November 29th, 2015, Freeport, Maine
Left the farm, yesterday. Got all the planted fields covered with straw. I was contemplating working one more week, but between the cold the nights, living out of the suburban and the isolation of working alone all day I was leaning towards having this be my last. Before he left for thanksgiving I asked the farmer if he could pay me for the last two weeks when he got back and then I'd let him know if I was going to stay another week. He said "Sure" and when he got back he told me that it was going to take his book-keeper a couple days to issue me a check, but that he could give me $500 or so in cash, today, and because I was such a good worker he was going to pay me 3 dollars more an hour than what he'd originally said and if I wanted to come back in the spring he'd pay me 5 dollars more. I thanked him and said I'd let him know. He gave me my tax forms to fill out and then invited me to a barn party he was going to later. He said that he had to do some errands first so I headed out to plant some more garlic and he'd come back and get me around 4. When I got back to his house at the end of the day he was so drunk he could barely talk and there was a guy that I'd never met there with him. He was drunk, too. He told his friend that we were leaving soon and asked me if I was ready to go. I told him "No" not if he was driving. He said that I could drive, but I told him that I didn't want to go anymore. His friend left. It was pretty awkward and uncomfortable trying to get him to pay me, but I eventually did and got the heck out of there. Hopefully, I'll get the rest of my check in a few days. He didn't seem like a bad guy. Just apparently drinks a lot. I'll try to keep busy doing a few projects on the trailer and more research about where I'm going to go for the winter while I wait for it to arrive.
What I've realized recently is that even though it's good to spend time alone sometimes to process the days events or enjoy some peace and quiet, isolation is a very different experience. Days, weeks or months by oneself can allow a person's thoughts to get the best of them. If you've ever played or watched a lot of sports you're familiar with a coach's tactic of trying to psyche out a player on the opposing team. In football for example, if the score is tied with only seconds left in the game and one team is in field goal range the opposing team will often call a time-out just before the kicker is about to attempt the field goal. It's an accepted belief that if you give a player under pressure more time to think about what they need to do you increase the odds of them "choking" because their thoughts may get the best of them. In prison, solitary confinement is considered to be the worst type of prison time to do and is often used for punishment when an inmate has done something wrong. I remember after re-connecting with a cousin who I didn't get to see much growing up he told me after learning that I'd walked across America that what's impressive is that I was able to spend that much time with myself. I'd never looked at it that way, but it made a lot of sense. I thought about when I walked across the southwest desert of the U.S. and being alone all that time. I didn't mind it all. In fact, there were many moments especially at night staring up at the stars when it felt so good my heart ached. I'm not saying that I didn't get lonely. I did, but by that point in my life I was so used to it that I barely noticed. I notice it, now, and I realize that I didn't always choose it. I reacted to it. Maybe all my adventures in a way have been a subconscious attempt to block out this feeling. Either way, I think spending time alone can be very good for a person if it's by choice. If it isn't, it can be very bad.
Jan.19th, 2015, Monday, Freeport, Maine
March 8th, 2015, Sunday, Freeport, Maine
March 22nd, 2015, Sunday, Brooklyn, New York
April 25th, 2015, Friday, Colfax, California
May 5th, 2015, Tuesday, Morro Bay, California
May 9th, 2015, Saturday, Big Sur, California
May 12th, 2015, Tuesday, Ventura, California
May 14th, 2015, Thursday, Los Angeles, California
May 27th, 2015, Wednesday, Chicago, Illinois
May 29th, 2015, Friday, Portland, Maine
June 14th, 2015, Sunday, Freeport, Maine
Haven't written in a long time. Writing actually became a form of talking when there was no one to talk to. It was a way of keeping my mind occupied as I tried to analyze the challenges and problems I was facing, but eventually it began to feel futile, maybe even part of the problem. The two major reasons I began all this was to keep a record of my experiences and, also, because I believed other like-minded people might be able to identify with how I was trying to live, but as I began to struggle more and more the last few years I eventually felt like I had nothing to offer anyone. That's not a fun place to be.
Something had to give and something finally did. There's no deep intellectual reason for it.
