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Dear Martha

This Post is in response to a comment left on my post “Real Job”

First of let me applaud you for having;

“worked hard and sacrificed and worked desk jobs, paid taxes,
saved for college, AND followed passions, planted, harvested, created beautiful music, sell and install art,”

Wow! that’s amazing I would love to see some of your art.

Thank you for “squelching’ all your judgmental thoughts about my family. I do consider families like yours, most of the people in my life came out of families like yours. One of the reasons I started blogging was because I wanted to share my unique point of view.

There are, however, somethings that I would like to say:

My dad was and is brave. I don’t know exactly what you mean by “parents that have “real jobs” to give you choices in life.” Both his parents had real jobs that is true, but they didn’t pay a cent towards my dad’s college tuition.  My dad paid his way through college with a string of the humblest of jobs.

I’m sorry I came off to you as “self righteous and spoiled” The only thing I was trying to say was that people shouldn’t be afraid to do what they love..And get paid for it.

As for what I said about school I stand by it. Most of my friends hated school. I have seen first-hand the stress kids have dealing with the after school work and competitive testing they get heaped with. This was the most heartbreakingly clear when I lived in NYC one of the most competitive school system areas in America.

Here is a video that speaks more to that

After years of going against mainstream with unschooling, and keeping my beliefs toned-down and muted, so as to not alienate people. I am starting to get weary of not speaking up. I know that the way I was raised is still very controversial and different but I believe in it.


About rosebeerhorst

My name is Rose Beerhorst I'm 20, I love working with my hands whether that means crafting, gardening, or cooking. I've always dreamed a little too big for my own good!

9 responses »

  1. Dear Rose,
    I read your blog on “Real Jobs”, Martha’s response, and, here, your response to Martha. All I can say is: How grateful I am for your voice and message in our culture. Please, please keep sharing this philosophy and life of yours with the world. I understand that we all have different paths and that no path is perfect, but oh, how some of us need to hear about a different way! And you have no reason to be apologetic about it. There is heavy pressure in our culture to follow the status quo and to accept the system that society has placed on people. It was not only brave of your dad to follow his passion but it strikes me as a profound way to love himself, his family, and the world around him.

    Thank you, and keep speaking out in your uniquely creative way.


  2. I don’t think your previous post was self-righteous at all. I enjoyed it, and I understood exactly what you were saying.

    I was home schooled up until college, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think that being home schooled allowed me a lot more freedom to pursue my interests than I would have had otherwise. I believe this even more because I went to college and I know just how little free time I had to pursue what I wanted. I have also had a full-time, boring, draining, stressful job and I know that when I came home I didn’t feel like being creative.

    I’m not saying that being creative/artistic is impossible if you do the standard school/work routine that everyone expects you to follow. I have friends who went to normal school and had normal jobs and they are fantastic artists. But I do believe that the way I was brought up encouraged me far more to pursue my interests and take chances than traditional schooling would have.

    I am not following the traditional path because the traditional path doesn’t interest me. I tried it, it was awful. Maybe some people are better suited to fitting in the guidelines, and other people aren’t. That’s why the world is interesting! Not everyone fits into the same mold.

    Don’t apologize for voicing your opinion. This is your blog. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Sometimes your opinion may upset people. Sometimes your opinion now will differ from your opinion a year from now. Use your blog as a creative outlet and a place to voice your opinion and grow. Don’t stress if your opinion differs from some of your readers’. Don’t take it personally. Look at what they are saying and learn from their point of view. That doesn’t mean you have to change yours. It also doesn’t mean that anyone has the license to be rude to you. If something you say is so offensive to someone, then that person can stop reading your blog and go start their own. Don’t change yourself because of someone else. Remember, these differences are what keep the world interesting. It’s a fantastic thing that we all don’t fit in the same mold.

  3. Dear Rose,

    I found your family website and your blog as a result of viewing the Etsy video. First, let me explain that I am a teacher! I am so very inspired by the story of your family and the mission/vision of your parents to create a home life that inspires creativity, understanding, fellowship and learning. Unschooling is quite the misnomer, you are quite “schooled” learning from your creative parents (that I can identify by their own posts and commentary/blogs). If you can argue that “schooling” is about self-actualization, honesty, work and truth… you are quite the “student”. Let no one place boundary around the life that you have been given especially those outlined by simple semantics. You are afforded a life that we can only capture a small portion of inside a traditional classroom. I don’t fear a loss of my livelihood because quite simply not everyone can do as your parents have done (both in fortitude as well as actual time and dedication.) Much blessings to you and to your honesty.

