Sometimes the only cure is a good meltdown.

Posted by & filed under beekeeping, gardening, raising chickens.

I hate to complain. I really do. I’m pretty lucky in many ways. I don’t fail to see how fortunate I’ve been these past 6 years. I’ve lived pretty harmoniously in the same house since I moved here from Baltimore. I’ve had what felt like little resistance from the people around me when I started doing things that most people thought were crazy at the time. I don’t want to complain, but I guess that’s what I’m about to do.

This past week really did a number on me. A series of expensive automobile troubles, the death of one of my favorite chickens, money issues (there’s always money issues if you are me) have just gotten me feeling the lowest I’ve felt in some time. I actually even cried to my mother like a baby at the worst parts of the week. It was humiliating, but I recognize that all of these problems are nothing more than tiny hurdles to tiptoe over. Sometimes, though, the little things just get into your headspace and swell up until they cripple you. I’m not used to feeling the cosmos resisting me so much these days and all I want to do is just throw my hands up, put all of my critters in a burlap sack and walk out of this city with nothing but the clothes on my back (most likely overalls.)

A ridiculous image. I know. But I’m in a funk and thinking about that makes me smile a little to myself. Running away with a bunch of cute animals in a coffee sack together sounds like a hilarious dream. One that is kind of becoming a reality the more that I think about it. Another reason to rejoice, I suppose.

Anyway, I was laying in bed this morning, staring at the ceiling. (It’s where I do all of my best contemplating.) I keep thinking of all of the hard work I’m putting in and how I have literally nothing to show for it except the roof over my head and a full pantry (though I am debt-free). I have no savings. I am hand-to-mouthing it all. I have a car that keeps breaking down and emptying my bank account. I do not have anything that is mine. I feel like a child, but I am not a child. I am 32 years old and I need to get my act together.

This situation is of my making. I am working hard but I am not working smart. I know what I have to do, but I don’t think I can do it here. I have limited resources currently (spatially and financially, that is) and high overhead. What I do have here is the support of really great people. That is invaluable…but I fear that it isn’t enough…because all of those people are fighting the same battle I am. The battle to survive the NYC lifestyle. Not just survive it but thrive in spite of it. I thought I was thriving, but I was kidding myself for the sake of momentum. When I told another homesteading friend of my situation, he was surprised that I was not “doing well” financially. I’m teaching people how to keep bees and grow radishes in the city….how well could I really be doing?

It was that realization that caused me to finally accept that as much as I really love this place, I am not meant to be living in the thick of it. It’s just too expensive and I have too little to work with. I’m glad that I’ll be pretty close by so I can maintain some of the relationships I’ve got here, but I am really relieved that I’ve got something bigger to try my hand at working smart at for a change.


Image by Jason Kandel


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