For the past month and a half, farming and I have hit a rough patch. For the longest time I was very certain that all I ever wanted to do was farm, but something changed around mid-June and I was really starting to question whether or not what I was doing was what I really wanted in life. I think that my disheartenment could be attributed to various random things that have been happening in my life. I’ve been blaming a lot on my recent move into a post-graduate lifestyle, and while I don’t necessarily think it’s taking a huge toll on my mental health, it is definitely a real thing and it’s not an easy transition to make. I also am not convinced that the farm that I’m working on is a perfect fit for me. I love the people and I’m learning a lot, but since the crew is so large and I’m still relatively new, I don’t have much responsibility and I’ve come to realize that I really need that in order to feel good about myself and altogether thrive. Plus, working with such a large crew invokes some sort of social anxiety that I’m sure will go away with time, but that time has not come yet. There are probably a plethora of other smaller reasons why I was toying around with the idea of a career change (quarter life crisis, anyone?) but anyway, I was pretty upset and nervous about the possibility that the path that I had been set on could need some tweaking. The mindset of needing to make immediate foolproof maps, charts, lists, plans, graphs etc. of the rest of my life is something that i definitely need to move away from, but I’m not a huge fan of the unknown so I guess for now I’ll keep stressing.
After all of this back and forth with myself, I woke up in the middle of the night two days ago and had a tiny epiphany. Being half asleep, there weren’t many coherent thoughts, but the takeaway was what is most important. I realized that I had gone from a pretty optimistic person to being a full-blown pessimist. Being cynical once in a while is always fun, but it’s usually in conjunction with some sarcasm and never really got to who I was as a person. Somehow that changed without me noticing. My 3 a.m. self was not about this, so she decided then and there that I needed to be happier with my life and with myself. I guess if you want to make a drastic change like that, you almost have to do it subconsciously, because I don’t know if I would have felt such a difference if I had actually made an effort to do something about this.
Now I know some pretty pessimistic farmers, so I can’t say that always assuming the worst and farming can never go hand in hand, but I don’t think that it’ll work for me. My mind makeover is still too new to know if it will actually work and/or last, but as of today I feel pretty good calling myself a farmer. It’s probably not realistic for me to assume that from here on out I’m going to be this chipper about my job; I have a feeling this relationship is going to have it’s ups and downs. But what worthwhile relationship doesn’t? I’m ready to ride this rollercoaster, hoe in hand, and if at any point I want to get off, I’ll remind myself that that’s okay, too.
I have some tequila in my system, so bear with me. I have finally gotten the privileged to do some tractor work, and I have never been happier in my life. I love tractors. So yeah, I was driving the tractor with the transplanter on the back the other day ( I also got to do some chisel plowing f-yeah) and I was reminded of the wonderful tractor neck. You know, when you look over your shoulder so much to check your work behind you that your neck starts to cramp up and hurt a lot (idk if u actually know what i’m talking about i don’t actually know who reads this). Being very out of tractor shape, my neck was killing me every time I looked over my right shoulder to see how things were going behind me on my Massey-Ferguson *things were not always going well we had some water wheel problems* But yeah, my neck started hurting a lot, and I told myself that I should start looking over my other shoulder to alleviate some of the pain. And it worked. But it was hard. It was very unnatural to try and observe over my left shoulder and it kinda sucked and I was sitting there thinking about how I could apply this weird tractor neck lesson to my crumbling love life (i deleted my tinder again, i do enough hoeing in the fields, i don’t need to hoe after work as well). So yeah, I thought about how hoe neck is like my love life. I’ve basically only met people via tinder, with the exception of the one guy who I met at a bar who i”m 80% sure is married. So basically I’ve only met people one way, aka only been looking over my one shoulder. and it kinda hurts. and isn’t creating a wholesome/healthy tractor driver/dater. So while I was on the tractor, I started looking over the other shoulder which was awkward and really hard to train myself to do. It was hard to focus on what I should’ve been paying attention to and it felt wrong, but my neck felt so much better, so the challenge was worth it. So Im gonna challenge myself to date without tinder (wtf, can’t wait to not date until im 60) . I’m gonna force myself to date without an app, and somehow find a potential lover irl which is like finding a ghost and will probs not happen, but idc because my schedule rn is basically:
-go to bed
yes, so my goal is to alleviate my hoe neck in my dating life. fuck tinder. fuck evan. goodnight.
this post is brought to you by camarena tequila. i swear i am an educated, classy, dirty woman.
I had hoped to blog about my new job after the first week, but with graduation and moving and being tired all the time, I’m only finding the motivation to write about it now. I had forgotten just how exhausting 9 hours of steady work is, but it is so satisfying. I really like this farm, and it’s really cool to work somewhere that produces so much food. This is by far the biggest farm that I’ve ever worked on, and the quantity of produce coming out of the fields each day is astonishing to me. Providing even one person with high quality vegetables is no small feat, but thinking about how many people all across New England are eating produce from this farm is mind-boggling.