I guess with some new perspective I've decided there are some things that may be of use to others. My life had gotten to the point that I became trapped by my mind. My lifestyle and refusal to participate in things that I do not believe in, as well-intended as it may have been, allowed me to become my own worst enemy, not to mention the worst enemy of those close to me of which there hasn't been anyone in over a year and half. When you lose everyone, there's only one place left to look to figure out what's wrong, at yourself. In this case, myself.
I've talked a lot over the years about how I believe the system we're living in keeps us separated as a community and I still believe this, but needing to change the system in order to be happy is an impossible requirement. Needing to live alone outside of it isn't the path to happiness either. It's the path to loneliness, judgement and paralysis. Some of us just have to go through our own personal hell to finally learn this.
June 15th, 2015, Monday, Freeport, Maine
I still have all the beliefs that I've tried to live according to and all the tools I've gained to help me do so, but they are no longer my jailor. I have learned that the object of life isn't to see how much one person can take regardless of their own well-being. It's to see how much a person can do while keeping a positive attitude. Happiness is the goal, not perfection. There are plenty of times in life when we are unable to be happy about something that is happening. We certainly don't need to create these types of situations ourselves which is what my mind was doing to me, which is what I was doing to myself. I clung to my ideals and the architecture of my morality because I was unable to let go of other things. Its intricate and impractical structure was the only thing that could hold it all up, but I was just one person trying to carry it believing I had to in order to deserve love and acceptance. After going through enough hell I finally realized I had neither love nor acceptance so why was I carrying all this crap. I put it down. I had to. I would go through anything for love, but I won't for no reason at all...nor for theoretical reasoning.
Our minds are machines, creatures of habit, but we are not. We are living, breathing, feeling organisms. Not only is it dangerous to allow ourselves to become trapped in the ruts that our minds create, it is even more dangerous to become trapped in someone else's. It's easier to prevent this from happening when we do not like a person or their behavior, but when it is our fondness for someone, or something, that solidifies our inability to see what is unhealthy for us our love can actually be the mortar of our denial. The stronger our love, the harder it is to break the pattern. But, there is only so much a person can take and some people take even more than this. The only thing that breaks the pattern in these cases is something outside themselves because they will never give up no matter how bad it gets.
The opposite of love is not hate. It is fear. The source of fear is uncontrollable thought. Some people's solution is to simply never think about certain things. Other's is to never be afraid to think about anything yet master control over their mind. To do this, I can't be carrying anything that isn't mine.
August 5th-September 4th, 2015, Alexandria, Maine
Running a blueberry harvester on the Barrens, 12hrs/day, 7 days/wk, 4wks.
October 4th, 2015, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The truth is becoming more and more apparent. There's nothing wrong with me, thank god. This situation is messed up, not me. I was just surrounded by people who refused to acknowledge it. No wonder I've been waking up feeling lost, empty and disconnected. I am, not from the things I believe in, but from the people who I thought I was supposed to be close to. This is what I've learnt by coming back to New England.
If you met me years ago and we got to talking about our paths in life, I'd eventually confess to you that every morning I wake up like a little kid on Christmas morning. In that halfway point between being awake and asleep before I knew where I was because usually every morning it was someplace different the best way to describe how it felt was the excitement, anticipation and magic of Christmas morning. Knowing what that was like for so long compared to how it's felt the last 5yrs or so is pretty bone chilling. But, I vowed to somehow get back to that little kid feeling, again.
Ok, so where does this leave me? -other than completely alone. I have no anger or bitterness so that's good. The mind is simply a creature of habit. If people choose to think a certain way or are taught to think a certain way for a long enough time it just becomes normal to them. If a person lets their mind dictate their life then they will eventually become trapped by their fears and their mind will form a very deep rut that will be nearly impossible to break out of. My fear was letting go of the people that I loved who had easily let go of me a long time ago, yet I refused to accept that they did not or could not love me back. I could not see or accept that I did not belong to what I desperately needed to believe that I did belong to. This denial imprisoned me with all my fancy beliefs forming the walls. I don't know how I survived living the way I have carrying this lie for so long. Human beings are very resourceful creatures, but I got out. Now, I'm healthy, happy, free and petrified, but it's a clear and obvious fear and I'm poised to face it and for the challenge it requires.
