If I went back in time and met 17 year old me and told her that she would find herself wanting to live on a farm, live in the country, have a garden, lots of animals, live in a tiny house, and be skipping the store bought shampoo she would laugh. Except for the animal part. She would totally dig that idea.
I have come a long way from my high school years. Gone are the ripped clothes, band shirts, fishnet undershirts/stockings, shitkicker boots, crazy hair colors, and dark makeup. I do still have some shitkickers and I’ve gotten better with the makeup. Sure, there is a pair of fishnets in my drawer but they’re worn on special occasions. I still like my heavy metal music(I still know a shit ton of Rammstein songs). In all honesty the only thing that has changed from high school is my wardrobe, hair styling of choice, and makeup. My personality is still the same. I curse like a sailor, love my metal/rock music(and 80’s music and classic rock and Irish music and one hit wonders….. okay my choice in music is rather eclectic), and geek out about horror movies. I’ve grown up. I’ve become an adult. And I love high school me because I was coming out of my shell and finally flexing my muscles in the way of ‘finding myself’.
Nature has always been something that I adored. Whether it was family vacations to National Parks or running around in the wooded areas on Air Force bases, I loved slipping away from the hectic ‘city life’. True, I never lived in a BIG city (like LA or Chicago or Atlanta) but we’ve always lived within a reasonable distance. We were close to LA and San Diego while in California, Atlanta was pretty close when we lived outside of Macon Georgia, and we’re about an hour away from Chicago(or it’s suburbs, which is pretty much the same thing[don’t shoot me Chicago people]). No matter what, though, nature was also within reach in some way.
My mother began telling me, once I hit college, that if I ever moved to Hawai’i I would end up living with the hippies there. I never thought much about the comment until halfway through our 2003 trip to the Big Island. There I was, wearing a sarong, flip flops, hair in a braid, and milling about a swap meet. I looked around and realized how much I fit in. Sure, one could run into someone wearing such an outfit ANYWHERE but there something different about there. It felt right for once. The atmosphere just made something click inside me and things began to change
Now when warm weather hits, when ever I’m not at work, I am in sarongs and loose fitting shirts. I run around barefoot as much as possible. Skirts and long dress are, once more(was a major tomboy as a child but you couldn’t get me out of my dresses to save my life), my friend.
It was meeting Grendal and spending so much time with him that made me realize how much I enjoyed nature. I knew it calmed me before but something was different at that point. Especially joining him at an organic farm he worked at. Every morning he’d be up at 4:00 and heading out to the farm to feed the animals and let them out of their pens. After many days of him asking if I wanted to join him, I did. I enjoyed spending time with the goats, watching a chicken follow Grendal around, and getting up close to a draft horse(talk about feeling like a hobbit suddenly). I was there often enough that one morning, when the farm had a bunch of inner-city kids out for an over night field trip, I made them pancakes using some of the goat milk and fresh eggs. That is probably the moment I really found myself enjoying farms and cooking things from scratch.
Bread is made in the house, no bread maker needed, and I use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Not because it’s better for me or anything like that. No. I enjoy it. I find myself enjoying the complexity of things and, as odd as it sounds, how simple it is. I’ve always wondered how people lived ‘way back when’. Colonial times, medieval times, and even in the early 20th century when the world was changing in leaps and bounds. A part of me wants to chuck all of what I have to the road, find a spit of land and tiny house and just LIVE. Farm, work with animals, and become one with nature and myself.
Yet, I want my heavy metal, my internet, my books, movies, and video games.
Maybe hippie isn’t the right word. Who knows. I blame my mother for the word use but I wouldn’t change it for the life of me.