On Living Your Dream

In the last couple of years there has been a marked shift in how I look at my own goals and–if we’re going to get all “woo” about it–dreams. Here’s the truth though, I am living my dream on this farm, every day. Even on the hard days, I have no doubt about it. Which is super weird, because, if you’ve been around here long enough you might recall that, uh, this actually wasn’t my dream. Or, at least, I’d set a lot of goals over the last decade that looked a lot different than living on a farm in an old-ass house spending my evenings driving around on a tractor and talking to my chickens.

For example, my first house. Where my whole goal was to fix it up in a few months, and pay it off ASAP so I wouldn’t need to make decisions about what I wanted to do in my life based on paying a mortgage. (For the record, I’d be 3 years away from that goal right now if I’d stuck with it.)

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I bounced around a lot as a kid. My parents divorced in their early-twenties (and thank god too, because we were all much happier that way) and they both moved around often as they made lives for themselves–figuring out what they wanted to do with their lives and where they wanted to be. I don’t begrudge them that, at all. But, by the time I got out of college, I was tired. So effing tired of picking my life up and moving it every year or two.

It was actually a short-lived relationship that inspired me to buy my own house (which in my head went kind of like, “this dude has his own house and doesn’t know what the eff he’s doing with it…ย  I could definitely have my own place and do it WAY better than this.”) So I did, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve found over the years that even my least favorite relationships have taught me things or led me down really awesome paths I’m not sure I’d have taken otherwise.

My relationship with MysteryMan is another great example of this. In retrospect, as much as I like and respect the man (still to this day), the relationship itself was never going to make either of us happy in the long run. But, it did give me an opportunity to build something awesome with someone.

We took this…

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And turned it into this…

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And aside from the rough-framing, we did the bulk of the work ourselves. It still blows my mind when I think about how much I learned in those two years. My goals had changed… instead of just fixing up a house and paying it off, I wanted to build a home for myself. A real, forever home, with all of the awesome things I’ve ever wanted in a house (a big kitchen, an awesome bathroom with a fireplace next to the tub, wrap-around porches and an outside fireplace off a covered porch.) I wanted this to be it for me, and I thought if I built it well enough– if I agonized over the details enough–it would be.

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But it wasn’t.

It was easier for me to walk away from the relationship than it was for me to walk away from what I’d been building– both in the house, and in my heart. I was making a place for myself, I thought, where I could finally put down roots, and let them grow in to something. (Like, literally, I’d wanted to plant a fricking garden forever.) I joked a lot about it at the time… that after the Memorial House, I just wasn’t ready to commit long-term to another house. But it was very true in a sense… I didn’t want to commit to another dream–put all that time and effort in– only to have to make a hard call and leave it behind. I thought about buying a temporary place and flipping it. I thought about building a glorified garage to live in for a few years while I figured out what I wanted.

And while I was looking for that temporary thing, I found this place…

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Just drove over a hill one day, through the trees and fog…

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And there it was.

It wasn’t at all what I was looking for.

But it ended up actually being everything I was looking for. And something inside me just knew it.

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It doesn’t make logical sense to me. Even now when I can stand back from a distance and connect all the dots that led me to this place, it doesn’t make sense. That was the first time I realized that I couldn’t always rationally choose my dreams. I never read a story, or saw a picture in a book, or heard someone talk about an old farm house on a piece of property that was a pain-in-the-ass distance away from their job and said to myself “THAT is what I want.” I hadn’t been working towards it, or dreaming about some house or property that met some strict checklist of specifications that made it “perfect.” It’s not perfect, in fact. And a lot of the time it is a shitload of work. But it’s right for me.

I feel a sense of joy here that stops me in my tracks sometimes. Like I literally stop and look around as if there might be someone nearby to witness this craziness. I want to say to someone, “Do you see this? This is crazy, right?”And I don’t mean the house, or the land, or the barns, or the sunset. Those things are great, but what I mean is, do you see how happy this makes me? Do you see how random it is that I found this place, that it wasn’t what I was looking for, and yet it’s totally where I’m meant to be? This is a gift. It’s a gift that comes with the responsibility of a ton of work. So, so much work. And time. And driving. And shoveling shit. And forcing myself to do hard things, or to learn new skills (which I usually don’t love at the time, but am always grateful for later.)

