I was recently interviewed by a writer for Goedeker’s blog, and thought it might be of interest to some of you, as I discuss my journey to living an alternative lifestyle, raising kids in a modern society, the challenges men face in integrating themselves more fully with their families and their environment, and more.
Here’s an excerpt:
Goedeker’s: A lot of the things you write about and practice fall under the term “alternative lifestyle.” How did you come to be a tree-hugging, unschooling, minimalist?
Derek Markham: It’s been a long, strange trip, for sure, and I don’t know if there’s a short answer, but I’ll try. I feel like I kind of came full circle in my life, as I had an affinity for nature and the country life as a kid, and my family comes from Western pioneer stock, so those stories of self-reliance and the DIY ethic were pretty influential, although we lived mostly in urban areas until I was older. Once I was an adult, I was living a pretty mainstream life, including having kids that were born in the hospital and went to school, eating a standard American diet, and not generally caring too much about environmental issues. And like many changes that happen in life, my big change started to happen after a major transition, when the relationship I was in came to an end. After that, I began questioning just what in the heck I was doing with my life and why I was doing things the way that I was. When I met my current wife, she was a vegetarian and had quite a bit of the modern hippie ethic, which influenced me greatly in terms of diet and lifestyle (I’ve now been vegan for about 16 years). I’d have to say that a lot of the credit goes to my wife for teaching me about being in relationship with the world, and not in competition or in opposition with or trying to dominate the natural world and the natural processes.
Read the full interview: Interview with Derek Markham of Natural Papa