    In the words of Supertramp (way before your time)
    When I was young
    It seemed that life was so wonderful
    A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
    And all the birds in the trees
    Well they’d be singing so happily
    Joyfully, playfully watching me

    But then they send me away
    To teach me how to be sensible
    Logical, responsible, practical
    And then they showed me a world
    Where I could be so dependable
    Clinical, intellectual, cynical

    All the best,
    urban teach 🙂
    Chicago/Three Oaks MI

  4. I don’t think it’s fair of Martha to say that she hasn’t walked in yr parents shoes and then go on to tell you that you sound self righteous. Anyone who makes a living doing anything, is working hard to make that living, as I am 100% positive yr parents work hard as nails to provide for yr family.
    I went to public school all through my education career and not once did I feel inspired behind that desk. It wasn’t until I was at home, or in the woods or somewhere else, that I felt inspired and that I “belonged” somewhere. Not every single person is cut out for a traditional school setting and maybe some people don’t understand that.
    You didn’t seem like you were saying that every single person that works a “real job”, hates it. School didn’t prepare me for anything except a slightly above minimum wage job with no want to further my education in a traditional setting(thank GOODNESS for free education on the Internet / at the library / in my community!)

    Any way, I enjoyed yr “real job” post, as well as this one. You speak very eloquently and sounded nothing like what Martha says you sounded like.

  5. Don’t take Martha’s opinion and its condescending tone to heart. She probably hasn’t followed your family’s blogs for very long so she really doesn’t understand what you’re trying to do or how much “real” work is involved. There seems to be some strange misconception out there that artists don’t pay their taxes but do get gobs of taxpayer’s money to fund their lifestyles. Self employed artists pay plenty in taxes and the amount of public funding for the arts probably wouldn’t buy one stealth bomber. Besides, the troubles of the world will not be solved by the same thinking that created them.

  6. Rose,

    I just want to say that I have enjoyed reading your blog, getting to see some of your art and hearing about your family life. From the little I’ve learned about you through this blog, you seem far from spoiled, self-righteous, or any of the other things you’ve been accused of. I would describe you more as generous, thoughtful, creative, resourceful. (But maybe I am a little biased since I won your blog give away… thanks again for the cool stuff you made! I have the print on a shelf in my studio, and I am trying to decide how to use the yarn… for now it’s looking good sitting next to the button bracelet and the print.)

    It is pretty amazing how strongly some people will react when their life and their way of thinking is challenged. It is clear to me that Martha’s reaction to your post has very little to do with you, and instead is about something much bigger that’s troubling her.

    Let those discouraging words roll right off your back. You are a talented artist. Keep up the good work!

  7. You know what they say, Rose. “If you’re not pissing people off, you’re not talking enough.” Or something like that.

    I read Martha’s post, and it honestly sounded to me as though she had an ax to grind. I don’t think it was you, but something very personal and upsetting to her. She just chose to ream you out, which is quite unfair. What I understood from the post was you simply encouraging people to follow what makes them happy. “Follow your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell so succinctly said.

    Keep on keepin’ on, girl!

  8. Dear Rose
    I am somewhat like the Australian version of your Mum. An artist, married to an artist, with six children (all young adults now- all artist/musicians/filmmakers). I don’t often comment, but I felt the sting of Martha’s words all the way over here and felt for you as I do for my own 20 year old daughter. Our family’s choice to live by our hands and art would occasionally trigger a kind of toxic blend of emotions (irritation.jealousy.sadness) in other people and they would send a barb our way. It would hurt us as I hurt for you now. But I can see clearly now that this life my family built with our own hands and good humour has bred a resilience into each of us. Having to find ways to raise and educate children, pay bills, medical expenses and taxes from the fluctuating flow of income from visual arts, and the summonsing up of the will to build skills in making do, weathering, creating and flourishing with what you have- has made us strong and flexible. And now I see our children starting their own adult lives and they are brave, creative, self reliant and hard working. And I see you Rose, made from the same good stuff. Let the barbs fall to the wayside and make your lovely way. I will be watching and cheering.

  9. There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this issue.
    I really like all of thee points you made.


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