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2022-05-28 09:23:24 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: May 2022


[Names and locations have been obscured to preserve privacy.]

Life these days most-definitely fits the description of this section. It's been over 3 weeks in a tiny cabin, with a tiny wood stove used to heat the place for those first two weeks. Vegan meals 90% or more of the time. Preparing foods like fermented ginger and sprouted lentils for myself to eat. Washing clothes by hand and hanging them on a line to dry. A hot shower once a week, with morning and evening "wipe downs" each day. Shitting in a kind-of-composting toilet, but a bit better for long-term health of the land.

I've been off coffee since the beginning of this month, drinking various teas instead and kicking the caffeine habit. Eventually I'll be harvesting dandelions for tea-making, and likely that will be my long-term substitute. Meals twice a week with the rest of the staff here have been wholesome and delicious. I learned that the nearby natural grocer sells vegan, organic gummy bears! Still on the search for licorice though. I may decide to make this myself.

That's what a lot of this month has been about, really. Embracing a more can-do attitude, taking on new tasks, re-learning or learning new skills. Realizing and acknowledging that, "this is my life for now." It's tremendously, radically different from my previous life and lifestyle, but it's pleasing to me. I know I can do this. Particularly so, when I see that there's a potentially fantastic support system here.

The drive out here was something else, I gotta say. In short, I enjoyed most of the experience. I will record my thoughts on the six-day drive out here in a later entry.

I've decided to adjust the subtitle for this section, because I really have no concept of "increasing my income" when income's effectively at 0. Conventionally, this was all about getting a raise, starting a side gig, etc. My head's not in that game right now, as I'm still heavy in adjustment to the routines and lifestyle here.

In concrete terms, I received notice of my final deposit from the old day job late this past week (and neither was it equivalent to a full paycheck). So now, officially, I have no income. I think The Timer starts now. How long will it take before I can individually support this lifestyle for myself? I have a considerable amount of savings, there are credit union ATMs here where I can access it, and my expenses are low. In my opinion, it's a fairly-solid foundation for a future that will be brand-new to me in a lot of ways.

I feel like this is also a section where comments about the US economy, and how the next decade are going to be a nightmare for the bulk of US citizens. I'm going to hold off on details about that because it just sours my mood to a point beneath its typical low balance. However I feel confident that my new lifestyle will help me remain resilient in difficult times, in either the short- or long-term.

Still checking-in with friends and family from time to time. The PO Box is sorted out, and I have sent a few letters so far. My old landlords received their letter, and the husband in the couple and I had a nice chat earlier this week to fill him in on how life is waaaaay out here. Apparently, they're not upset about anything I might have left at the house before I left, so I'm relieved about that.

I speak with my mother maybe once a week, and then we trade text messages every few days.

More in my immediate vicinity, I'm slowly working my way into fitting-in with the crowd here. There are five other interns, maybe three guests and/or long-term residents, and then the manager of the institute. I work with the interns five days a week for the first half of the day. It's primarily gardening tasks, so I ask them for an entry-level assignment, then do my best to not break anything, not step on any desirable plants, and not fumble into anyone's way. I've been bringing cookies to the evening meals I've attended once a week, and they've been a big hit. I'm comfortable with this being my usual contribution, at least until I start providing more in the way of cooked meals for the group.

I am getting along with everyone at least in some small measure. Working on manual labor with others helps with that bonding quite a bit, in my experience. Particularly when requests are reasonable, and I do the work without question. Asking for feedback is easy around these folks. The manager is a straight-talker, and it seems he's putting a lot of personal effort into building community here while still maintaining high standards and/or levels of commitment that many folks don't or simply won't match for whatever reason.

I'd like to become one of the people this manager can depend on to take care of business. This is a matter of me personally putting in the effort, learning and practicing new skills, and staying competent and courteous. I may not talk much, but my actions and end-results ought to be able to speak for me. That's a reasonable goal, anyway.

It's been interesting to acclimate to this climate. It's drier here. I've needed to consciously drink more water, both because we're working outside, but also simply because it's arid in comparison to where I used to live. I was having spontaneous nosebleeds a couple times (including one while in a conversation at dinner, which was awkward), but after building up deliberate hydration habits this seems to have abated for the time being.

My attempts at building up my strength and endurance have had inconsistent success. I explained to several others here about my plan to build up my strength in the first month here without officially interning, and at least one person mentioned that he "should have done that" as well. So even if I've been less assertive in taking on more tasks, well first off I'm not obligated to, and secondly it's a rational, reasonable approach.

Entry was a little bumpy, but I made it here. Life begins again.