Anywayzzzz, I've got a couple more weeks of work at the oyster farm before it starts getting really cold then I should have enough money saved up to head out. The truck and trailer need some work to make the trip a successful one so I need to chip away at those projects. Trying to work, make ends meet AND fight off the bitter cold like the last two winters is not an option. It's insane. Two years of insanity is enough for me, thanks. It was longer than that, actually. The cold wasn't the worst of it. I can handle cold. Cold-heartedness is what kills me. Never again, I hope. I don't know how people can treat one another the way they do and I never want to learn how.
October 9th, 2015
So what have I learned? That I love people. I always have and always will. I think we all do deep down inside. Fear is what prevents us when we don't. Yes, I've been a loner, but who else keeps a list of random strangers who he's met over the years who were nice to him just so he'll never forget them? I've, also, learned that under the wrong circumstances this trait could have been my demise because of the loneliness it has caused. The wrong circumstances were how I've been living combined with some bad habits that were instilled in me growing up how I did. I need people. The worst is waking up in the morning. It is the worst feeling in the world. I, now, know the meaning of the dark side of the moon. I can't believe I've lasted this long. Forget that. It's negative. Negative is not productive.
The weather's been holding up and it's been a fairly mild fall so I just need to get myself to a place where I can be around people who, also, want to live like I do; with nature, in harmony, working together, growing our own food, off the grid, like a family. I've only had the idea of one that I've carried around all these years. It's been the hardest thing in the world to accept which is why I've allowed myself to go through so much mental suffering. I love them so much. But, enough is enough. As soon as I get around people and I have permission to be there where I'm accepted I light up like a Christmas tree. Like the guys I work with. We laugh and joke, work our butts off on the ocean and I enjoy it so much.
The other day while it was low tide and a storm was moving in, we were all on our hands and knees in the mud digging up oysters by hand as the rain and wind beat down on us. I was laughing like a little kid. I couldn't have been happier. I even joked about it out loud. "Is it crazy for me to admit how fun this is?" I said, but all we do is joke around and make fun of each other so no one really paid any attention to the comment. I just met them when I started this job. They all have wives and families in the area. The second worst time of the day for me, waking up in the morning being the first, is quitting time. We work very hard. I've probably put on at least 5lbs (which is a lot for me) since starting on the oyster farm a couple months ago. All the other guys go on about how they've lost so much since working there, but I'm a freak of nature. And, we're all usually cold and soaking wet by the end of the day so naturally I'm looking forward to being done like they are and I am, but the sad thing is that it's accompanied by a lost lonely feeling that's been present with every job I've had in the last 4 years when I have to face the reality that I have no place to go and no one to see until the next morning when I go back to work. I've lived like this for too long never realizing it wasn't normal or acceptable. Coming back here only finally drove it home, no pun intended. Having my buddy with me or waiting in the truck (with the windows open) eased this pain, but he's gone, now, and I need to make a plan. My future, all my gifts maybe even the girl of my dreams are all waiting for me still. All I have to is get my sh*t together, let go and find a place to belong. One where I don't have to lie about everything I see and everything I've learnt -maybe not all at once, but someplace where I don't have to ask myself "Ok, where am I going to go once I leave here?"
I'm not running and I never have been. I've been working and preparing. I just couldn't see what I can see, now. I just need to trade in my loyalty to things that have not taken care of me and apply it to the things that have. Mother nature, my health, animals, hard physical work, sunshine, music, dancing, writing, healthy communication, facing my fears. All these things have served me well, but I haven't let them take care of me because I've been loyally saving that place for those I love who were not or could not love me back. Love is an action not a thought and I've tried enough. It all comes down to happiness. When a person's happy they give freely. They don't care about immediately getting anything back in return. Giving is an investment that they can afford to make because giving is an expression of their happiness. This is how I want to live. I wish I could do it with money, but I've never had a lot. There's a reason for that, but that's a whole other discussion. I can give in other ways and I do.
I don't have time for theories and rhetoric. I have to stay focused on getting myself out of this solitary confinement geographically and mentally. I need people to be happy. It's automatic. Healthy, happy, natural people.
