In what ways have you rebelled against your upbringing?
I'm not sure. I don't think my parents had any kind of clear philosophy in raising us. They are both so different from each other and once they got divorced it was like being raised in two very different and separate families. So which one was I rebelling against? Neither really. I mean, I made some choices neither would have liked. But I work hard. I'm happily married. I'm independent and assertive. I still live in my home town, because once I moved away I realized how great it actually was. I think these are all things that my parents wanted for me, because they make me happy. They didn't raise us in their images or as a way to live through us, so I don't feel like I've had to rebel much. I'm sure they would answer this question differently. At most my tiny rebellions include:
- I don't attend church regularly like we did as kids. I guess I consider myself Methodist still, but I can't remember the last time I attended church except for Christmas and christenings.
- I do have a couple of tattoos, and I know they both hate that.
- I curse a lot.
- And if I even say the word "masturbation" in front of my mom, she loses her cool. So I mention that often, because it's still fun at 39 to make your mom lose her cool. Ok, I'm a rebel.
In what ways have you rebelled against your schooling?
I don't really think that I have in a traditional sense. Other than not following the typical four years of college, then job or grad school plan that most of my friends have followed. I struggled with serious depression off and on while I was in college, so school was really challenging for me. I finished and graduated, but it wasn't on a traditional timeline and I was disappointed in myself because of that. I still am sometimes. But because of it, I didn't have a perfectly clear plan or a formal structure to rebel against. My parents never told me I had to grow up and be a doctor or a lawyer. They let me figure it out. And they paid for my therapy, bonus points to the parents.
I've always loved writing, reading, helping people, teaching. Early on in college I thought I wanted to be a journalist or college level English professor. Through a volunteering job, I fell in love with social work, but ultimately my degree and certifications aren't in either subject. Now as a development director for nonprofits, I think my schooling and work experience and long time passions and even my past depression and struggles have all combined to fit my career choice quite perfectly. And the depression has been under control for over a decade. So what do I have to rebel against? Nothing. I kind of figured out my own path and made it work, even with some serious missteps of my own making during college. I give my parents credit for helping me figure things out and giving me the space and support so I could figure things out in my own time.
In what ways have you rebelled against American culture?
What does that even mean? Is there an American culture? Aren't we too spread out and diverse and "insert melting pot/salad bowl metaphor here" to say we have one culture? Don't we all get to influence our own culture or find our own niche and community? But let's pretend that the culture that The Today Show or Oprah or Bill O'Reilly wants to sell me is the universal American cultural truth. In that case, I don't really like sports. I'm not religious. I've never watched much NASCAR or pro-wrestling. I'd give up TV before I'd give up books. But I do love apple pie, hot dogs, fireworks, wide open prairies, freedom, Bruce Springsteen, Boulevard beer and driving my car down a long stretch of deserted road.
Is it possible to rebel against yourself?
Maybe against your best self, your ideal self, the self that creates unattainable New Year's resolutions. I rebel against my best intentions entirely too often. I need to make a resolution about that. Or read another Life Hacker article.
What’s your favorite song about rebellion?
For singing along, Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire. For yelling along and punching the air with my rebellious fist, Oh Bondage Up Yours by X-ray Spex.