One thing that I thought a lot about my first week was just how easy it was for me to get started at a brand new place. I feel like most people, including myself, are always nervous to some degree before starting at a new job, school, group organization, etc. Of course I was a little nervous going in, but once I got there, everything fell into place and went smoothly. Everyone that works there is super nice and helpful, which is probably part of the reason why it was so easy for me to transition, but I think what was most helpful was my previous farming experience and knowledge. Farming is like math in the sense that it is a universal language. Sure, different people have different methods of harvesting, seeding, weeding, and what not, but I feel like once you have worked on a farm for long enough, any minor changes to a technique that you are already comfortable with are negligible. It’s nice to walk into a job and feel confident in your ability to accomplish pretty much any task, and it’s been something that I’ve been very thankful for. I think that the most challenging part of this job in general has been the social aspect of it. Like I said, everyone is extremely welcoming, but they all know each other really well, so trying to fit myself into their already close-knit community has been personally a little bit stressful, but to be fair, most social situations stress me out so I know it’s just going to take some time.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about my future. Even though I try my hardest not to, it seems kind of unavoidable as a recent college grad who is making (sort of) big changes to their life. I’ve been wondering if I really do want to pursue farming or if I should be doing something more academic and ‘worthy’ of my time and energy, but in the end, I just have to remind myself of how wrong the internal and external prejudices that get put on farming are and how I am still very young and can always change and do something different at any point in my life. I’m not locked into the lifestyle that I am currently living, nor will I ever be. For now, I’ll just keep exploring my interests and options and try to get all of the dirt and tomato tar off of my hands.
Thoughts while walking back from watering the seedlings in the greenhouse:
- the human form is so weird. our bodies are so linear and it kind of creeps me out when i think about it for too long. we’re basically walking trees.
- how do they make magnified mirrors? also, how have i lived my life without owning one up until this point? (i bought one yesterday and my productivity has significantly decreased, but every hair and blackhead on my face that i didn’t know existed has been efficiently extracted)
- there were two dudes sitting outside near my dorm area on my walk back and they might’ve thought that i was walkin’ the good old walk of shame since it was 8 a.m. and why else would a college student be sentient/mobile at that hour on a Sunday? Although, I was wearing my wonderful, bright yellow crocs, so they probably knew i wasn’t getting any.
Well, this little project is not off to a great start. I haven’t been inspired to write anything AND I’ve created a Tinder again, so I really need to work on my self-control (but hey, at least I already knew that). The end of the semester has been kicking my butt emotionally and I’m not really sure why, but I’m hoping once classes are over my brain will calm the eff down.
At least farm work has picked up some alongside the warm weather. I’ve done some seeding and watering and I almost got to get behind a tractor and do some tilling, but unfortunately the soil was too wet. Most notably, I collected all of the maple buckets and spiles from the sugar bush by myself in the rain last Friday, which surprisingly only took four hours. For the most part, I like working alone, although by the end of this task I was definitely grumpy and very ready to be done. It was cool to go back into the woods after not having visited since the last sap collection, which was probably three or four weeks prior. This time there were a bunch of new baby plants scattered across the ground, the stream was swollen, and there were visible buds on all of the branches. I wish I could say that this quasi-magical scene filled with the anticipation of new life and a splattering of vibrant color reinstilled a new sense of purpose into my own life, but I was too busy trying to calculate how many trips it would take to bring all of the buckets back to the barn using my tiny Ford Fiesta to really appreciate the world around me.
Even though hauling buckets through the woods isn’t my favorite activity, it is still pretty satisfying to accomplish a big task like that all by yourself. Also, these kinds of things are important when it comes to reminding myself of what I am capable of and what makes me proud, especially in these past few days when I’ve felt like my mood and overall mental state have been malfunctioning.
I feel like I have officially entered into pre-graduation limbo. It’s that weird place where you still have a bunch of work to do, but you also feel sort of free, yet also terrified of what’s coming next. I guess that’s what most people would call ‘senioritis,’ but whatever, I’m entitled to come up with fun new terms since this is my shiny new blog. That being said, all that I’ve been able to think about these days is my life after I walk across the stage and receive my diploma. I am super excited about the glamorous lifestyle that I will be living as a farmhand in Western Massachusetts (I’m not even being sarcastic here) and about all of the new adventures that I will encounter in what is inarguably the happiest place on earth.
While I should be worrying about things such as financial stability, meeting new friends, etc., my current obsession has been trying to figure out what to do in all of the free time that I’m going to have come May 20th. I recently came to the conclusion that running, reading, hiking, and occasionally crocheting are nowhere near enough hobbies for a modern young woman to have at her disposal, and thus, this blog was conceived. Mind you, I am not a writer, and I kind of actually hate writing, especially when it comes to writing about myself or my feelings. But for right now, I like the idea of having a place to keep track of what’s going on during what I expect to be a pretty turbulent time in my life. Plus, it was either this or go against all of the progress I’ve made as a recovering Tinder addict and re-activate my account for the 800th time. So anyway, here’s to me sticking with this project and hopefully learning something along the way!