My season with my current employer is coming to an end. Seasonal work is like that, I guess. The journey to finding another job begins.
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t work. I would own a farm and have goats and chickens. I wouldn’t consider it work because it would be what I love to do. I would sell my goods at farmer’s markets and to people who ordered from me. I would grow a variety of veggies in all sorts of colors. My goat’s name would be Henry, even if it were a female goat. I wouldn’t name the chickens though. The reason being, is because chickens are tastier than goats. We would have fresh eggs in the morning. I would mill my own flour and bake my own bread and be as sustainable as possible. Ideally, there would be a clean river next to my house where I could get water from, and a large fireplace in the kitchen where I could cook. I could live without electricity, Just have a warm fireplace in my bedroom. I would pass the time not spent in the fields knitting or weaving my own fabric, and I would make my own tools using my blacksmithing skills that I had developed over the years. I would own a car, yes, but only for the purpose of getting back and forth between my farm and town. There would be two oxen that would live with me, they would help me till the fields every spring. Some sheep and a couple of pigs would provide food and wool for spinning. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t live in this century. In a perfect world, I would go back to the old ways and live as my ancestor’s did.
But this isn’t a perfect world, this is the world that was created by a lot of bad decisions. My views on this may be a tad pessimistic, and even though I try to maintain a positive outlook, a lot of things get me down. I left Ai of Portland because I didn’t have the money to continue. I owe my family 40,000 dollars and don’t make enough to pay them back. I don’t have a car or my own place. It seems every moment of my time is spent feeling like the world is falling out from under my feet and I’m grasping at clouds to stay above it all.
I won’t lie, life was easier in Montana. Where $11 an hour was enough to eat and pay all your bills. Where going to college didn’t cost you $10,000 for nine weeks of classes. Where people still help each out. Since I’ve lived in Washington, I’ve been to Seattle once. I didn’t like it. I was pushed and shoved and told to get out of the way so many times as I was looking through products. I don’t live in Seattle, which is great, but the people around it are all the same. There is no common courtesy, no manners; just people thinking that who and what they are is more important that the people around them. Sure people in Montana can still be rude, they can still be like the rest of the world. Those people though, are usually those that have moved there.
Coming out of starbucks, I once held the door for a woman and her child. The woman I held the door for looked at me like I was a monster. She hurried along with her child as though I was going to grow wings and swoop down and steal it. I was shocked by the situation. I was just holding a door open. I still try to be as nice as possible to the people around me, but the looks you get from people is astounding, as though they have never experienced it in their life.
I used to wonder who in their right mind would want to move to a state where it snows 14 months out of the year. Who would want to move to a place that only has one Olive Garden. Who would want to move to a state that has no giant city metropolis, fashion week, or international programming firm that builds the world’s best software. The answer didn’t come to me until I was older, the people who move to Montana are those who want to escape all of that. Escape the Starbucks on every corner, escape the busy sidewalks filled with people who are too busy to lend a hand, to escape the skyscrapers full of empty promises of advancement. Those are the people who move to Montana, the people who are already there are a different story.
I’ve always thought, that the people who live in Montana, will die there. So many people who move away, move back again after exploring the rest of the world. I’m not a Montana Native, I don’t think I have a place like that to call home. But I know that one day my life will bring me back there. I will more likely than not move back to the place where I graduated high school. Where I hiked up Big Mountain with no socks on and blistered my feet. Where every summer I spent a week with the most loving grandparents in the world. One of the first states I ever called home, will most likely be the last state I call that. Sure I have adventures left in me, I have places to see and books to write and many more fantastic things waiting for me. Sure it’s Washington right now and it was Oregon last year. Next year may be a different place. But just like Bilbo Baggins, I left home for an adventure, and one day I’ll return.