Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Treat Me Like I'm Untamable

For the past few years, I've been saying that I want to be treated like someone who is wild and untamable, and I have been asking everyone to stop treating me like a good kid. I know that this may have been confusing and unclear in terms of what I actually wanted people to do. Now that I've had some time to think about it, I feel much more clear about what this means to me. Here is what it means to treat me like I'm untamable (or like my radical unschooling self):

1. Please don't try to bond with me over the fact that we were "good kids" compared to kids of today. I was not a good kid. I was a chicken. I was too scared to tell people off and get in trouble, but I desperately wanted to. All of the "Good Behavior" awards I got should really be called "Scardy Cat" awards, or "Prefers to Daydream than Interact with Peers She Didn't Want to Be with in the First Place," awards. If I could go back in time, I would tell all of the adult authority figures in my life to fuck off and be the absolute most untamable kid that anyone has ever seen. I could give the wild kids of today a run for their money.

Also, while I may not have starting drinking or trying drugs at a young age, I was doing very scary, dangerous, life-threatening things that would give parents nightmares if they knew. The risky activities I did weren't in the public eye, so I never got credit for engaging in risky behavior. Please understand that I did do risky things. I can't bond with you over having not engaged in risky behavior because I did way riskier things than kids of today are doing.

It's bad enough that I can't change the past - I can't go back and tell people off and act out the way that I really wanted to. The LEAST people can do for me now is accept that the real Nikki is the Nikki that I wanted to be as a kid, the Nikki that I was inside, not the Nikki who pretended to be polite in school so she wouldn't get in trouble. The least you can do for me is not attempt to bond with me over how we were such good kids. Maybe you were a good kid, but I was just a chicken, and I don't want to associate with that well-behaved part of my past ever again.

2. Please don't expect that I'm going to do something just because I'm supposed to. When I say that I have no respect for rules, I do mean it. I care about rules that relate to safety, like if I'm about to enter the wrong side of a highway. I also care about rules that lead to immediate undesirable consequences, such as getting a parking ticket. Other than that, I do not care about rules. If we are at a multiple-day event together with a schedule and it says that breakfast is required, I may choose to sleep in and skip breakfast. I do not need you to remind me that it is required when I say that I am not coming with you. I can read the word "required" on the schedule. I heard the group leaders saying that we all had to go. I will skip breakfast anyway if I don't want to go. If you want to go, that's fine, I will not pressure you to skip with me, but please do not expect that I'm going to go to something just because someone in charge says it's required.

When you see me smuggling food out of the cafeteria because I want to eat alone in my room instead of with people, please don't tell me that we're not supposed to do that. I know and I don't care. Especially don't say it loudly enough that everyone knows I'm taking the food and ditching them.

If we are going to school together, please don't assume that I'm going to do all the stuff we're supposed to do. I did not go to one single career fair or alumni networking event at college. I also skipped my grad school orientation and graduation because I didn't feel like going. This doesn't mean I'll never go to events like this, but please ask me if I'm going the same way you'd ask about any just-for-fun event that no one feels any obligation to go to, and please do not act so shocked when I say no.

If we are taking a class together and we have assigned reading or homework for a given day that does not need to be handed in for a grade, I am not going to have it done. Unless we are being tested on the reading, I will probably never do it. Please don't expect that you can call me up and get homework help for stuff that I'm not going to have done. If I have something done, I will be happy to help you, but I would like you to ask me if I have it done, even if it was due several weeks ago, and not just assume that I will have it done because of what the syllabus says. I would like you to not be so shocked when my answer is no, and if you ask me more than once and my answer is no, it probably means that I am never going to have my homework done when you do, and it would be better if you found another classmate to call for help.

3. Please treat my untamable interests as a true part of me and don't try to pretend they don't exist or purposely avoid sharing them with other people. When I first started writing the sex blog, I wanted to keep it very private. I only shared the link with a few close friends and did not go around advertising that I was a sex blogger. My friends were very good about keeping this private for me, and I really, really appreciate it.

I am at a point now where I don't want to keep these things private anymore. I keep the sex blog private from my family and co-workers, but not from my general social circle or from new peers I meet. I want people to know that I'm a sex blogger. I also identify as a self-made porn star and I want everyone to know that too. When it comes to what I consider my untamable interests: being a sex blogger and a self-made porn star, being a radical unschooler at heart, never growing up, and most of all, my life goal to behave as if I have never been punished or disciplined in any way and truly become untamable - these things are all HUGE parts of who I am. If you are ever talking to someone about me, please share these things the same way you might say that I'm a writer or that I love to swim. I'm not asking you to purposely go out and announce these things to everyone, I'm just asking that if and when you mention me to other people, you share these things about me just as freely as you would share that I'm a writer. I love identifying as a self-made porn star, a radical unschooler at heart, and an untamable kid, and I do not want anyone to purposely avoid sharing these things about me because of the nature of these things or what other people will say.

Also, please avoid sharing things about me that I no longer wish to associate with, such as the fact that I got good grades, was in the top ten of my high school class, or that I got accepted to a "prestigious" college. That's not me anymore. That's the opposite of who I want to be.

4. Please treat my untamable-related goals like any other goals. If I had a goal of learning how to water-ski and you happened to have an aunt who teaches water skiing, I'm sure you'd give me her number. I'd do the same. It's a pretty common thing that almost anyone would do. I'm hoping this can happen with my untamable goals as well. I'm not asking anyone to go out of their way or treat my goals like their own, I'd just like you to have them in the back of your mind, in the same place where you'd remember that a friend wanted to water-ski, so that if you ever happen to find a person or a link to a website that might help me with becoming more untamable and undoing the effects of discipline and schooling on my mind, you can share it. I'd just like my goal of being untamable to be in the same category as my more socially acceptable goals, and not completely removed from everyone's minds.

Also, if I had a goal of, say, getting out of my comfort zone and doing things that I was afraid to do, and then I did something big that I was afraid to do like going bungee jumping, I'm about 90% sure that I would get lots of praise for being adventurous and doing something that I was scared of doing. When it comes to being untamable, I would appreciate getting the same kind of praise. When I do something really, really untamable, such as when I sent The Unencrypted Truth to the top deans at my ex-college, I would like to be told that this was a really untamable thing to do. I'd like it to be pointed out to me when I achieve my goal of being untamable. I'm not asking for people to go way out of their way for this, I'd just like the same amount of praise for being untamable that I'm pretty sure I would get if I were achieving a more socially acceptable goal of being more adventurous or outgoing.

This is what I mean when I say that I want to be treated like someone who is untamable, or treated like my unschooling self, and that I don't want to be treated like a good kid. This is how I would like to be treated from now on. My name is Nikki, and I am untamable.

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