Even with all of the words in my vocabulary I’m not able to articulate what it means to me. I almost don’t want to try for fear that it might come across as bragging, when really it’s something that humbles me. What I have said from the very first day, to myself, to the house, to the Universe is this: I don’t know that I deserve this. But I know that it’s my place. And I’m not asking for it to be easy, I don’t expect it to be handed to me, but if you give me the chance, I’ll work my ass off for it. I’ll work my ass off, and be grateful for it every day.

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And I am.

But I’ve learned recently that there’s also a hard thing about living your dream. It never occurred to me to sit and wait around for permission (or for a relationship) to go after the things I wanted. It never occurred to me not to dive, headfirst, into owning an old house on a large piece of property, even though it’s only me and I’d never operated a riding mower before, much less a tractor. I haven’t found yet a thing in life that I didn’t believe I could handle on my own. And if any girl in the entire world asked me, I’d tell them don’t you wait. Don’t you waste one minute of your precious, precious life waiting for another person to come around and make your dreams come true… you work your ass off and build those dreams yourself, and no one can ever take them from you.

I was in a short, but great, relationship recently. (I mean, of course it was great, he had a fabulous beard and what else does a girl need?) And here was the sticking point for that relationship: He wanted me to leave this place. (To be fair, he would have be okay if I didn’t leave this place, but only if I 100% committed to having kids. Which I couldn’t do, because I’m like 98% committed to not having kids. So…)

He wasn’t asking me to leave farms in general, mind you. Just this one. He was perfectly cool with living on a farm if we found and bought it together, but was absolutely against living separately or living here.

And while I understand the desired to find your own place more than most people might, I also know what it would cost me to leave this place, and it would be more than just the time and money I’ve put into it. I’ve had other houses (one of which I built to my exact specifications, and was much better suited to me than this one) but neither of them were my place. This is. So here’s what I said…

No.

I’m not leaving this place. And I’m not going to lie and commit to having kids, when I don’t think that’s what I want to do.

Up to that point, it had never really occurred to me that living my dream came with a price. And that the price might be that I would have a good relationship–one that had all the makings of being super long-term–with someone who, as it turns out, wanted something different. This is not shit that happens in all the love stories we’re told… but then again, I’d never want to be one of the women in any of those stories. And so I’m telling mine, for anyone who might one day find themselves here, saying… wait. This isn’t how it plays out in “happily ever after.” This isn’t the way it goes, right? You don’t find your place, get to live your dream for a brief period of time, find a good relationship, and then one day hear a loud record-scratch over the soundtrack to your life and someone says, “Okay, now pick.”

Except that is actual real life. This is how it goes sometimes. Because no one gets to dictate my dreams, but I don’t get to dictate theirs either. And I do have a choice. All those love stories we’re told would end with the girl (and the guy) choosing the relationship and everything else just works itself out. But what I actually believe–and maybe this is selfish, or idealistic, or applicable only to me– is that you should make yourself happy first. You should honor your own dreams and your own happiness, so that you can support someone else in theirs.

I’m lucky enough to be living my dream, and I’m not giving it up.

The weird thing about all of this for me, is that I’ve just written 1500 words on how dreams change. I have no idea if my dreams will change in the future. There are things I might say I want, things that make sense and that I might actually work towards… and then it might turn out that what is right for me is something else entirely.ย  What I’ve learned through all of this is that it isn’t always logical. It doesn’t always make sense. It’s not always something you can explain. Sometimes it’s just about what feels right.

It’s about driving over that hill one day, through the fog and the trees, and knowing you’ve come home.

shel-silverstein-the-voiceShel Silverstein | The Voice

99 Responses

  1. Whew! Sigh. Life is sumpin’ in’t it?

    One thing you can always count on?
    Change.

    Roll with it, you go with your gut girl. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Amen. Every time things change it’s a little uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to recognize that feeling. It’s not sad, it’s knowing I’ve made a good decision for myself, but that change is never easy or comfortable. But you’ve got to go with your gut!
      +

  2. I’m sorry Kit. Even the “right” choice doesn’t always feel good. But you were obviously not on the same page. You have put so much into Black Feather. Eh. You are where you need to be, and you can do it by yourself. If someone comes along that “gets” it -super! If not – whatever. Hang in there.

