I caught the pilot of Breaking Amish–a show about several Amish/ Mennonite young adults going to New York City, leaving behind their whole lives. They will be shunned by their family, friends, and loved ones, refused to return home, without anything to fall back on, and they don’t have a lot of skills to live in modern life. (I know this is reality TV, but I couldn’t help but be curious. Don’t judge me too harshly.)

They’re willing to give up everything from their former lives for their hopes and dreams that the outside world will be better.

Do you have something you want to much you would sacrifice everything for it? If your family wouldn’t let you have your fondest dreams–which I certainly hope isn’t true–which dreams would you sacrifice everything for?

I like to draw and paint. But I don’t think I would give up my family, friends, my whole life if someone said I could never draw/ paint again. The same about music. I like to sing, and I don’t know how well I would cope without hearing music ever again, but I don’t think I’d trade everything for it.

I would certainly miss it, though. I do like to make things.

Now, writing…if I had to give up everything in order to keep writing, I think I would. I don’t necessarily write much every single day, but even if I don’t write anything, I’m often turning over ideas in my head. To never be able to put them down, and instead watch them slowly fade into obscurity… that’d be pretty tragic.

And I’m very glad no one’s ever made me face that choice.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

4 responses »

  1. hastywords says:

    It’s the lure of freedom maybe an exaggeration of all of us who are hyper ready to grow up and get out there on our own. I don’t know much about the lifestyle but having choices consistently made for you…strict rules are bound to create rule breakers….risk takers. I agree though you have to want something bad enough to leave everything else you have ever known just to find yourself.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Indeed. I saw an ad for that show and thought… That’s going to be some extreme culture shock… Hopefully all those rules being gone doesn’t make them do anything too unwise.

  2. But could you give it up? Or is it so much a part of you that you would find yourself doing it anyway, the minute you stopped paying attention?

    I hope the young people don’t discover that the grass isn’t quite as green as it looked before they climbed over the fence. Interestingly, have you noticed the number of romance novels about Amish life, and presumably how clean and simple and happy it is away from the frenetic stress of modern life? Looks like some people think their grass is pretty green, too.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I think some things I could only try to give up, and probably not succeed.
      I noticed the Amish ‘rebels’ had troubled backgrounds–several had been adopted and felt out of place, one had been born out of wedlock and judged for it–so maybe they’ll be happy.
      I’ve seen some of the books you’re talking about–I wonder if they’re realistic or romanticized. Everyone’s grass has a few weeds and brown spots, after all.

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