I’ve been longing for a simpler life almost since we moved to Baltimore eight years ago, right around the time that I discovered these wonderful things called blogs – little windows into other lives, other options for living. I wondered then if I was just looking for a way out, since I didn’t seem to have any real professional ambition. I worked hard enough to do well, to promote, but it never seemed to get me what I wanted, though I couldn’t have put into words then what that really was. The people around me, the friends from college, the new connections we made in the city – they all seemed to have this drive to achieve the next big thing, position, idea – and I didn’t know where to find that feeling. It certainly wasn’t finding me.
And so while I worked and waited and stressed and tried, I learned. I devoured everything I could find about people living the life I so desperately wanted for my own. I spent eight years reading about other people living my dream, spent hours poring over seed catalogs I never ordered from. Hours surfing Pinterest for patterns and hording fabric for clothing I never sat down to sew.
In ten days, I’m doing it. I’m packing what things have survived multiple purges. I am putting my children in the car. I’m moving 500 miles from everywhere I’ve ever known to follow my own brand of ambition, and kicking others’ ambitions to the curb because I’ve finally realized that having a different dream from everyone around you doesn’t make you wrong.
In ten days, my family is reuniting in Maine to set out on our own little journey. I am excited and terrified, and I feel so lost for where to start. Dreaming is so very different than doing, but I have to stop chasing that elusive sense of professional ambition. It doesn’t exist for me in that form. I never felt that drive because I wasn’t supposed to.
Does the world need yet another blog about simple living? The story of the city girl taking her master’s and “throwing it all away” to plant potatoes and knit dishcloths – is it spun out? I hope not, because I still need to write it. And I’m going to hazard a guess that there are still people who will read it, because for all the multitude of stories I’ve read, I still don’t know anyone personally who has actually gone out and done it.
So here we go. Ten days. We’re doing it.