    1. Exactly right… it doesn’t feel great, but it for sure feels like I am where I need to be (and I can totally do it myself… why does anyone ever think women aren’t totally independent badasses… we are.) Thank you!

  3. I hope you get some comfort in that I know you made the right decision, you know too somewhere. I have been faced with this decision a couple of times, each time, it just didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right to leave my home to go to a far away city for a relationship with someone. Each time their path crossed mine for a time and I just don’t think it was enough for me to give everything up. I know for sure that either of these relationships would not have lasted. I’m glad you didn’t give up what you know for sure makes you happy! I agree with Jessica, you kick ass!!!!

  4. If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, it’s that you can be in a perfectly good relationship and it can still not be right, not be what you want. Someone wise told me, “It’s not about happy. It’s about what makes you feel the most like YOU.”

    Love your blog – it’s an inspiration to me as I try to figure out how to use all these damn tools I keep buying. And how to back up my “I’m not paying someone to do that, I can totally do it myself” attitude with action.

    1. THIS. Yes, yes, yes. I keep using the word “happy” but I’m like, listen, no one is overjoyed to be shoveling shit out of a donkey stall every other week… it’s not always exactly happy, but it’s the thing that makes me feel the most like ME. That’s exactly what the farm does. On so many different levels. Thank you for articulating it this way… that’s exactly what I meant.

      Also YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THAT. I don’t care what it is… buy those tools and get it, girl! And don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Was wondering what happened to that bearded fella…

    You made the right choice. When I was younger I dropped everything for a guy – classic good girl/bad guy. And I PROMISED myself I would never do it again. Chris and I were together 2 months when I decided to leave the college I was unhappy with, move many states away and try at hand at figuring out what made me happy. I knew that if Chris and I worked out, it was because we really wanted it to, but we also really wanted each other to be happy first and foremost. Over the next 2 years we didn’t see each other much, he lived on a glacier, in Ohio, in LA, me back in the Bay Area. But we figured out what we needed. Our story ended (well, continues I guess) with us staying together. But that’s just our story. We both did what we needed to do to make it right for ourselves, and we found a way to circle back together in a way that still made us happy. Being happy YOURSELF is the ONLY way to be happy with a partner. And I ALWAYS tell people, the first thing about making a relationship work is being a good TEAM. Sometimes you have to play offense, sometimes defense, sometimes there are substitutions, but you always want to win. And sometimes, there just isn’t winning, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. We always learn the most from what is hardest, and I know you of all people sing that lesson of life louder than just about anyone I know. You kick life’s ass all the time, and keep doing it.

    P.S. longest comment EVER ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. He was a super good dude, but it’s just like you said… you have to figure out what makes you happy first (and if that doesn’t make the other person happy, total bummer) but I’m so glad it worked for you and Chris, because you guys are awesome. Let me know when you, Chris and Zoe are up for another road trip to MI… or maybe I just need to come out and see you when hell–i.e Michigan–has frozen over this year. ; )

    2. Meryl knocked it out of the park with this comment (fully-intended baseball idiom just for you MR)… I don’t think I can add anything, except to say that we need to get a beer ASAP. Thanks for being such an utterly kickass human and living your amazing life and telling your beautiful stories so fortuitously close to me. xo

      1. We definitely need a beer ASAP (Meryl, you’re totally invited because the last time the three of us were together I’m pretty sure two of you were GROWING OTHER HUMANS, which is cool, but not good for beer drinking)… also, Matilda needs to come out to the farm and see the Nugs!

  6. As a 21 year old girl, still very much trying to figure out her dreams, I just want to say thank you! Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be true to yourself always. You are an inspiration to me!

    1. Katelyn, that’s so awesome! No one ever tells you that it’s okay to have said you want to be a dentist, but then decide you want to be a dancer… but it is. (I mean, I didn’t want to be a dentist OR a dancer, but I’m just saying.) Being true to yourself is one of those things you have to take moment-by-moment, decision-by-decision. In the end, I think that’s what matters!

