Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the road to nowhere (i don't really know what the subject of this entry is)

Classes end April 29. Exams end May 8. I will shortly be living, breathing, sleeping, and yes, eating goat cheese 24/7 for about 3 months. First of all let me say that I am way too excited about this for my own good. I have reason to be excited: this is the only job I've held so far that I not only enjoy but even look forward to. I anticipate the days I work with jitters befitting a five-year-old. What I do matters to me in a way that nothing so far has mattered.

It's more involved than just knowing that I'm doing something positive in my community--working for a small, sustainable business dedicated to providing goods and services to the locals. It's working with my hands. It's making things and being productive. It's the magic of the process (I have seen, believe it or not, how milk that comes from a grazing animal can be transformed into the most fragile and rich of cheeses. It starts in the milking room and ends on my plate and that, to me, is really amazing.).

But then, I have a long and complex history of burnout. I start something, go at it for awhile, and then get tired of it and move on. This is why I will probably be in college for five years. My fear is that this summer will be the same way. Granted, I've been working with goats for almost a year now and have not grown tired of it. I'm not even tired of trying to convince persnickety people to try goat cheese at farmers' markets. To some degree I don't even mind cleaning the pasteurizer (god help me).

My hope is that I am wrong. I hope this summer is the best summer I have yet experienced. I hope my tomatoes grow prolifically, that I learn the blue cheese process well enough to do it on my own, and that my bi-weekly CSA box inspires me to do some mighty fine (pronounced with a long "i", of course) cookin'. And I sort of believe this will be something of an incredible summer. I mean, just the fact that I won't be living with my parents is enough to convince me of that.

I realize how young I must sound. I think all the people who read my blog are at least 20 years older than me (remember, I have about 4 readers--I apologize if I misjudge your age), and so I must sound so naieve and even childish when I talk about things like this. But here it comes: I've never had to pay rent before. The furthest west I've been in America is Tennessee. I have absolutely no idea where my life is going. Everything is a big deal to me. I became disillusioned with the government at a tender age. I'm already thinking about how to prepare for crisis situations--environmental, political, economic. I'm learning how to preserve food and take care of farm animals and read Proust all at the same time. I won't even talk about the French feminists I'm attempting to study. Every day is like hiking up a mountain. Sometimes at night I am so exhausted and yet so worked up by the day's events that I can't sleep. I just lie in bed for hours and think about everything--the documentary I saw, the things I forgot to do, the questions I want answered...

I guess my point is that even though I have my bad moments, my burnouts, my anxiety, life is still so full for me, so rich that I feel like a child on Halloween with a five-pound sack full of candy. I don't know what to do first: sort and pick out all the things I don't like or just jump in and stuff my mouth full.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Hmm... this reader is over 30 years older, but I still remember how desperately I wanted to graduate early from high school and get away from my parents (at 15; it didn't work). And yep, learning where our food comes from and relearning how to grow some of it is becoming crucial. Don't worry about how long an enthusiasm lasts. Just enjoy it and learn from it. There's a lot to life. "Don't ever for a minute change the place you're in!" Besides, sometimes I still get that overwhelmed, overloaded sack of candy feeling at 52... just makes me a little dizzier than when I was 20!
Sid