have you ever had a moment when everything changed? a moment of such clarity that it shook you to your core and upended your life path? well, i’m happy/grateful/excited to say that happened to me last friday. i went to a class for work. i felt i didn’t have time to devote a whole day to this class, little did i know the earthshaking lesson i would learn that day…
the chef who lead the class was an amazing man. with an amazing story. a story that was filled with the ups and downs many of us face (and one, that broke his heart and his spirit). but with time and meditation, what he came away with was a realization that he was meant to be of service. and everything shifted for him. i sat there, mesmerized by his tale. and i started to wonder about my life. and the lives of my friends. all of us, working so hard. and for what? to pay the rent. to pay the mortgage. to dream of the day when we are retired (and old!) so that we can live some life of simplicity.
why not now?
why not sell everything? why not say, to hell with it and get off the grid? for the first time in a long time, life seemed full of possibilities. and these possibilities made total sense. i called the irishman to see if i was crazy. was this something we could do? could we grow our all own food? could we build our own tiny house? could we have a workshop where we could get serious about creating? could we have loads of dogs and toil over soil? he was all in. i started googling “homesteading” like a mad woman. there were many things to consider. as eco as i am, there are certain things i cannot live without: a bathtub. wifi. a washer. i definitely could live smaller. but i need access to a city. museums. a job.
i started looking at all our possessions as assets to freedom. we’ve been collecting a lot of stuff for a lot of time. and now that stuff would help us get to a place where we could actually live our lives. i started calculating: those sofas + that diner = a solar panel system. i opened closets, filled with clothes and shoes and more stuff. kitchen cabinets filled with plates and bowls and appliances. our garage…oh, our garage…
so. the plan is to plan an exit plan. to figure out how to get from here to there. the first step is to liberate ourselves from and with all this stuff. to pick maybe the top 5 places we would like to own land. maybe there’s an interim step where we are still city dwellers, but we reduce our environmental impact. we grow a serious garden. we start to barter more, and spend less…maybe we raise some chickens for eggs? i’m not going to overthink things. i have to remember that moment in that class where everything felt so clear…it wasn’t rational, it was emotional. i figure 2012 will be all about squirreling away money. about research and learning and meeting like-minded people.
but all of that could change in a moment. and we’re completely open to that change.