I’m basically a failed hippie. Part of me really, really wants to be a long print skirt-wearing earth mother (I can’t even say “mama,” it feels creepy and vulnerable) who honestly doesn’t give a shit if she accomplishes all the items on her to-do list for that day.
But I do. I do care. It is in the deepest part of my nature to care if I have done everything I am supposed to do, and avoided the things I’m not supposed to do.
My parents are very nice people, but are the total opposite of hippies. That whole movement passed them by completely, along with all the great music, free love and drugs that came with it. We are not huggers, okay? So I took their buttoned-up, behaving ways to heart, and followed it up with law school.
It is almost impossible to be a hippie after you have gone to law school. Everyone knows this.
I try hard to just lighten the fuck up. I burn incense and candles and listen to electronic music and classic rock and dance around, but not with total abandon. My abandon is like, maybe, two-thirds abandoned at best. If it’s fully abandoned, it means I am on the verge of passing out because I have been attacking my abandon with booze. If that is the case, please take me home and deposit me on my couch.
My herb garden is another hippie project. I flirt with the idea of selling oils and teas, or moving to another state that allows for licensed herbalists. “Maybe I should have been a acupuncturist!” I think, every week when I go for acupuncture. Going to events where everyone is all openly loving and hugging each other makes me feel a little bit like a fraud. Attending a kirtan, a kind of call-and-response spiritual chanting gathering, I kept looking around nervously, waiting for someone to notice that I was an ex-lawyer who is not very comfortable with sharing my feelings.
My husband sat next to me, swaying, eyes closed, singing his little off-key heart out. Because…I even married a hippie. Brian is a born artist who hugs everyone he meets and tells people straight up and to their faces that he loves them. I can barely tell him I love him. In private. You know, the man I married. He is the most Type-B person in the world. This generates some conflict at home (the Hippie Hovel-it needs some work), because-and I probably don’t have to clarify this, but here you go anyway-I am not a laid-back person.
I totally get that the problem here is how hard I’m trying. Being laid-back or being a hippie or whatever the fuck you want to call it are all about not trying. I’d love to pull a Ram Dass and undo years of rule-following and academia with acid trips and searching for spiritual masters in India, but LSD freaks me the fuck out and I’m not willing to test my colonic well-being with an extended stay in the wilds of the subcontinent. Also, I have too much to do at home.
At last, I am trying to accept the truth that I am a little too…all over the place…to be just one thing. There is a small hippie part of me, who grows lemon balm and sage, burns incense and indulges in a lot of alternative medicine practices (this may or may not be a partial euphemism). There is a part of me that’s kind of punk, mostly expressing itself in the wearing of Doc Martens and black nail polish, as opposed to actually shit-kicking my way through life, Amanda Palmer-style.
And, of course, there is a conservative lawyer part of me. I’m trying to kill her, though. What, that’s not very hippie-like? Fuck it (see, I finally learned to let go of something).