It is not easy to live, as I do, in a small Alabamian town renown only for the racetrack that occupies it. It is a town buried beneath its traditions, far from diverse. So I am never surprised when I am stared at, frowned upon, ridiculed, or laughed at because of my appearance or my values. My hair is locked. I don't wear makeup or a bra. I am barefoot at every available opportunity. Needless to say, I am a stranger in a strange land.
I am an avid activist, anything from 'Save the Dolphins' to 'Legalize Marijuana.' I am wholeheartedly against war and nuclear proliferation. I believe in stopping off-shore drilling and spending that money on developing alternative energy methods. I believe the earth and all of its inhabitants, humans and animals alike, should be protected and respected, which is one of the many reasons I am a vegetarian. I feel as if the government is deceitful, fooling people into thinking that this country is still a democracy. We as a people, while our founding documents are still intact, need to rise up and take back control of our government and stop being mindless corpses sitting in front of our idiot boxes absorbing all the lies that they feed us.
I practice self-expression through art, music, and the written word. I lead a mostly organic lifestyle. Yoga calms my body and mind. I study various religions and practices throughout the world in an attempt to gather the core beliefs from each religion because I feel that ultimately they all believe in the same things: peace, love, equality, and unity.
I realize that this lifestyle is not socially accepted in this part of the country. I realize that with every Facebook post urging people to boycott BP or the war or meat. The backlash is unbelievable, forcing me to reconsider these people I call friends and to question the validity of my bloodline. Repeatedly, when being angrily criticized, I have been referred to as "hippy," like it is a derogatory word that would offend me. Unfortunately, I was not alive in the 60's to see firsthand who the hippies were. I can only gather from history, but according to my sources, hippies were lovers of nature, people, literature, art, and music. They were anti-war and anti-corporation. They were for peace, love, and equality. They acknowledged that we are all the same, stemming from the same earth, feeling the same emotions. Plus, they had a rad sense of style.
So I am not offended in the least to be considered a hippie. In fact, I embrace it. I am hippie. So you all can lay off with the childish name calling and defend your case using more appropriate, adult language.