November 1st, 2015, Freeport, Maine
What a beautiful day it turned out to be. The sun came out and it wasn't too cold. I'm not sure where I'm heading, but I need to decide soon. My money is running out. Just waiting for the small gas stove I ordered for the trailer which should be in tomorrow so after that there's nothing really keeping me here. I've gotten a few projects done. Finished the indoor shower, wired the trailer with outlets in three locations all tied into the solar system, made a storage cabinet for the extra propane tank, etc. Haven't gotten nearly as much as I'd like to and not nearly as much as I'm capable of if I were feeling better, but I see more and more clearly every day how it's simply a matter of isolation and nothing more. I giggle at quirky little things that happen throughout the day as if my happiness is waiting for me on the other side of this thick fog of loneliness that tries to smother the life out of me. My humor and nature send a little bolt of light through it every once in a while as I just keep my head down fighting to make it through another day making sure I'm pointed in the right direction.
This week was rough though. I haven't seen or talked to anyone since....Monday and today's Sunday. How in the effing world did I ever think this was acceptable?! Never, again. When I get these glimpses of happiness from the simplest little things it feels so good that part of me never knew life could be this way. I get these short little intervals of happiness that it almost feels like I'm doing something wrong. BUT, I'm not. That's for ga'damn sure. I just want to be around people and live as natural of a life as I can and the mental ruts that many people, included myself, get stuck in are not going to keep me from it.
November 11th, 2015, Freeport, Maine
I love my little, mobile, under-the-radar, solar cabin. I have pretty much everything that I wanted a couple years ago. It's not perfect, but it's a good work in progress. It's got a little kitchen, bathroom, shower, full size bed, wood stove (when I need one:), propane heater, all my tools, enough room for my kayak and motorcycle and I've got a decent truck to haul it with. I even got all my teeth fixed last winter when I had medical and dental (first time in my life) for a short time working for those phonies. I sat down and went through all the boxes of papers, tools, and other stuff that I allowed myself to accumulate in the last 4 years and either got rid of it, filed it away, added it to my journal or find a home for it. That's a liberating process. But, the cold weather's closing in, again. It's way past "the butter test". You know it's getting cold when you leave the butter out on the counter and it's too hard to spread on a bagel the next morning. Then comes "the honey test". That's when I have to leave the honey on the floor in front of the heater otherwise it won't squeeze out onto my cereal. When Job was still alive last winter his water dish would be frozen in the morning and we'd have icicles on the inside of the trailer. Never putting myself threw that, again. He and I were always warm under a sea of blankets, but it made for very hard living starting every day like that, not to mention how I felt mentally. I don't know how I survived.
At least, I don't have to worry about the milk and cheese going bad this time of year and a cold beer is easy to come by. I need to buy a cast iron pan so I can stop living on just apples, vegetables and bagels and start cooking eggs on my new little gas stove, but I'll have to wait until I start working, again. Right now, I need to tie up some odds and ends, change the oil in the truck, do the brakes and then head some place warm for the winter. I still wake-up dead inside every morning. It's the worst feeling. It can't be healthy. Thank God, I remember what it was like to not feel this way all the time so if I lost that good feeling I used to have that means it exists and I just need to find a way to get it back. I've learned a lot and if I survive I'll be able to put it to good use.
I used to want to save the world. Like a lot of wide-eyed suburban know-it-all's, I thought I had it all figured out or, at least, enough to make a difference. I didn't realize how spoiled and sheltered I'd grown up, how many untruths I'd been taught and, worst of all, never in a million years did I fathom that the world didn't want to be saved. Had I gotten an accurate glimpse of the real world at a young age rather than the "everything is fine" one I grew up in I wouldn't have spent so much time trying to uphold so many impractical ideals. I would have known what I really needed. Eventually, I realized that everyone already knew what I was so excited about discovering. I couldn't imagine that if they already knew what I was, now, learning why weren't they doing anything about it? I never imagined that they had just given up. It took me a long time to accept that this was true. How could they? They were good people, hard-working, honest people. Weren't they? Aren't we? So what happened?
That's for each of us as individuals to answer. We all have to live with ourselves. Maybe this is why I tried so hard to live according to my beliefs. Not because I thought that I was better than anyone else, but simply because how I grew up required me to spend a lot of time by myself which meant if I wasn't doing my best at everything I did my mind would beat the heck out of me. I have to remind myself that when placed in a group on a "level playing field" I always make friends easily. I love to so it wasn't just the isloation of growing up, but, also, the choice to take a different path in life.
