I didn’t start out as a farm girl. I like to call myself an import. That sounds fancier than a wanna-be farmer or a naïve, middle class white girl. But really, that’s what I am. Or at least that’s who I was. I grew up as a pretty typical American, I would say. We had pets (but not animals…I’m told there is a difference), shopped at the grocery store, went to work/school and came home to our family.
I had (and still have) parents who love me and did all that they could to bring me up to be an upstanding, well-educated citizen. I’ve had some great experiences and have learned a lot about life, love and the world around me as I’ve grown into the current me. My parents are two of the most important influences I’ll ever have in my life. I wouldn’t change a thing about the way that I was raised or where I came from. But that doesn’t mean that that’s where I want my story, or my growth, to end. And I’m sure they don’t either.
In the more recent years since I’ve become an adult, I’ve become a wife, a mother, an adult daughter (there is most definitely a difference when you add the adult part there), and a professional. With each new chapter of our lives we learn a little more about ourselves and what type of “wife”, “mother”, “daughter” or “professional” we’re going to be; which subset within those groups we belong to, and which we want no part of. Some times in our lives require us to be more focused on one area or another. But ideally, we want all areas to be fulfilling and meaningful.
We all want our lives to be full of purpose. That’s the age old question, right? What is the purpose of life? Don’t worry- I won’t tell you that I have that one all figured out. But I have seized the essence of the question and am holding on for dear life. Literally.
I saw a quote recently that really hit home.
Living a life of purpose is up to interpretation, in and of itself. But for me, a life of purpose means finding something that you believe in whole-heartedly and standing behind it in all that you do. Sometimes that something can change throughout your life. I know that there are many things that I’ve jumped on board for on and off over the years.
But this whole farming thing is different. There has been a running theme throughout my maturation that has really stuck with me- which lives are worth living, which lives are worth maintaining, and which lives are worth changing? I think these questions apply to all life forms, and since life is the basis for all else, it’s worth being dramatic about.
Being responsible for life and death on our little farm, and witnessing the entire life cycle first-hand, is as close as I’ve come to really understanding the depth of those questions. Each life (whether plant or animal) has such a unique path that it takes. There is no way to explain the feeling that comes with watching so many lives in detail. Except…maybe…living. Having these experiences on the farm has allowed me to cope with, and appreciate, other areas of my life. It magnifies struggles, milestones and celebrations. I think having this little farm has made me a better wife, a better daughter, a better mother and a better professional.
This life of sweat, dirt, blood, exhilaration, sacrifice and thriving- it’s representative of life itself.
I don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle, wrapped up in paperwork, oblivious to the meaning that can be found in all that we do. I want to be thinking. I want to be feeling. I want to be living.
How about you?
This post was shared on The Homesteaders Blog Hop