Sometimes life leads you back to the beginning. You move away from your small town searching for bigger things. City lights are calling your name and the thought of being closer than 2 hours from a mall entices you. You long to meet new people, ones that you haven’t known since you were 4 years old. It all seems like a wonderful dreamland with a promise of freedom. Then one day, while living in your tiny apartment on the outskirts of a big city (for me Washington DC) you wake up and realize that the fulfillment these dreams promised you don’t exists.
My name is Jen and I was raised in a small farm village in Missouri and later a small town (actually an Indian Reservation) in North Dakota. In Missouri I was a member of 4-H and briefly FFA. At different times in my life I held the company of goats, chickens, geese, pigs, rabbits, and horses. I loved my childhood. I didn’t realize how much I loved my childhood till recently though.
At the age of 17 I joined the Navy to break free from these small towns. After a 4 year enlistment I wandered around a bit, received my Associate’s Degree, and finally ended up in Northern Virginia. For the last couple years I have been pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree at George Mason University majoring in Conservation Studies. I was never sure what exactly I would do with this degree. I thought maybe I would incorporate my love for reptiles and amphibians somehow or maybe I could restore wetlands…? I really had no idea. All I knew is that I needed to have my Bachelor’s Degree if I wanted to find a job, at least that’s what everyone told me.
Two months ago I was sitting in my tiny apartment with my fiancé pondering what to do with my life. I had just withdrawn from the fall semester due to medical reasons, which meant I had a lot of time on my hands. I don’t really remember how the idea came about but I do remember that it came at me with a force! All of a sudden I just blurted out “I want to be a farmer!”. It shocked me just as much as it shocked my fiancé. How could I possibly want to be a farmer? How could I possibly want to move back to a small town in the country, right back where I started? Like I said, I have no idea where this all came from, all I know is as soon as I said it I felt happier then I had in a long time. I finally figured out what I was going to do with my life!
That is how I ended up on my current journey to get back to where I started. My dreams now consist of organic vegetables, free-range chickens, farm fresh eggs and milk, and a small town atmosphere. I want to once again know my neighbors. I don’t care if I have to drive 2 hours to the mall, I’m tired of the city lights and the traffic that goes along with them. I want piece an quite …and maybe even a tractor!