During a recent conversation with my husband about the direction our family and lives are going, Jefferson said something that I immediately needed to write down.
“Life’s not about hacking the system, it’s about creating your own system.”
This resonated so well with everything we are pursuing, everything we were discussing, and everything we want to “be about” as they say. In short, it is a sort of mission statement, or at least the introduction to one. But let’s take one step back in that same introduction.
Our names are Tessa and Jefferson. We have a young family and we recently relocated to the beautiful state of Kentucky. We are Catholics pursuing that eternal promised land, and figuring out what we can and should pursue in this life that is truly worth having.
We are people who get fired up and passionate about such things as financial independence, producing our own food, developing grassroots communities, embracing natural medicine, and learning “dying” skills that the world has forgotten about. It’s not just because “nobody does these things, so we think it’s cool.” It is because these are things that we truly value, and a lifestyle we can embrace without question. The skills and knowledge of our ancestors are not obsolete simply because we have more advanced technology today, or because we have the resources to throw things away and buy a new one instead of fixing what we have. If anything, the preservation of the knowledge and skills which are currently out of vogue is more important now than ever. We live in a society which is largely a house of cards, and when artificial infrastructures are collapsible and questionable, we want to have the capability of continuing our lives and supporting our communities when that assistance is most needed.
Our mission is to achieve a level of self-sustainability that has become almost counter-cultural, not because it is obsolete or old fashioned, but because it has been deemed unnecessary by a disposable consumerist culture. But we know that it IS necessary.
To that end we are on a quest to learn what we can. We do not shy away from using modern convenience to attain knowledge and skills, and to bring that knowledge and skill into our modern world in the most sustainable way possible – for ourselves and for everyone else. Whether we’re plunging into YouTube, taking books out of the library, or getting to know people who can teach us, we’re setting ourselves up to learn as much as we can from others, and learn the rest through our own trial and error. This pursuit is enough to fill a lifetime! And we’re happy to spend ours that way. Education is the process and self-sustainability is the name of the game.
So, we’re not here to hack a system that we’re afraid will fail us. We’re here to reach back into the cultures and communities of those who came before us, bring the valuable skills and foundations forward into contemporary life, and pass them forward with our children and the generations they will lead into the future after us.