Ever been at a party and as the night progressed the people began to show their true colors and you asked yourself "What in the heck am I doing here?!" That's kind of how it felt. As I entered adulthood and I saw how the world expected me to live, I said to myself "No way, you're not getting my soul." Little did I realize that the choice to not be like everyone else combined with the fact that I didn't have anyone close to me amplified the feeling of isolation, but not knowing any better I just accepted it as a fact of life that I had to deal with if I wanted to achieve my dreams. Then I learned that my dreams were lined with lies as well. It's enough to make any overly sensitive perceptive person go crazy, but all it did was make me try harder until eventually I hit a wall. That wall was the last lesson I needed to learn in order to start moving in a direction that was going to make me happier not require me to try even harder because after as long as I'd been fighting trying harder wasn't possible.
I worked on a few projects past dark this evening so I hung a spotlight on the outside of the trailer over my work area. I left the stock side door open so the full length glass door that I added allowed more light to spill outside. I had to walk down the path to get some lumber that I had stacked down in a little barn at the edge of the overground pasture below my spot. There's nothing cooler than standing in the dark under the night sky and looking over at a little bunker of light and warmth knowing that it's completely self-contained. The light came from the sun earlier that day stored away by the panels and the warmth comes from the left over scrap wood from the projects I was working on, now, burning in the wood stove. I love it.
November 21st, 2015, Cherryfield, Maine
Got my stuff done, decided to make some traveling money before heading south. I got offered some construction work in Portland from a contractor I just met. He is building a fancy condo for some rich guy in the city, but instead I drove 3.5 hrs north to make half the money on a farm in downeast Maine. It may seem crazy to most people, but I just couldn't do it. I was so psyched to find work on a farm.
The downside I discovered is I'd be working completely alone all day everyday. It's been a week and the man who owns the farm hasn't once come out to check on me or see my progress. I've always been motivated more by appreciation than money so it seems a little odd that he doesn't care, but it is what it is. It's completely normal in our culture to keep our personal life seperate from our place of work (even though it's completely unnatural in my opinion) so if I had a personal life all this time alone wouldn't be so lonely. Just have to hang in there another week and then I'll have enough money to get someplace warm. I won't have enough to make it across the country pulling the trailer to my favorite little town on the coast of California so I'll just find work in the Carolinas or Florida for the winter. Plus, I've been compiling a list of intentional communities in the US and there's a few that I'd like to check out on my way west which will make the trip longer so I'll need to save more.
I've had a few brushes of social contact in the last month that has made everything feel so hopeful and exciting which reassures me that there's nothign wrong with me. I just need to get around people more. The challenge is finding situations where I don't have to play the "everything's fine game" in order to do so. I guess when you have people in your life everything does feel fine no matter how messed up the world is. Maybe this is why I've always been so committed to trying to find a life that addresses how messed up the world is because the world is all I have. I'm not trying to sound melodramatic. People allow us to get out of our heads and take a break from ourselves so when you don't have people in your life you're at the mercy of your mind and everything it is aware of.
I've never been married even though I've always wanted to. I don't have any children even though I've always planned to. And, I've never run naked through Times Square even though I never wanted to. Sorry, I have a thing for lists of three, I guess. So what happened? Nothing happened. Life happened. I still plan to. Eff the American dream. The American dream only works is if you're asleep. I'm not. I love my country, but I haven't lived a cookie cutter life -so what? I wouldn't change it for the world. I have no regrets and I haven't made any huge mistakes. I just never gave up. This is what was supposed to happen. It's just nothing like what I thought would happen, but I am exactly who I wanted to be so go figure. One way I can look at it is, it's amazing that I'm still single with no kids. That's actually an accomplishment. Call it being responsible. I've had plenty of chances, but if I can't put my whole heart and soul into something then I don't do it. The only way I could do that is if I found my heart and soulmate and I haven't found her, yet. I have looked. I've been looking since I was old enough to like girls. I've been holding this blank dance card in my hand for as long as I can remember. You want to talk about hopeless romantics? I am lord of the saps. Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a wuss, a push over or anything else. I'm a strong passionate man still in his prime. Chalk one up for late bloomers. Mother Nature just had a different plan for me, thank God.
