How to Liberate a Mama: The Beginning


by Nicole Villano

I’ve had a good twenty years of knowing that I am a walking contradiction. I passionately crave things that are opposites. For example: I want a home, creative work that I love, a garden, a loving husband, family to feed – you know, the whole package. I also want total freedom, no obligations, no real destinations, just traveling around the planet enjoying all of the natural beauty, tasting the foods, meeting the creatures. Now, as a mama, and to be a “good” mama, I must find a harmony inside this battle. Merging the two is such a multifaceted feat. There should be balance, right? Doesn’t that just naturally come when one follows one’s dreams? Trusting the process and all that shit, right? Well, I’m going for it and I’m sharing the journey.

I have never felt more aliveand more myself than when I was traveling, letting the magic of movement through space and time ignite my intuition and become my leader. I was never a witness to more synchronicity nor mini-miracles than when on the holy, open road. Life is love when I go with that flow. Embracing change so literally and constantly frees my soul to embrace the spirit moving in every which way I can conceive. I have to have faith in this because everything in my life points to this. I can no longer deny it through relationships and bills and obligations. I have manifested this and now I must do some work.

The dream is basically this: by this time next year, I will be ready, in every way a mama can be ready, to take my son on a learning adventure. Our plan is to spend at least one year, probably three years and maybe more, on that holy, open road which calls us out by name. We call it Road School. We will start in the USA. We will follow trails of history, culture, art and science as we learn together about this land and what grows and dies upon it. He will be eleven when we take off next summer and just finished with elementary school. Fuck middle school! This kid is sensitive, not competitive, loves nature, quiet, art, and is an experiential learner. What experiences do you remember from middle school? I don’t want to remember the ones that stand out in my mind and by what I hear from kids today, it has gotten worse. Who would have rather have spent those years camping out, working on farms, seeing the countryside, beaches, mountains and learning all that stuff with your actual senses? Imagine spending your adolescence watching sun rises, counting hatching turtles and looking for landmarks rather than keeping up with unstable peers and the brainwashing insecurities of pop culture. But most importantly, he wants to do it! He wants to! And when he doesn’t want to do it anymore, we will both go back to school.

The first job I have is spiritual healing. This is in process now. Me writing about this is part of that work (well, I just decided that it is anyway). I have recently discovered some really cool shit about myself. It is all mind bending, heartbreaking childhood wound material. The end result of this work will free me of the things that hold me back from following this dream and rolling with this flow. A child is so good at holding you back and pushing you forward at the same time. It’s like a soul crunch. Kids are natural sources of soul crunch. We are blessed with them and the crunch so that we can grow, heal and become the person we are meant to be. I like to think of the “crunch” as a seed casing, like our soul, that has finally been penetrated with the water of life so that it may sprout into whatever it was mean to be. Leaving that casing is painful and scary because you have to change and trust. So all this spiritual healing business will basically get me making decisions that encourage taking better care of myself and doing what I want to do rather than what other people want me to do, which is honestly the core of what has always held me back. I believe that at a certain point in this process, the crunch will turn into a flow, a soul flow. I will definitely come back to this because I am pretty certain that these realizations are not uncommon with mamas. We each have our own unique story that brings us here, and here–awareness of our own seed, sprout and blossom–is where we all need to get to, if ya know what I mean.

The next big part is planning. There are so many details to think through and make happen. I will have to do this all while maintaining employment at my decent, yet demanding job, at the co-op, oh yeah, and being a single mom. I have already taken some serious action to get more free time and get myself in a better financial position to pay some things off and save up some ducats. I have come a very, very long way already (picture a thirty-something-year-old woman who has lost her husband, business, and home and is sitting on about 40,000 in debt. Yeah, I paid that shit off, and yes, I did it by my damn self!). I will need to get a different vehicle, and sell the one I have now. The little thing has served us well, but we need a little truck that we could sleep in, carry some equipment and gear and lovingly nickname something in reference to a turtle. I will need to figure out what the requirements are for homeschooling and figure out how in the hell I can pull off that feat. I mean, I seriously don’t want to fuck that part up in any way but also, very seriously, could I do much worse than the North Carolina public school system? I mean no offense to teachers. I love teachers and think of some of them as angels, but I clearly see the difficulty of their jobs and how kids like my son fall through the cracks unseen everyday. And that seems like a bigger risk to take than following this dream.

Part of the planning is the culling. I have so much shit, beautiful and meaningful and sentimental shit from all over the world and from so many people (note to self: do not buy anything while traveling, you have plenty of shit!). My grandfather was a world traveler and painter and I have enough art to fill two homes. The settled-down side of me can not get rid of it so I will have to carefully go through it and store the things that are absolute keepers. Getting robbed a few years back has helped me let go of material things because they took most of my most valuable items. I will spend many more days all hopped up on iced coffee and getting rid of some serious weight and hyper organizing all that I keep. Hey Ya’ll, I am having a hell of a yard sale this summer! By next July, all of my plants (I have a lot of plants too) will have new homes and we will be living out of our backpacks. That is the plan. I do not have a plan for the dog yet…

The most fun part of the planning will be a rough outline of our journey. We will map out the places we want to visit and learn about. I want to keep things loose so that we may have the flexibility of going with the flow when the magic moves us like that. We will look into how we can plan lessons around places and get in on free learning sessions and seminars. We started a list more than a year ago and it includes things like following the Sacajawea trail, hiking the Grand Canyon, visiting all of the reservations of our country, a month or more exploring the museums of Washington DC, protesting destruction of nature, volunteer projects that will expose us to scientists studying anything regarding climate change and life cycles, living and working on farms, lining up beautiful house sitting gigs to do some studying and as many back country campouts and ranger talks in national parks as we can join in on. I could fill a book with ideas and who knows, maybe I will. This leads me to the scariest part of the planning: money.

How in the hell am I going to pull this off financially? I have some ideas, but I will have to get all tenacious to make them happen. I have a super cool idea that could potentially earn me some good money and possibly set the route for our journey, but it scares me to try to make it happen. But wait, isn’t that the fearful part of me talking? This is meant to be, and it will be, easy. The right things will fall into place (they already are!) as if it has already been written and I am just filling the role. The role of how somebody’s mama just took off and made life into a magical journey has been filled–by me!

Read Nicole’s bio here. 

2 thoughts on “How to Liberate a Mama: The Beginning

  1. You are an awesome Mama! Make sure to point the tour this way. My boys and I would love to join you for some adventure.

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