I’m sitting here, sipping on a vanilla latte with only two pumps of syrup (ya know, it’s healthier than the normal six) wondering just how far back in life I should go to explain how I evolved from one person to a completely different individual.
It should also be dually noted that aside from a few quirks and mental demons, I quite like who I am now.
But I just sit in awe of how the heck I got here. Here–where I’m a young wife who lives in the country, in a still and cozy cabin, with a fur-family greater than that of babies, and endless acres to roam upon.
Endless might be a bit of an exaggeration–does 600 sound better?
Yeah, that’s my life. I live on a quite chunk of land that would make the most exquisite farm filled with everything we need to be self-sufficient. We own a humble portion of land that is surrounded by family land which we often help out with. There’s enough that with an overworked, laborious hand we could harvest just about anything we could possibly want. (Besides avocado trees. Which makes me sad.)
And I think I’m realizing that’s exactly what we want out of our life.
Gardens that stretch far enough to supply our whole family with fruits and vegetables galore, chickens for farm fresh eggs, maybe a cow for milking, guineas to eat the ticks–the list could go on forever.
But how the heck did I get here.
Growing up, I would say I was the loud and rambunctious child. Filled with adventure. Who needs music when you sing/talk so loud and off-key 24/7? I grew up on a horse farm, cowgirlin’ and muddin’…all that good country stuff, ya know?
However, I felt I always had this innate desire to be excruciatingly girly. Like, dress up to shovel stalls and never leave the house without make-up. This evolved during my high school years to someone who craved city life. Latte’s a block away and loft apartments was my goal for college and after.
However, I followed a boy for college–which didn’t last, and I was honestly too scared to go too far from home. So, I settled for the local college and post freshman year break-up I would say really began the journey for which led me to this exact place.
I began to realize things about me that either had been suppressed for years on end or I just started to think and do for myself.
I also felt I had something to prove to people who literally cared for me ZEEERROOOOO. Why, Elizabeth?
What do I mean by “something to prove?” Well, let’s just say if I had a dollar for every time someone assumed I was “snobbish”, “stuck-up”, “a prude”, etc. maybe I could own a good bit more of land to fit our lifestyle.
No, seriously. Prior to my first date, my OWN HUSBAND said he had zero expectations of it turning out well due to his own misconceptions about me. I sure showed him, huh?
I just remember constantly feeling like I started at the bottom with people and had to work my way up verses starting at the top and actually having to MESS UP for them to perceive me one way.
Mind you, this whole time I failed to realize that it’s not about them and what they think of me. Instead, it’s what I think about myself and do for myself to facilitate positive relationships both with myself (self-love) and with others.
At one point in college I would take 1-2 naps a day that would last over 2 hours each. Holed up in my dark and tiny dorm room, there I was–wondering why I felt so alone and why I felt nobody liked me.
Turns out I didn’t even like me.
I think that’s when things started to change.
I started going out with new friends, like almost every night of the week. But I realized the lifestyle we were living was just an empty road that would soon end as quickly as the day we graduated. At least for me anyway– because I hated that we never talked about or did anything worth remembering. If we even remembered it at all.
During this time I also learned that you can try until you’re blue in the face for some people and NO MATTER WHAT you aren’t meant to last in each others lives. I 100% don’t mean that rude, it’s just a hard lesson I learned. I would try to insert myself into someone’s life that I really wanted to be in without realizing maybe that wasn’t where I was meant to be.
Anyway, rambling aside, I cut all ties with this version of myself that just constantly tried, sought, and yearned for something that was way out of my reach and completely not meant to be attained.
Basically, I was fighting the universe. I was fighting the truest version of myself for so long. And I was tired. So, for two weeks I did nothing but what I wanted.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Elizabeth, two weeks is basically the blink of an eye.” Well you’re kinda right. I can’t help that fate would snatch me up so quickly!
I worked my part-time boutique job, went to class, fished in a nearby pond, and completed finals when suddenly I met the man who would (unbeknownst to me) turn out to be my husband.
What is so weird about this is that we were opposite in every way, yet we instantly fit together. He has always been the kind of guy who has his head on straight, very sure of himself, and black and white in all perceptions.
What the heck was he doing trying to date me? I was a mess.
But like I said, we just kinda worked right from the first date.
I quickly realized I had these walls regarding relationships and I cannot tell y’all how many times he said “will you please just let me in?” It took me forever to even understand what he meant.
I just felt like, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN!? I’M DATING YOU AREN’T I?”
But it’s so much more than that. I had to feel open to life again. Abundant life, a life with goals I set for myself and aspirations. I had to learn to exist within a relationship with someone who harbored their own spirit and goals all whilst upholding mine day-to-day. (and vice-versa) I think I always knew that he was it. Life would exist completely around and within his realm–or both of our realms together?
So, maybe that’s how I got here.
I remember, very early on in our journey together we were at his house (which is now our home, what the heck) and we had gone four-wheeler riding and he cooked dinner for me. While on the four wheeler, rounding the backside of the pond, approaching the spot I now know houses our garden I thought to myself, “I can see myself being happy here forever.”
It was the smallest and purest thought.
Like, at this point anything could have happened in our relationship. Each date was not expected because it was THAT early in the game. I was crazy and everything was happening so fast but neither of us could fight it.
Yet, that still small voice in my head whispered a sentence I would soon never forget.
Over time, I’ve realized how much I love our home–barring a few essentials in my opinion. Like a bath tub. I used to complain about not having a dishwasher too but I think I’ve realize I don’t mind using my hands so much.
I kinda just feel like I’m exactly where I was meant to be. I find great peace and excitement (paradox?) when growing our own food in pots scattered around our back deck and in our humble garden.
I’ve learned I truly love cooking and preserving the food that we grow. I’m constantly seeking knowledge to expand upon in keeping a home and becoming as self-sufficient as we possibly can.
It’s truly unprecedented the feeling of sipping fresh-brewed coffee while sitting on our back porch, pups running and swimming in the pond stocked with tadpoles, minnows, and an abundance of fish we grew ourselves.
Or maybe it’s the feeling of a roaring fire in the quaint wood-burning stove while we’re snuggled up on the couch, pups in our laps, and rain trickling down from the surround trees.
Perhaps most of all, it’s a slow morning filled with homemade buttermilk biscuits and skillet gravy followed by a morning walk across the creek and through the pasture–talking and laughing about life. Even dreaming of all the potential that our home and it’s surrounding holds just beyond our grasp.
Either way, whatever the precise journey is that led me here, I’m thankful for it. I see bits and pieces of the little girl playing in the creek begin to be speckled throughout.
I think she would be proud, having never dreamed to live in a place so true to her fondest memories of childhood.