I don’t know who put the idea in my head. I thought that one day adulthood and all that comes with it would make sense and that I would have found some sort of crystalline purpose that would have me springing up out of bed each morning to get to the work that I love and care about. It’s not to say that it didn’t work out to be like that, because in many ways it has. I wake each day to duties that I enjoy performing and a clarity in terms of what I want each day to feel like. I am, from what I can tell, happy. But, I feel stuck on something. Perhaps the dilemma in my life at this moment is what to do now that so many of the things we have anticipated and worked for have happened, but they don’t exactly look the way I envisioned them. I thought it would all feel settled, an “I’ve arrived!” moment that punctuated several years of working and learning and struggling. That’s the part that never materialized and I guess it’s because it was never meant to. That much seems obvious now that I am saying it out loud. I suppose all of life is a process that ends when you die. It’s not so grim as all of that, but it seems true.
“Where ever you go, there you are.” is a saying that has felt equal parts true and not-true to me. I think who a person is, in a bubble, when they are alone with their thoughts, is fundamentally unchanging. This is not to say that I don’t believe people are unchanged after a journey. We’re shaped by the obstacles we come up against. We’re shaped in other ways by obstacles we’ve never met. How we move through the world is oftentimes what evolves. What is rigid breaks. What is soft can become damaged. What is fluid and malleable has the ability to persist. I sometimes believe that true success comes in the form of a resilient person, certainly not from accomplishments of possessions had. I try so hard to spring back from setbacks. But sometimes I get stuck.
This journey to find a place of safety and richness and stability for myself and for Neil (and maybe someday for a family?) has in some ways shattered aspects of my identity, primarily the aspects that I feel compelled to talk about the most often. I feel ages away from the version of myself that started a farm with not a full year’s experience under my belt, or crowdfunded for a soap business that has yet to find its feet. Though I sometimes feel a little humiliated by those times, I don’t regret them. I’ve learned so much and have become more capable and knowledgable. And I feel like those decisions and those subsequent experiences have helped to change how I am moving through the world currently. Which is to say, I’m living my life with a little more consideration and care.
Consideration and care are boring and slow to a headstrong 20-something, but that 20-something helped to carve a path to a home. I trust a 20-something to bushwhack through rough terrain, but I don’t want them building a house to experience a life in. To endure in. Do you know what I mean?
I felt stuck before. But I don’t feel that way anymore. I just didn’t recognize myself in these new movements and in this new time.