  7. I’m sorry to hear about the end with the Bearded Dude, but at the same time I’m happy you’re committed to living your own dreams and not giving them up for someone else. Or to meet some standard the world dictates as what we should do.

    Also, this is a lot of what I needed to hear for myself right now too. So thank you.

    1. I feel like I never know how a “real” (important to me) story is going to be received, so it’s great to know that this is something that resonated with you. When it comes to meeting other peoples standards.. EFF THAT. If it doesn’t make me happy, I’m not doing it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Such a great, inspirational post. I selfishly wish you had been around 20 years ago, so my “right for me” choices wouldn’t have felt so lonely.

    For happy-ever-after eventually worked itself out. And there’s no saying it won’t readjust and work itself into a new direction in the future. But staying true to myself was the only constant over 20 years of question marks and redefinition.

    Bravo to you for being much more confident in it than I ever was. And thank you from me, the me from twenty years ago, and all the other women and men out there creating their own paths, as untrodden as they sometimes are.

    1. This is exactly why I think it’s important we all share our stories. “Right for me” should never feel lonely, but when our choices don’t match up to what we’re told “happily ever after” should look like, we don’t talk about it. I think the story of making your own path (even if there isn’t another man or woman involved) should be the thing we tell.

  9. Good for you! It cost you…sure it hurts…..but you would not have been happy….really happy! Love your blogs..you
    are a strong woman…especially mentally….don’t let anyone change what and who you are. As someone already posted…… You go, girl!

  10. Really, that is the greatest post you’ve ever written and you have written some doozies. It is so hard to figure out how to be happy with yourself.

    Women, in particular, often believe the Disney fairy tale and expect the prince to make them happy. Though even Disney has deviated somewhat from that path recently as in Brave and Frozen. That’s a lesson we have to be reminded of over and over. We make ourselves happy or not. It’s true for men and women, boys and girls.

    I also think you’ve realized that you couldn’t be the same person that he was interested in, if you gave up your farm and your sense of home. The compromise would be too great.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that pain, but you did realize how deeply your farm speaks to you – one of those relationship-induced lessons.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. I also think youโ€™ve realized that you couldnโ€™t be the same person that he was interested in, if you gave up your farm and your sense of home. The compromise would be too great.

      THIS. So much this. And I kept trying to explain it, but either my vocabulary isn’t up to the task or this isn’t something he could understand. (Which isn’t a knock against him. He’s a great dude. But sometimes you just don’t GET each other.)

  11. So proud of you. After waiting for “Mr. Right” to come along…with no luck…my sister and I bought a fixer upper house 19 years ago; we’ve always been there for each other and it seemed a good idea at the time. 19 years later, we’ve torn the house apart, put it back together (mostly on our own), paid it off, and it’s the envy of the neighborhood. It was a completely different dream than we had in our teens and twenties, but it was right for us. We’re happier than we would have been had we followed earlier paths. You worded it perfectly. Be true to yourself first. At 51 years old, I would add it’s OK for strono women to be weak sometimes. I’m so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. Have a good cry, or swear a blue streak and break something…then call the other strong women in your life and have a party, and get on with your life. Strong women are always there for each other. On the west side of Michigan, I’m raising a cup (of coffee!) in your honor right now. You inspire so many of us. Wishing you all the best.

    1. So true… we don’t have to be THE STRONGEST all the time. I’m okay with feeling bad about a breakup. That’s natural and totally okay. But I also remember to weigh it against what it would have cost. I don’t thing good decisions always feel good in the moment, but I do feel like I live without regrets and it sounds like you and your sister have too!

  12. Thanks for sharing. I can empathize with most of this, and as much as I feel like the main thing missing in my life is a relationship, I worry a little that the someday-person might want me to make a decision like that, too. Frankly, I’m happy here, trying to make this house thing that I’m doing all by myself work. And so far, it is. But it doesn’t mean I don’t still want a person!

