I am a Little Confused
By John Yoder
February 13, 2013
I am a little confused between "staying and going" right now. I am Amish, but I had left for a year and a half and I liked it.
You probably get this every day! But I have a story for you. I grew up about 4-5 miles from Aylmer, Ontario. They call the community Amish. I happened upon Ira Wagler’s book, Growing Up Amish, about a month ago. It was a really good story. He had incredible courage in his journey. My story was different, but you can relate to it, right? Now I'm back with the Amish, but I'm faced with the decision of leaving again and it's tough!!
I saw Ira’s book when he was on the show called Breaking Amish, but I did not get a chance to read it until a non-Amish couple heard my story and gave me the book to read.
I would like to make my decision if I'm leaving or not. I'm 22 and going nowhere. I want to make the right choice about staying or leaving. I'm asking how you find life to be after being "gone" for so long. Do you feel you made the right choice?
I left in March of 2011 and was gone until last fall! I left again about a week ago, but came back after one day! I came back to talk to my parents the following night and I just couldn't stand the way the family was taking it, so I came back. If I would have gone with my heart I'd still be gone.
I have friends now with the Amish like I never had before. They are all saying, “Stay here with us,” “I like you here,” “We know it’s tough for you,” and things like that. That just makes it even tougher; and then there is the non-Amish who want me to go back with them. The non-Amish are saying that I enjoyed myself when I had left the Amish.
I have to make my own choice—the one that will make me happy. I also have a twin brother who left and he likes it. The reason I came back the first time was because I got a job out west in Taber, Alberta, working at a dairy farm. However, before I left to go out west, my parents called me and said that they heard I was going west and they wanted to talk to me before I left. So I went and saw them, and after a while of begging and pleading, they convinced me to say that I would come back. I forget how soon I said I would return, so I went west and the job turned out to be a bit of a dud! I felt really down about it, so I decided to come back sooner than I first expected—which I now regret! I don't think I'm cut out to be told what to do all the time, watched all the time, and the lifestyle just seems so hard now!!
I'm an adult. I should be able to see and do things for myself now! Some people would take this as "acting like a brat," but in that case I would say in my last 5-6 years, I have been a brat. I have always seen things differently than a lot of other Amish people—at least I think so.
Really, I'm just asking for your opinion. I can ramble on and on, but I think you get the picture. Forgive me for venting to you, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. And I hope to hear from you.
Talk to you later. John Shetler
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This letter has been published with permission from the owner.
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