These days we talk about issues like a popcorn machine. Today there is this this and this. Tomorrow it's something else. Social media has connected us to EVERYTHING, and we cannot support that weight. I've faced the issues head on, it started when I was 17. I remember a turning point, where I was exposed to something I could not ignore. All of a sudden I was handed this thing and I had to decide what to do with it. I brought it to the forefront of my life and I tried to spur others to see it the same, and not just see it, but do something about it. No one came along side me and it was the beginning of my discontentedness as well as my fervor to push forward. These two feelings have always co-existed for me, I try hard for a season, burn out and then feel lost again till inspiration finds me.
As many of you know, we have been in the process of trying to buy land for a year now. The vision started 6 years ago because of "the weight of it all" this was my answer to the question, "what can be done?" and we've been working hard toward it ever since. For the first 3 years we worked hard in tangible ways, ways that didn't make us any money but gave us the experiences we needed to make this decision. We remodeled a house, hosted hundreds of guests, cleaned up after people, gave people money, shared space, started a community garden, traveled to South Africa to work on farms, and much more. For the last 3 years we have hunkered down with jobs and worked hard to make the money we need for our land. Our work has never been conventional, and I've always given too much of my self and money away. because of these two things, we really don't make that much money, although we work hard. Our work isn't appreciated by the modern culture. (besides Johnny's barista job and my floral design) Day to day we are working hard studying and learning everything we can be successful in the future. This doesn't make us any money, but it's what matters the most to us.
I didn't go to college. I didn't see the point of being in school for 4 years plus and being in debt to do something I ultimately didn't want to do. I was told, "you have to do it this way, this is the way it's done". Instead I started my own business and went to trade school for 3 years to study plant medicine and Nutritional Therapy. If you've read any of my other posts you know how important these things are to me. And I know how much they can help people, but still, it's not a job that is going to make me a millionaire. These were my choices, yes, but I've never understood why I needed to waste time doing something I didn't want to do in order to accomplish my dreams. Unfortunately, I'm at this crossroad, where I realize my dreams will never come to fruition without the help of others. In this culture it seems everyone wants me to work "hard" according to the typical system (9-5 job) and earn what I have. It's a depressing system.
My dream is to start a retreat center on a piece of property where I can do week long Nutritional Therapy workshops that truly give people the time to relax and change their habits. I imagine cabins people can stay in, saunas, salt water soaking tubs, space to do cooking classes, and of course space to grow true nutrient dense food. The world operates on such a high frequency, I want to create a space people can come and have no obligations. We've lost this ability as a culture, and we feel that weight in many ways.
I want a different life than the stays quo, and I want to share that with people.
Honestly, I am at a really weird place right now. I'm suppose to be feeling this excitement of completing school and being a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner but the day after I graduated was the day I was told we weren't approved for enough money to buy anything. (well only one property, which was sold later that week) And since then it's been a cluster of mixed emotions, stresses and let downs. I don't know how to start my business while I'm in limbo and we have to move out of Portland within the next 5 months. (because of our living situation). I stay positive most days, but I miss having a community of support. It's been mainly Johnny and I on our own through all these processes and I honestly don't know what I am doing half the time. I've been really happy and content for the last year and sometimes there is a time and place for feeling sadness when faced with the unknowns. I haven't lost hope, I just can't see the light yet.
Trying to balance doing things that matter with doing things that make money is a hard thing to do. And trying to respond to the weight of issues being put on us daily is hard. And continuing with a positive attitude is hard. Overall, I know things will work out. Just let me wallow for a moment.
As Wendell Berry says,
"To make public protest against an evil and yet live dependent on and in support of a way of life that is the source of the evil, is an obvious contradiction and a dangerous one. If one disagrees with nomadism and the violence of our society, then one is under an obligation to take up some permanent dwelling place and cultivate the possibility of peace in it. If one feels endangered by meaninglessness, then one is under an obligation to refuse meaningless pleasures and to resist meaningless work, and to give up the moral comfort and the excuses of the mentality of specialization."
That's what I'm trying to do…it's not simple.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David