    1. Which is totally okay! I like having a person. It’s awesome to know there’s someone out there who has your back (and vice versa.) I’m not saying that a person has to, or should, choose other things over a relationship. But Katy said it well a few comments up, sometimes it’s not about being happy, it’s about being YOU. I know the kind of person I would be if I didn’t have the farm to *center* me, and I wouldn’t be a good partner. I’d be angry and uptight and jealous because I didn’t have the security of my own happiness. I wouldn’t like that version of myself, so I choose to be this one and hope that someone someday gets that and loves me because of it. And if they don’t, well, it’s hard not to be happy here, doing what I do!

      1. “Security of your own happiness” is the foundation of everything, and something I am so grateful for. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. You really are inspiring.

        1. Amen. I feel like that’s an unpopular thing–securing your own happiness–but so, so important. The thing itself is never easy, but comments like this make it totally worth it. Thanks!

  13. Thank you for sharing this. I have always had such a strong focus on compromise that, as I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’ve compromised too much of myself. It sucks. Making that kind of decision is rough, and you rocked it.

    1. Hey, sometimes compromise is a good thing (and I know it’s not something that I, personally, am good at) but I also know what it feels like to give up too much of yourself. I’ve done that before… but the good news is, it’s never too late to let yourself be YOU.

    1. You know, when I started to write this I was all, “I don’t know if I want to talk about this right now” but I do it because, well, that’s what I do here… so when someone says “I needed to read this” it’s like oh, wow, yes, THIS is why we share our stories. Real stories that maybe aren’t 100% comfortable, or that don’t feel like the thing everyone else writes. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m glad if my story was at all meaningful to you right now. (Hits me right in the feels too, but that’s what life is all about I guess.)

  14. In the last two weeks I have read your entire blog from start to finish. I enjoyed every post. You are fearless and wayyyyyyy wise! Thank you!!

    1. I can’t imagine reading the last 10 years of my life in 2 weeks and thinking I was still a sane human being, so thanks for sticking around. So glad you’ve enjoyed it.. it’s been a wild ride!

  15. A few people have said it already, but this was exactly what I needed right now. I’m going through something similar with a man who, on paper, is PERFECT for me, but in real life he’s justโ€ฆnot. We don’t fit. And it’s hard because I love him but it’s just not going to work out for us and that’s ok. Knowing that someone else out there understands this means a lot.

    Semi-related – I bought my first home abut 18 months ago as a single, 27-year-old female, and the one question that I got from EVERY DAMN PERSON was “what are you going to do with your house when you get married?” As if it was a given that getting married = giving up my home, no questions asked. It made me feel very stabby.

    1. It’s always tough when it seems like it should be perfect, but it’s just… not.

      And Amen on the the stabby part!

  16. First time reading your blog. Wow. Whoever mr beard man is, if he reads this and if he has any sense, he will come running back begging your forgiveness for his stupidly and plead with you to take him back.

    1. Ha. As much as that would be good for my ego, he’s not the begging kind of guy… it was actually one of the things I liked most about him. And, honestly, he wants to have his own house and raise a family there…I don’t think we can blame him for that. It’s a perfectly normal thing, I’m just not a perfectly normal girl, and it’s not what will make me happy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. I loved this post! I’m 35, single, and wield some power tools myself. I’ve been dudeless for two years now by choice. After a string of relationships that were all over the place on the “good for me” scale, I realized that I just don’t want to play by someone else’s rules anymore. And it turns out, this has been the best two years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I get lonely sometimes and I’ll go on a date. But as soon as I walk in my own front door, I’m reminded that this is my home and I’m not sure if I want to share it with anyone…no matter how good of a guy he was. Ive got a good thing here and I don’t want it to change. I may not always feel this way. I’m leaving the door open that my dreams might change and someday this life won’t fit my new dreams, but for now, who I am and this house are right. Keep being true to yourself. And kiss a donkey for me!

  18. Damn, bummer about the bearded dude. You kick ass though so I know you’ll be alright. You truly are an inspiration!

    And to totally change the subject, this post led me to check out your before and after pics of the Memorial House and I need to know where the kitchen table came from. Did you make that? I love it and I want it!

    1. That was actually my first furniture purchase for my first house a decade ago. It’s from Pier 1 (and I doubt they still make it) but I’ve seen a ton of similar tables DIYed. Google “Farmhouse Table DIY” or something like that, and I bet it will turn up.

