where we are, but that we keep traveling.
Then, one day, I got really low. I couldn’t talk to my mom, couldn’t talk to my friends, I really needed to talk with someone who could understand this type of life I was living. I’m not sure why it hadn’t dawned on me before: USE THE INTERNET. It was then that I decided to research unschooling resources (duh), when I came across the mother of all chat boards. Go figure!
I don’t know how I found it, but the Universe sent me the biggest present that I so needed: A Facebook Group dedicated to Worldschooling. And it wasn’t just one group, it was multiple groups that included ones specifically for people of color, single parents, bloggers and more.
I spent hours going through the posts, the links to the articles and after a few hours decided to publish my first incredibly vulnerable post. You see, I was really struggling with this concept that my son wanted, “needed,” to go home. I’m thinking this is not the plan, there is no way, why, why, why?
Anyway, my post went something like this:
It didn’t take long, not long at all, before I got the answers that I needed. Not that I wanted, but that I needed.
For the sake of anonymity, I’ll summarize the main advice I received, for which I struggled with, but will be eternally grateful for:
- Maybe you should slow down, stay in one place for longer.
It did feel like we were traveling lightning fast, this is the longest we had been anywhere so far on our journey. This slowing down thing was feeling really good
- Can you connect him with other teenagers?
- Find a homeschool group to connect with others.
I don’t think so…my son is a particular young man and he is very good at finding people he wants to connect with, when he wants to.
- It sounds like your son knows what he wants, what can you do to support his interests and build his professional portfolio?
Yes, he does know what he wants, which is absolutely amazing! He keeps telling me that he is ready to start his life. That’s what this is about for him, preparing him to go at it alone.
- There were people who talked about it being unfair to place our needs, wants and desires on our children. That unschooling isn’t something you “do” to a child, but that it’s something that they SELF-DIRECT. The whole point of unschooling is for your child to have a Self-Directed education.
The biggest one that got me, from one of the great people in the Worldschooling group, was something that Allison Sherman said after giving me some other great ideas:
- “PS: a big part of unschooling is allowing the teen to choose his/her activities. You say you want to worldschool/unschool him for a year, but what does he want? Unschooling really works when the teen has the freedom to make their own way, or as much as possible.”
Crap! Did I really become that mom? Had I become so completely self-absorbed with my personal agenda for my child that I failed to meet the entire mission completely? He’s supposed to choose? Was I completely freaking failing this whole unschooling thing? He’s supposed to make his own way, oh-em-freaking-gee. Damn, self-centered, Leo me. I want, I want, I want certain things for him, I want to show him the way. Lordy.
I thought about it, I had read about 5 books about Unschooling over my past Spring Break and the rest I left to intuition. I felt fairly equipped when we left. I mean I knew this whole concept was based around Self-Directed education. The truth at this moment, was that I lost sight of this. I actually didn’t know what I was doing or how to best facilitate this process for my child.
And then it happened, one night, 3 in the morning, as both of us remained restless, he came knocking on my door. There was friction between us because I was tired and in denial about this, I–need-to-go-back-to-the-states-thing, where-were-we-going-to-go-next-thing. I didn’t want to have any conversation that involved us leaving Spain or going back to Amerikkka.
He started pouring his heart out. He talked to me with authenticity, with reasoning, compassion, and forward thinking. He didn’t want to go back to the states to take up his bullshit ways again (my biggest fear), no, he wanted to plunge forward, finish this album which he’s been insistently working on everyday, go to Los Angeles and New York to make connections in the fashion, music, and film industries.
It was a purpose. A very clear purpose.
Wait, this is the thing we had been missing.
As he talked to me, I realized that we had spent the last couple months on a total explorative journey without an exact purpose. Yes, we were both rapidly learning, but there was no particular focus to the learning. Everything was very shifty and transient. It turns out, my son doesn’t like that as much as I do. He can do it, but it’s not his favorite.
Another big thing that folks in the world of unschooling talk about is this period that many children need to air out and recover from the system of schooling. It dawned on me in that moment, that these first frivolous months were about that.
We both needed time to unravel and clear out.We both needed time to shake off the systems, the power struggles, the bad habits, and learn how to be rawly in the world again without the constant weight of waking up at 6 am everyday to go to a building that was trapped with systems, rigor, bureaucracy and bullshit.
We were so getting that in Benicassim and now our minds were clear, so much so that were no longer able to sleep during normal sleeping hours. We were both in a channeling state and finally came to a point where we could listen to each other without either of our personal agendas taking over.
So, this 3 am conversation turned out to be life changing and put our family in alignment.
There were things that were needed from here and greater possibilities than I had even imagined. This conversation showed me that my thinking was limited and that there was so much more than Spain.
Here’s what resulted from this 3 am conversation:
- We will go to Paris, France for his birthday week which correlates with Paris Fashion Week– a great unschooling purpose in alignment with his future self.
- We will go back to the states for a short period of time so that he can finish his album with specific people, journey to Los Angeles and New York on his own to test out his independence while pursuing his career(s)–he is a total multipotentalite. (Just have to share this Ted Talk, because a good friend shared it with me, it’s so nice to have permission to be everything that we are).
- We will get the heck out of the states by the New Year, with a projected schedule of traveling to Colombia, Brasil, back to Europe, and with a grand finale in Japan, spending approximately 3-4 weeks in each destination to have more of a Slow Travel feel.
- He asked me to help him create his resume, which is mind blowing, because he is so independent. Our relationship has changed into more of a mentorship/business partnership sort of feel. We have been taking care of business and it is so great!
- He created a GoFundMe Campaign all on his own. A big portion of changing plans, was that he needed to work toward contributing to supporting himself and the things he needs to do to meet his agenda and personal goals. I still feel it’s important for me to support him financially, but for him to start acquiring things of his own to forward this tour he wants to go on.
- This decision became mutually beneficial, because as he seeks to spread his music over the world and connect with people all over the world, this gives me the opportunity to get my dance all over the world (more about that later), but now, we are loosely calling this our “Promo Tour.”
It’s amazing what can happen 3 am! Having a mind-blowing conversation with my son that once again has showed me that anything is possible if you are willing to LISTEN and be present with what is.
I’ve had to let go of my personal agenda, which is really fucking hard.
Anyway, viva la Paris! And however reluctant I feel about going “home,” I’m doing it TEMPORARILY for my son, because this is his year, his self-directed education, and this journey is about him succeeding.
The cool thing about unschooling is that it can literally happen anywhere. So, here we go!
How’d we get so clear? It’s all about the Rituals and Routines
How can you support mijo’s visions? GoFundMe Campaign
Thanks for reading my blog, if you like it, like it here! If you are moved or have questions, write them in the comments here! Live your dreams, it is all possible!