Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in a real stitch. There’s no need to get into the details, but I found myself suffering from multiple mystery ailments and succombing to them in the worst way possible by allowing my anxiety to take hold and blow them completely out of proportion. No, I’m not dying. But I sure convinced myself I was.
In the course of experiencing these fears, I took more time off from work than I ever have, sometimes to rest and sometimes just to process my mental state and realign to a point where I could cohesively function. And because my “illness” was more a state of discomfort rather than a temperature or a significant ailment, this meant my sick days weren’t spent on the couch, but rather living the sort of life I would live should I ever choose to abandon the office work environment. And you know what? I really liked it.
The thing is, despite my greatest efforts and long strides, my life is still in a state of flux and possibility right now. I thought that moving to the farm would make my time management easier. I thought that having a job closer to home would make the days pass quicker. But instead, all I get is a significant feeling of FOMO every time I drive down that driveway out to my office job in town. And while I’m there, I feel completely and utterly restless. I get backaches from sitting in one place and headaches from staring at a computer screen for hours on end. I feel anxiety from a lack of structure and knowledge in my position. And overall, I just feel like my time could be better spent somewhere else. I feel like I’m collecting a paycheck for the sake of a paycheck. And I know that my life could be so much more.
Now I don’t want anyone thinking that I made up my pains just to get out of work. That’s not the case at all. But I can’t deny the fact that once I left the office, I always began to feel a little bit better (and a little bit guilty, given that some of my symptoms would decrease so quickly). To this moment, I don’t know how much of my pain was caused by something internal, how much might have been caused by the anxiety of work building up in my mind and body over time, and what was simply increased by my worries of trying to understand what was happening to me.
But when I got home, and got some rest, and got myself calmed down, I was able to tag along and live a ‘day in the life’ at the farm; helping out with car and mower repairs, hauling hay, continuing my practice at driving stick, taking pictures for the farm’s social media. Call it the thrill of the unknown, call it something different, or call it that feeling of freedom…but whatever it was, it was good. It was great. It was, as I’m so often asked to exclaim, f**kin. great. I didn’t feel stressed, I didn’t feel unhappy, I didn’t feel ready for the day to be over. I just felt at peace. And that? That is what I strive for. That is what I crave. So why, I have to wonder, am I sitting here wasting my days away being sick and unhappy, when what I want isn’t all that far away? Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s financial instability, maybe it’s the worry that I’ll grow out of it the same way I’ve grown out of my other day jobs.
But the truth is, I enjoy the struggle that comes with working on the homestead. I like that feeling of accomplishment that hits after you’ve been sweating all day and using your muscles. But I can’t get any of it unless I have my place there, my purpose.
And that is why, after the week from hell of which no real cause is known, I decided that if I wanted to start living – if I wanted to find my place – I’d have to put my foot down and buy some goats. I’d have to start my own dream. And so I did.
…to be continued.