  19. you have been so open on your blog – i admire that but even more i admire that you let yourself learn and not give up on yourself – i am a bit older than you and so can speak from down the path

    yes, learn to be happy in yourself for that is a path that WILL lead you to your dreams – and perhaps to the person who respects that in you.

    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    looking forward to more adventures!

  20. The idea that two people should make a new life together is very common (so that both make compromises and build together), though that does not make it necessarily right, if you have to give up to much of yourself. You have very much put a stamp of yourself into every nook and cranny of your house and property. That can make it harder for another to fit into your life, and find their place, in a place that is already filled. I don’t think it is an impossible to find a person who can fit, but a question might be what does that person have to give up to fit, and is it worth the compromises for both parties, and it can be right to be yourself, by yourself.

    I generally do not regret the compromises I have made in my life and relationship, but we share many interests and desires, and we are supportive of each others dreams, though it helps that they to align fairly well. I could go on by myself, and I think of it at times, life is not perfect, I over think, and am often to cautious. But for me when I look to the future I see him by my side, so for now that is my answer.

    I can relate to being tired of moving, I want to buy one and only one house and then never move again, maybe unreasonable, but I want to settle in a place and not chase jobs and money. I want to be near my friends and family, and find a place for myself in that world. Moving away has given me the perceptive of really knowing what I want, though I knew myself well enough before, that I am not surprised, by how things have turned out. I hope for a place like your first one, it is beautiful, not that your farm house is not nice, just not what I want. Maybe I just want to be a witchy woman living in the witch’s cottage.

    1. I think there’s a lot to be said for a witch’s cottage in the woods ๐Ÿ™‚ A little cottage like that, a garden, animals, peace and quiet, that sounds great to me.

    2. You have very much put a stamp of yourself into every nook and cranny of your house and property. That can make it harder for another to fit into your life, and find their place, in a place that is already filled. I donโ€™t think it is an impossible to find a person who can fit, but a question might be what does that person have to give up to fit, and is it worth the compromises for both parties, and it can be right to be yourself, by yourself.

      1. It was nicely said, wasn’t it? I was like, well THIS sounds almost verbatim about some of the conversations we’ve had, and you (AND YOUR BEARD) know I don’t disagree with any of that… particularly the last line, which summed it all up nicely. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I just want to reach through the interwebs and hug you tight. Hug you tight for being so awesome, and smart, for dreaming and owning your dreams, for having pet donkeys and feathered nuggets, and a tractor and truck and friendly, helpful neighbors. And then I want to hug you tight for your loss of the bearded man who stole your heart and made you happy then stole your heart again and made you sad. I want to hug you for being true to YOU and this enormous red house that makes me dreamy with envy that I couldn’t be 30 years younger living yours.

  22. Because of Kit’s advice almost two years ago I am about to graduate with my MBA in December and I’m making a huge career move, following my dreams… I followed that dream even though my previous relationship ended as a result. I am still confused sometimes and not happy every day, but I am ME and I know I am right (because being anything else couldn’t possibly be right). Due to graduation I am about to be faced with similar geographic and life and love related decisions so the timing of this post is impeccable. Thank you, Kit. You have helped me make decisions that changed my life with your email and blog I’m really grateful for it.

    1. So much love for this. Keep moving forward! Awesome job on the MBA… if I had even a small part in inspiring your path, I’m humbled by it.

  23. Aw, sorry that y’all weren’t a match. He seemed like a long term contender, but there you go. I dated a lot, and almost married a few amazing men, but didn’t. I finally married the man who made me more ME. Best move I ever made, and it’s only after a few years that I can articulate WHY. You’re doing well, to fully understand what you need the most. Cheers to you and yours.

  24. Aw shit I’m sorry to hear about the end of Beard Guy. But…I’ve always admired you for seeming to know EXACTLY what is right FOR YOU and to jump in with both feet. You tattoo’d a Black Feather ON YOUR ARM. That’s some deep attachment right there. Good for you for doing what is right for you. Sacrifices are hard. But they’re called sacrifices for a reason. if they were easy they’d be called something else.

