I was homeschooled. I know, now you’ve imagined me now in family photos wearing jeans and a white polo shirt, thinking about how much smarter I am than you, and a lot less capable of normal social interactions. For the record, we drove mini vans and you all wish you had one.
But my homeschooling experience was anything but stereotypical. Thanks to the incredible vision and dedication of my parents, our lives were filled with constant adventures and opportunity to discover the world. The greatest lessons we learned from our parents was to learn is to discover, and discovering is what we do every day of our lives. Learning takes place outside of the confines of a normal school day.
One thing I remember so clearly was the name of our “school.” For documentation reasons my parents needed a name, and our little 4 person school was named “Safe Haven.” I can still picture that giant white binder that held papers with a clipart picture of a lighthouse printed on the front. Growing up I never thought too much about it. That’s what we called it, and I knew it was meaningful. But like many things, as children you don’t always stop to realize why, or the value behind names.
My parents provided us with so much more than a education, (a damn good one at that) but a place to try, to fail, and to discover who we were. They became a safe haven for us to take risks, to attempt new ideas, and to experiment with old. Once my brother and I decided we were going to build a boat. Instead of saying “No, you can’t, you don’t even know how to,” my Dad said yes and took us out to the shop and we built one. Sure it was a giant box with not once curved surface and weighed a ton, but we built it, and in that giant wooden boat we sailed a thousand seas and conquered empires.
For one of my birthdays I asked to build a treehouse, I mean a legit rope-ladder-trap-door-hideout. So, we did.
That same DNA runs in my blood. Let’s be honest, to be creative is to exist on the fringe of impossibility. To stand on the edge of society, and to wonder in the seas of possibility. Often it’s terrifying, lonely, and requires a lot of risk and heart on the line.
What if we became safe havens for each others in the same way my parents did for me? What if we could provide environments that were ripe for discovery and risk, and we could be the ones who champions other dreamers. It sounds so simple, but do we actually do it?