I call it "the suburban orphan syndrome". I grew up with this "everything is fine" message being drilled into me, but something deep down inside didn't feel fine so I never bought into what they were selling. I guess I was supposed to be a yuppy with a big house, a wife and a couple kids by now. I actually told myself that if I didn't have a million dollars in the bank by the time I was 30 that I wasn't going to have any children until I did. Guess what? Any gold-diggers looking for a sugar daddy can stop reading, now. Sorry, I'm just a simple country boy who can fix or build just about anything. I went to college, but the white collar world just wasn't for me. I still plan to make plenty of money to take care of my family. I just had one important lesson to learn before I did and that's where the s.o.s comes in. Hey, didn't even realize it spelled that. I'm such a dork. Growing up, we had a nice house and everything we needed so everything was fine, right? But, how could I know what I needed? Well, I didn't. Not even close. I can't speak for other suburbanites so maybe I'm just different. Maybe I was too wild and free-spirited. Maybe it takes one wild thing to tame another. I certainly didn't know any. I was like a horse that whenever you accidentally left the gate open ran for the hills and boy could I run. They say "not all who wander are lost". Well, they, also, say "stupid is is stupid does" so I was a runninga, haha. Sorry, I'm still a dork. The simple point is I needed a tribe. A mother and a father weren't enough especially when they're pretending like everything's fine when it wasn't. It's not their fault. They did their best. I don't think two people are enough for anyone. I only saw the rest of my family a couple times a year around the holidays if that. I had some neighborhood friends and some in school, but they all seemed to be drinking the same cool-aid. Maybe everyone else was fine. And, I was the only one who wasn't. Either way, I left and took the road less traveled, my own path and never once doubted myself.
So here I am, no family, no baggage, no ties to anyone or anything. Call it lonely or call it freedom. It's both. Ripe on the vine. They say luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I put my money on the table and I'm still letting it ride. Fear and doubt are what make people pull there's off too soon. Some never even bet on themselves. I did and I’d never let fear control me. Life is not a game of musical chairs where you scramble to find a husband or wife so you're not left standing alone. I am standing alone and more often than not I'm, also, dancing....to my own music. Can you hear it?
I've been all over. NY, LA, Paris, Rome. All on a farmboy's wage. You wanna talk about sacrifice and discipline? I've lived in more places than I can count. Never done drugs, never been in any kind of trouble. Just always listening to my instincts trusting that they will lead me home to that place inside. Played a lot of sports, did some acting, even got on t.v. and had my 15 minutes of fame, none of it did much for me. There's more to life and for me I'm not going to find it in a big city. What I love isn’t man-made. It's the moon and stars at night. It's the smell of the forest. It's chickens laying eggs. It's vegetables growing in the garden. It's sweat on my face. It's everything working in harmony or doing our best to get it as close as possible. That's life to me. Ya, I might sit by the fire and write you a song or stay up late after you've gone to sleep and secretly make you something, but what I've been saving and protecting to one day present to you that I'm most proud of is my heart. Hope you like it.
November 24th, 2015, Cherryfield, Maine, a couple days before Thanksgiving
Stuck way up here in the woods living out of my truck on this farm making shit money. I didn't want to waste the gas money it would've taken to drive down to southern Maine, get my trailer and haul it back up after I'd worked here for a couple days. I wanted to meet the farmer and see the place first before deciding to bring it up. He's got 120 acres and said he has plenty of work for me, all winter if I wanted it, but after a week I decided I'd just keep crashing in my truck and save the gas money. Plus, my truck is a smaller space to heat and it's getting cold. I just need to hang in here for the rest of the week, hopefully, get paid, decide whether I've got enough to head south and get out of here. He's a nice guy, but really messy and pretty unmotivated. He's mentioned a couple times that he's looking for a full time guy to live and work here, but there's no one else here and we're in the middle of no where. He barely leaves his house. I'm out here working in the field all day by myself. The times I've had to go back to the house to ask him something he's either been sleeping on the couch or playing chess online. Like I said, he's nice. Maybe he's sick or something, but this isn't the place for me. I'm done freezing my ass off alone. I'm like 4hrs north of Freeport near the coast. I was psyched to find some work on a farm this late in the season rather than have to work for the system, but it's torture being here. I need people. I just needed to make some more money before hitting the road to find a better place for me to live. I've even considered selling everything, my truck, my trailer, all my tools, everything, and going to another country where the money will last longer and people live in a more communal way, but making a big decision like that in the mind set that I'm in right now is probably not a good idea. I just need to get out of here, take a breather for a minute when I'm in a good situation then make a plan. I've learned so much in the last year since things got so bad and I've gradually worked myself out of the hole I was in and learned why I was in it in the first place, but I'm not in the clear, yet. I just need to keep sucking it up each day til I can get out of here. It's just tough when I feel so isolated and the winter is breathing down my neck. The only reason I'm writing is to try and keep my sanity and remind myself that I'm not crazy. I'm just in an effed up situation, but it's only temporary. I'm tempted to drive to nearest major town and get a motel room for the night. I haven't showered in two weeks, but I don't want to spend the money. 50 bucks is like 200 miles out of here.
