Something has been eating at me for a while now. I’ve struggled to figure out what I really have to say about the past year of my life as a farmer. There’s so much to share, but I feel some pressure to say it in a voice that is not mine. Most blogs and books out in the world that focus on topics like homesteading and farming tend to keep it light and optimistic which I think is wonderful. Painting an encouraging picture of this sort of lifestyle for other people is just the thing to get them started, or to keep them going if they are newly initiated into the world of agriculture.
But the reality of this life, at least for me, is that it can be heartbreaking as often as often as it is uplifting. There are many variables at work in this world and not all of them are cheerful. I find myself holding back where the more difficult issues are concerned.
Sunny or optimistic are not words I’d use to describe myself. So the posts where I seem more positive and light do not come to me easily. The world I live in feels much more solemn and varied than these fleeting moments reveal. I have little to no family life (by choice), I hold myself and others to high standards, which I think are not at all unreasonable, but oftentimes result in disappointment and alienation. I am a hungry person. I yearn for better, though not necessarily more. I’m an angry person in many ways, but I’ve found a way to put that fire to good use. I feel pressure to suppress these parts of myself, but these are some of the qualities that have gotten me to where I am today.
The shadowy places that this voyage has taken me to are more dark than most things I’ve experienced, but the light in my life shines brighter than it ever has. The victories are certainly sweeter but the defeats feel like they will break your soul in half. The ebb and flow of death and life here is so real and extreme and I feel it truly mirrors my Gemini temperament.
I need to be able to share the highs and lows freely, especially when I begin to feel the crackle of cellulose in my heart as the weigh of my choices start to press on it. I can’t always present romantic images and funny anecdotes about the day-to-day here at the farm. It feels inauthentic to me. I am human and I feel loneliness and anger and joy and I make terrible mistakes and brilliant choices every day. I want so badly to be able to share that without making anyone feel as though I’m a malcontent or to give people the impression that I don’t know what I’m doing. Sometimes I don’t, but I’m not afraid of not knowing. I’m afraid of what I’ll become if I continue not following my gut. I’m afraid of who I’ll see in the mirror if I cannot let people in.