Hello again. I’m bad at this, apparently. But I have an excuse! Well, I have many excuses. Primarily, I ran away to California to work as the garden manager on a farm, which has kept me busy. In January, I started working at Dare 2 Dream Farms (where I had WWOOFed two years ago) as a way to get some sun and space. I’ve been spending my days in the dirt and my nights baking, writing, and generally exploring myself, and things are good.
To be honest, though, it was a little rough starting out. Between Chuck needing expensive emergency surgery right off the bat and me missing my close community of friends in Duluth, I really struggled to get myself into a good headspace. But with the passing of time, meeting some wonderful people who came through the farm as WWOOFers, and getting myself into a routine that includes writing, playing ukulele/guitar, and other relaxing activities. I’ve come a long way in rebuilding myself, and I’m proud of where I am. I still have no real vision of my future, but I’m ok with that right now.
Writing & Music
With getting myself to a good place (and weaning off of antidepressants, which is a good thing for me for some personal reasons), I’ve become very active in writing and making music. Nothing great, but I’m enjoying it. On the occasion that I really like something that I’ve created, I’ll slowly throw some video recordings up on a YouTube channel (under the pseudonym Gin Whistle).
I’ve fallen out of photography beyond the photos I casually take with my iPhone, but I have intentions to pick it back up. I’d love to continue to add to my portfolio while I’m in such a beautiful area. A while ago, I conceived the idea of CiderBright being the name under which I would pursue my visual art (primarily photography) endeavors, and I aim to pick that back up.
To top it all off, I’m still baking beer cakes, and I still have the ambition of opening a bakery someday. I currently have one new cake in a testing phase and a couple more ideas I want to take a stab at. If you couldn’t already tell, I make websites for everything that I aspire to, and my future bakery The Brew Cakery is no different. Also, I’m just now realizing that the names I’ve created for these endeavors of mine (Gin Whistle, CiderBright, and The Brew Cakery) all tie into alcohol. Ha, I really don’t drink that often anymore, I promise!
So those are the ways I’m keeping busy in my off-time these days. While I’m working in the garden, I’m learning a lot about the best ways to give plants a fighting chance in an organic setting, which can be very difficult. It allows for a lot of experimentation, though, and it’s incredibly rewarding when the garden succeeds. There are so many plants in the ground right now, including tomatoes, fennel, kohlrabi, kale, carrots, cabbage, Swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, cucumbers, beets, radishes, beans, lettuces, onions, and more! While I love all my plants, I have to say I am very eager for those tomatoes to start producing.
During all of this, I’ve been learning or realizing a lot about myself. Some things are not surprising (I’m impulsive, prone to melancholy, and occasionally overly social) and some things were less obvious to me, even though I should have known (I have family issues to sort through, I have to re-explore my understanding of love, and I have to unlearn terrible financial habits). I know I’ve caused pain in the last year while trying to emerge from my own (for which I hope for forgiveness), and some broken relationships are not recoverable, but I’ve also been learning and accepting that, while I’m certainly not a great man, I am a good man.
I have a lot more to learn about gardening, myself, and life, so I’ve committed to staying at Dare 2 Dream Farms for an indefinite period (most likely until December). I’m excited and nervous for whatever’s to come.
So yeah, life is complicated and messy, but really it’s good.