    Cuddle a Nug. Drink a beer. Watch a sunset. xx

  25. as i read this post i kept remembering the pic in your last post, of you sharing your wine with your Nug, and thinking “she’s doing just fine on her own!”. you have more capacity to find amusement, enjoyment and peace with the things around you than anyone i’ve ever, um, “met” (?).
    you are an awesome human being, and it seems that from all counts, he, too, is an awesome human being, and i know you’ll both cherish the time your lives crossed. but i can’t imagine you without your farm – it is as much a part of you as your kick ass work boots and your black feather tattoo. and at least you’ll always have the “Kiterpillar” to remember the good times you shared ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I didn’t think I could adore you or your blog any more than I already do, but then you go and write something like this! You’re such an inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can completely relate, but sadly I had to go through a marriage and divorce, and a broken-off engagement to figure that out. (Ugh- guess I had to learn the hard way!) But I’m finally moving in the direction of living out my dream and it is so empowering and makes me so happy! My boyfriend/baby-daddy/partner is along for the ride, but I know sometimes he’s pretty skeptical of my whole desire to live in the country and start homesteading. (He is SUCH a city boy.) For now, he humors me. But now that I’ve had a taste of the country life and following my heart and dreams, I know I’m not willing to compromise. Funny how that goes as you get older. I’m sorry your relationship didn’t work out, but I’m glad you’re happy where you are — and I’m sure the right man will walk into your life when you least expect it. And till then, you’re going to have a helluva good time ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I have a necklace that I bought off of Etsy that says “To settle is to die”. It’s kind of harsh but I believe it.

    Everyone deserves to go after their dreams.

    1. That’s awesome though… a good reminder. Everyone does deserve to go after their dreams (including him! I want him to to be happy and have what he wants in life too. Even if it’s different from what I want.)

  28. It’s made me sad when you’ve written about the end of your relationships because you’ve also written about the joy you found in those relationships. The smiles in the pictures really say alot!
    But you don’t sacrifice all of yourself and you keep moving forward, rather than wallowing in the loss (which is easy to do).
    Hear! Hear! For girl power and power tools!
    (BTW – thank you for the excellent recommendation for the Makita drill. LOVE IT!)

    1. I do find a lot of joy in my relationships. I like to think I pick well, when I let someone in my life. And I definitely have had fun with ALL of my ex-dudes. But having fun is easy, and it’s the other stuff that’s never been quite right. Doesn’t make the end of a relationship feel good, but it does make it the right decision.

  29. Wow, Kit, this is a great post. I’ve been trying to write my own version of this post for a while now. I’m definitely stuck in something that, while very good, isn’t really me. Anyway, it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who questions the status quo when it comes to living life the way you’re sure you’re meant to.

      1. What Lou said!

        Would love to hear other perspectives. I very much believe these stories need to be told, because I bet there’s a lot of us that feel this way and just never share it.

  30. I’ve never posted on a blog before–even though I read a handful religiously. But this post really speaks to me as an almostthirty year old woman who is fiercely independent who constantly needs to defend my less-traditional choices to others. You really are an inspiration to me and thank you for sharing…I’m sure it’s not always easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Sorry for the breakup!
    But this was truly one outstanding post (and series of replies).
    You are the badass diying/farm girl I always thought I would grow up to be. It hasn’t happened (yet) but I don’t regret my life.
    And that’s a big part of livin it and it ain’t over yet!!!!!!!

    Blogs may come and blogs may go but you are still at the top of my list for many many reasons.

