Those that know me well know I'm a bit of a nerd about quotes. I think it's because I'm such a quiet person and I don't say much. When someone can make a huge statement or get across a big idea with a few well chosen words, I get absurdly impressed. And often I find them inspiring and even life changing.
The other day while reading one of my new favorite blogs - Cold Antler Farm - I ran across something that really smacked me upside the head. Now this wasn't a quoted passage, but I certainly think it should be, so I'm going to quote it here and hope that it gains traction...
"It's not where you live, it's how you live"
This really struck a chord with me because a couple years ago I decided I wanted to be a "Homesteader". I believe I would be much happier and healthier if I had a small hold farm. Raising chickens and rabbits and goats. Growing my own fruits and vegetables. All that good stuff. And so I've been reading books and blogs, watching YouTube videos and checking out things like Mother Earth News and Urban Farmer magazine. Even participating in an online forum dedicated to homesteading. This is a whole new world to me and I find it endlessly fascinating. The only problem is I kept looking at it as "Some day I'll..." Like I can't homestead without an actual home and land. Yes, I realize that people everywhere are Urban Farming and that backyard chickens are springing up all over the suburbs, but it all seemed like a distant dream none-the-less.
That one sentence changed my perspective. Nine words. That's all it took. OK, sure, I still can't have chickens or goats where I live and I'm limited to a small container garden and one indoor rabbit. But what I can do is take this time to learn the myriad skills that are needed to live a self sufficient life. I can learn preserving and canning. I can bake bread. I can compost and recycle. I can use more natural products. Hell, I could learn to quilt or knit or sew or make candles for cryin' out loud! It doesn't matter that the foods I preserve came from the market, it's the SKILLS that matter now. So what if I use store bought ingredients to make my own cheese, at least I'll learn how to make cheese, right!?! The more I can learn before I have the house and the land and the livestock to deal with, the better off I'll be when I do have those things.
The beauty of it is that it doesn't matter what your dreams are, this quote applies. If you happen to live in a really wealthy area, you don't have to be a shallow, materialistic person if that's not you. If you live in a slum, you don't have to be a thug. Just because your neighbor acts or lives a certain way doesn't mean you have to. If you live in Texas and hate cowboy boots, don't wear just because it's expected of you. Likewise, if you live in Seattle and you love cowboy boots, wear them with pride! Your location doesn't define you, only you can define you. Live the way that fits you as a person and do what you can now to live the life you want to ultimately live.
Thanks for the inspiration Cold Antler Farm, and thank you for reading!