I don’t belong here.
July 18, 2011, 4:54 pm
Filed under: How I got Here

Stranger in a strange land. That phrase always makes me think of heavy metal icons Iron Maiden…but really, it couldn’t pertain more to me, and my feeling of utter displacement in corporate America.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to have a solid, reliable good paying job in this economy. MonkeyMan and I need our biz gigs to be able to sing the good old song of freedom at home. I admittedly do a fine job of wearing the mask and playing the game five days out of the week, but it feels so wrong to my body and soul. I cannot even see outside in the office I occupy, there are no windows. I know they do that to discourage wanderlust but geeeeeeeeeeeez. It only intensifies my whole rat-in-a-cage clausterphobic nightmare.

You know I don’t want to come across as a pessimist, I understand there are all different kinds of people out there. I just happen to like to run free and wild out of doors. I prefer the slow and steady rhythm of accomplished tasks and physical labor. I am not that great at it, but I kinda find my niche. Luckily my husband is a real man’s man and loves to get his hands dirty and DIY the sky…but I am just as happy to calmly plant seeds, or harvest beets and carrots, wash them tenderly and put them up for winter.

For five years as a child, I lived on a farm, a ranch really, in Minnesota. I thought it was paradise, after I got over the whole concept of releasing myself from the comforts of the city. There wasnt always hot water for a bath, and absolutely no such thing as fast food. I had always been a really hard-core fruit eater as a small child, and I loved vegetables, so my stomach was more than happy with country life. Better yet, we had 350 acres that were mine for ample unsupervised exploration…complete with two ponds and endless forests of wild berries. I spent every summer day totally free of boredom; if we werent catching turtles and riding bikes we were swimming and making hay bale forts. I could have as many pets as I wanted and go anywhere I wanted…country kids are set out on a very long leash.

I suppose I may have been programmed in those years that life was meant to be lived a certain way. I grew a real affinity for simplicity and deep seeded love of animals and nature. One summer I taught myself to bake pies, and every day I made a different pie. My mother never placed restrictions upon me in the home or on our acreage…there was no reason to. Everything was perfectly safe, and the timeline was ours. Things got done when you finished them. Television was replaced by conversation, storytelling, reading, and imagination. No one was pumping me full of any agenda that was not of my own making, and that fed my independance and my character.

Because my current home is so similar to my childhood dwelling, there are days I wish to stay there, safe and autonomous in the quiet green forage of our enormous yard….forever. When I glimpse the outside world it feels clinical and cold, mechanical and rigid. I wonder what would happen..what will happen…if our ‘devices’ are taken from us, and we are forced to think and fend for ourselves. Part of me embraces that revolutionary doomsday, if it were not for those I love who would surely perish.

Today I play over the events of the weekend in my mind with a certain melancholic nostalgia, as I do most Mondays. I miss the warmth of the sun on my shoulders and the soft damp of the grass beneath my feet. I miss the varieties of bugs and critters whom have made their home on our little spot of land, because we do not use any chemicals to treat our plants or lawn which would harm them. I see their presence as a sign of happiness, acceptance, and God. I miss the quiet routine of rote tasks to better my life; chopping vegetables and baking bread. My husband spent the entire 99 degree day weeding our garden by hand, and yet he did so with such pleasant was inspiring. And the garden looks so open and clear, its amazing. The plants are thriving from his efforts.

Often MonkeyMan and I laugh about the truth that we were born in the wrong time. Perhaps the 1800’s would have welcomed us…or maybe we did live then and we cannot shake the acclimation. I do not know how many thirty eight year old customer service representatives in America are dreaming of digging in the dirt right now, or feeding chickens. I guess each and everyone of us has that part of them that feels absolutely right, doing just the right thing, for only themselves.


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