countercultural loneliness


I want to write, and yet something tells me that I am just inviting criticism.  I have been feeling so very countercultural these days.  It is it’s own kind of loneliness.  Why must I question everything that is common knowledge?  As a teenager, I assumed that it was because I read too much.  It was hard to think like a small town Midwestern girl in the 1990’s when my every spare thought was some character in Boston, London or San Francisco in 1759, 1809 or 1849.  I had a few friends in high school.  I don’t really remember much about what we talked about, but I know it wasn’t football, celebrities or boys.

About that same time my dad decided to get things right with God and started going to church again.  Attending Lutheran services with him was a shock to my Catholic self.  I decided that I needed to know what I believed about Christ, the church and myself.   I started reading my Bible, found a whole new dimension to my faith and when I went away to college started hanging out with Southern Baptists.  That freaked all of my extended family out.  On one hand I was a university student who didn’t drink, do drugs or sleep around so I was a great role model for my cousins.  On the other hand, I’d abandoned the faith of my forefathers.  With my college friends, I talked about faith, living as though I believed what God says about Himself in the Bible, and how that is more than just being good and going to church.

And just when I thought I’d gotten the whole being countercultural thing down, I moved to India. I traveled, studied language and spent time with Christian believers for all over India, the United States and the world.  There I discovered that even among followers of Jesus, there are vast differences in culture, morality and lifestyle.

Which brings me to now.  I am living near the edge of the small county I grew up in.  I have a husband I imported from India, who after 7 years here, still feels like an alien, uncomfortable and unconnected to Americans.  I unschool, homebirth and nurse my cloth-diapered toddler.  Politically, I think I am a conservative, pro-life Christian Libertarian.

The news this week is all about the measles and anti-vaxers and mandating requirements and I cringe and argue with the evening news and Facebook posts in the privacy of my own living room.  I don’t think that I am anti-vax, but to be told that any current medical paradigm is unarguable science and that it must be mandated for the good of society… my hackles rise.  There are too many historical cases of that not being beneficial for me to be comfortable with it.

Then there is the little matter of expecting my next child the same month as my sister-in-law and one of my ex-sisters-in-law.  One of us is planning a cesarean, one a drug-free hospital birth, and one of us a family member only homebirth.   We are all respectful of one another’s choices, but again, it’s a little lonely.

Now please don’t think that I am asking you to agree with me or support my thoughts or choices.   Nor am I asking you to change my views.  I just wanted to release my feelings into the great unknown, maybe to be scoffed at, or maybe so that you can feel just a little less lonely yourself.


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