When the kids and I moved to the farm, last Spring, the first thing we did was plant seeds. The farmer took the kids out to an open patch next to a corn field, and he planted ten pumpkin seeds with them.
I took the kids next to a rhubarb patch that has been growing for about 75 years, and I dumped a package of 300 seeds in a three-foot square area and I told the kids you can't expect all the seeds to grow.
And this is how we started out lives together: the farmer being completely optimistic about the future and me wanting to hedge so no one is disappointed.
Here's what happened: all the seeds grew. My vegetables mostly died because I hadn't planted them assuming they'd need space to grow. But we had a crop of little pumpkins:
So all summer, we've been talking about Halloween, and what we'll do with all our pumpkins, and whether we should have a party.
I am not a big fan of Halloween. It makes me nervous that people are all trying to be things they are not. Why do people like to dress up? Why are the majority of costumes sold to adults, not kids? What are the adults doing?
But while the pumpkins were growing, I was making career changes. Pulling back on my daily duties at Brazen Careerist, considering new business ideas, and finally, staying on the farm while the company moved to Washington, DC.
It's been a while since I did a career change. But I am noticing, now that I'm doing it, that career change is not about one, big change, but it's really about trying something on for a while, maybe just as briefly as you can. Seeing what it’s like, and using that knowledge to take decide what to try on next. When you are figuring out what to do with your life, every day is like Halloween. Every day you learn something about yourself by trying something on.
Halloween is when we all do it together.
So our pumpkins grew, like a monument to optimistic planting, while I worked on figuring out what I should be — worked on living my life like a kid let loose in a costume shop. And today on the farm we’re all ready to go for Halloween.