Someone once asked me to think of a moment in my childhood that was really nice. I thought of one.
Wait. You think of one, now. Quick. Just any one…
So I thought of a time: it was in my grandparents' huge yard with fruit trees and flower gardens and grass for running. And it was so peaceful.
What you remember as really nice tells you something about where you belong. Whatever you thought of, learn something from that.
Where I belong is in nature. And in quiet. When I lived in New York City, I spent most of my time in Central Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Most people who live in New York City say they spend a lot of time in Central Park. I almost lived there. I thought I would die if I didn't go there each day. (Wait. Here’s a test to see if you belong in New York City. I definitely don’t.)
When I drove up to the farm, the first time, I knew I belonged there. I think I fell in love with the farmer that second. And I saw my whole life as the process of coming to grips with the fact that I am not as fast and cool and cutting edge as I wish I were. I do not belong in a city.
So you'd think, now that I'm marrying the farmer, I'd finally get my farm. But I don't. Farm land is not like any other possession in the world. Laws of marriage and property and value do not apply. We went to a lawyer to get a prenuptial agreement, and it turns out that it's not marital property. Instead, it's everyone's security, and everyone's life long dream, and everyone's connection to the earth.
So maybe I will not get to live on this farm. It's ironic, because when the farmer first started seeing me, he wouldn't really do it unless I agreed that I could come live on the farm. And I said yes, I could, way before I really thought I could, because I wanted to be with him so badly.
Now I love the farm. But maybe, the farmer will have to buy different land. It's not clear. Surely, I will love whatever land we live on, because it will always be a farm. But I really love this farm. It's where I fell in love with the farmer, and the country, and where my kids looked happier than they have been in years.
I've never posted a photo of the farm because I am scared to want it. I'm scared to want to live there because I can't really control if I live there. It's between the farmer and his parents. But today, I'm posting a picture. Because part of coping with adult life is allowing yourself to want something even if you are not sure you'll get it.
So many of the questions I get from people are questions they answer themselves, in the very email where they ask the question. They ask if it's okay to want what they want because they're so scared to want it: A book, a blog, a job change, lots of money, less money. It's scary to want things in life. But if you don't know what you want, you can't even know which way to move.
The trick is to admit what we want, even if we are scared we won't get it. We can only be who we are. And if we are disappointed, later on, well. I guess that's just part of being a grown up and knowing what we want.
So. This is what I want. To live here, on this farm.