An overachiever tries to fix the world because he/she doesn't realize that all they really need to do is fix their situation. I'm not saying the world isn't messed up. Just look at what we're doing to it and each other. It totally is, but if I need to fix the world in order to be happy then I'm going to live a very unhappy life and I have. It's gotten that bad. I thought focusing on being happy meant giving up on what I'd set out to do which makes it a little paradoxical because I probably wouldn't have set out to do it had I'd been happy or, at least, I would have gone about it a different way. Life's funny like that. Trying to do what I set out to do by myself is impossible and even though I've done plenty of things that others didn't think were possible trying to do the impossible everyday is just plain exhausting and unreasonable. It's definitely made me a hard worker, but I finally have to ask myself "Why?" I thought in order to be happy I had to condone what's happening in the world in order to make money and benefit from such a messed up system, but what I was really refusing to condone was the unhappy place that I came from. How could they teach me anything if they weren't happy either? This is why I've always been on my own without any support. I'm not complaining. It just finally makes sense. Lucky for me, I'm a very happy person by nature. I just need to find other happy people who will appreciate who I am (that sounded dorky), how I've tried to live and what I've learned and who I can appreciate the same in them. Then anything's possible even the impossible! At least, I've learned something. Only took me like 20yrs.
November 26th, Cherryfield, Maine
Ugh, I hate sounding negative like in my last entry. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth so on a positive tip I got to push round bales of straw around the last few days instead of planting garlic! On a farm, planting and picking has to get done. There's no way around it, but it's never been something I liked. I'm just not wired to do it all day. I run a little hot. It's sort of like using a chainsaw to mow your lawn. When I have my own kitchen garden, it will be fun, but doing it all day for work......not so much, but I didn't say a word when the garlic needed to get in the ground and I was the only one here to do it. Luckily, most farmers quickly realize that my skill set can be better used for other things. It's still just me out here in the fields, but he brought me out some straw bales with the tractor to roll over the planted garlic and cover it for the winter. It aids in frost protection and mulches the soil as it decomposes. After a couple conversations he realized that I have a lot of experience running tractors and other types of equipment as well as fixing them so I've been bringing them out to the fields myself yesterday and today. He's out of town for the holiday, now.
Moving round bales around by hand is a little ridiculous. I've never done it on any farm. Got to use draft horses to move them once. That was awesome, but I suppose when they're newly rolled and dry it is possible on level ground with a couple people, but by myself? I don't know. Doesn't make a lot of sense. It's just a matter of weight and a new dry round bale can weigh between 1,000 and 2,000lbs. Straw might be a little lighter than hay, but these are 2yrs old and have been sitting outside in the elements without a tarp so they're waterlogged, moldy and lopsided, not to mention the fields are too wet to drive the tractor on so he just dropped them on the edge of the field and expected me to roll them where they need to go by hand. I was so hungry for exercise I didn't question him even though in the back of my mind it felt kind of absurd especially for a guy who weighs a buck-fifty. Luckily for him, I'm a heavy labor junkie. Early in the first day, I got the idea to use a long heavy steel pipe driven into the middle of the bale like a big lolly pop for leverage so I can flip and turn them easier. Works great.