Growing up for me was fairly conventional, with some unconventional elements, such as my parents. I was homeschooled for the first seven years of my life because my mom was a school teacher and my dad detested the state. While homeschooling didn't work out, individuality, kindness, and self-driven education were always things that were instilled in me throughout my childhood.
My mom raised me to be strong-willed, as difficult as that was for her. I was my own person and no one could take that away. My dad encouraged individualist values. My parents always were and are there for me, but ensured that I would be self-reliant. It's important for me to take care of myself, and make my own decisions.
Kindness is perhaps the hardest value I've learned to have. I used to be hard on myself when I wouldn't live up to it as much as I wanted, but I realized that kindness is not just being nice 24/7. It's a virtue that needs time and effort to be built up and needs nurturing to be maintained. My parents said if nothing else, be kind. It's invaluable, and easy to not be.
Self-driven education is one of the most important values to have, at least for me personally. In high school, I was uninterested in the teachings, though I chose to stay for social reasons, which my parents knew and accepted. School didn't allow me to learn the things I wanted to, whether it was learning new skills like firearms, or furthering my investigation of philosophy and economics, school made it feel like they were useless hobbies I didn't have time for. The idea of college made me sick to think about. While I had hobbies, I didn't know what I wanted to pursue, and going to school for another four years and going thousands of dollars into debt just to maybe figure it out didn't seem worth it.
My dad was more than happy to help me find an alternative with one goal; don't go into debt. My dad found Praxis, an alternative for young adults who don't know what they want to do but have a drive to learn. And thus the mold of going to college I almost fell into was broken.
I was raised with honesty that made me respect and trust my parents. We have a bond that I feel lucky to have. I was a curious kid that would ask hundreds of questions, but even if they were tired of answering, they wouldn't lie. They treated me like a little adult. Of course, nothing works out all the time, but that was the mentality of raising me for the most part. My unconventional parents helped lead me to unconventional choices I'll always be grateful for.