    Keep up the good life ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I agree with everyone. This is the best post you have ever written. And I’m sorry your Bearded Dude and you have parted ways, but I’m very proud of you for knowing what YOU want and for not giving up the place you love. Happily ever after isn’t real life anyway. It’s only “real” for Barbi dolls and Disney’s Cinderella. If your farm makes you that happy, and I know it does, you already have your happily ever after. You get it from inside yourself. There is no one who will give happily ever after TO you. I haven’t read back to the beginning of all your posts yet but I’ve gone back several years and keep up with all your new ones. Why? Because you are living MY dream! And I wish I had known what that dream was when I was in my 20’s and 30’s so I could have worked to have my dream now, instead of thinking I needed a husband to help me get there and following my boyfriend around and compromising because I didn’t know any better. I’m 59 years old and I know what my dream is – my little white farmhouse in the country – but now it’s not as easy to get. I still have a son in college to think of instead of just me going for my dreams. I worry I will run out of time and live with regrets. So I give you a lot of credit for grabbing what you want, working hard for it, and not giving it up because you know it’s right for you. I’d also like to tell you that you’ve been a huge inspiration to me, as you have to so many others. Even though I’m doing alright on my own, you have given me the confidence to try new things. Even though I’m in my own house that I take care of by myself, I work full-time, I get on my roof and clean my own gutters, I do all my own patching and painting, I’m the only landscaper I have, I love to shovel snow, I can change a flat tire on the highway, I have my own large tool chest, and when my daughter got married this summer I wished Carhartt had a mother-of-the-bride collection. But when I found your blog I realized I could be much more badass! So with inspiration from you, I laid on my back in my driveway and figured out how to fix and reattach my broken bumper. I patched the big hole in my driveway, and I hauled a gob of pea gravel home and started making the path I always thought I’d hire someone to do someday. And there is much more on my list. All by my lonesome without a husband or boyfriend. Knowing I can take care of things myself makes me happy. But I still wish I was more like you and I so admire you. You are wise beyond your years. I completely agree with what Mandi said and Janet Hale, you must be my sister separated at birth. Kit, often in life you don’t find the things that are right for you, they find YOU. Like your farm. So you go girl and live your dreams! You really are awesome.

  33. Great post Lady!
    There is a fine line in compromise and losing yourself to making a relationship work. For me…. the moment I cross that line and start to change, I’m not happy, and in turn not nearly as productive as I’d like (and at that point miserable to be with!) Funny how that works. I have complete faith that if I keep living to my potential, my person will come along, until that happens I will keep on trucking with a happy heart!
    Love reading your blog and seeing the progress on the farm!

  34. I love your posts. This one hits home. Never let anyone come between you and a dream. The truth is, someone who asks you to choose between a dream and them, will always ask you to let go of your dreams. Thanks for being a role model of a strong, independent woman

  35. I have to say, “Wow!” You’ve articulated so well what I’ve tried to explain to both myself and my SO about following my dreams. Sometimes it is about me and not about him, and that’s not always a bad thing although many times others see it as a problem when women aren’t the ones making most of the compromises.

    It’s so inspirational to see others follow the path their dreams take them on, and I thoroughly enjoy your badass charge through life being completely YOU!

    You rock!!!!!

  36. i read every. single. post of yours but i rarely comment.
    ::hugs::
    you did the right thing, as tough as it was and still may be some days. you’ve found your niche, your home, your place that makes you thrive…and no one should expect for you to leave it. <3

  37. I have a crazy amount of respect for women who make their decisions not based on how it will look, or how they thing things SHOULD be done, but because they just go with their gut. Sharing stories like this is one of the best things that can come out of this land of internet we live in. So, thanks for sharing, I’m sorry that even good decisions are hard.

  38. I just wanted to chime in and say how very much I admire you. You know who you are and you live your life for you, which is so important and something that it can take people a lifetime to figure out. You are so awesome.

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out with bearded guy – sometimes two people can both be great and it just doesn’t work out. It sucks when people want different but equally valid things.

    You are really an inspiration on living fearlessly. I wish you would write a book!

  39. Shel Silverstein, man. Nail, head.

    I’m so sorry you had to face that decision, but happy for you that you were able to choose what is right for you. I have much experience with living someone else’s dream, and it’s taken me over a decade to realize that it’s killing me. (I’m married, 11 years, and plan to stay that way. But am slowly untangling myself from only living his life, and now, instead, learning to live both of our lives TOGETHER. Huge difference.)

    Stay true to your goals, your dreams, your beliefs. Flexibility is good, but seriously compromising yourself is not. It hurts everyone involved. I think you see that. I’m glad I finally do, too.

    Best wishes!

  40. Thank you so much for this.
    As a 23 year old woman who just recently bought my first house after a rough break-up, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about whether or not I could actually do this on my own. But it’s your blog that assures me that I can take this somewhat crappy old house and turn it into my home whether someone else is here with me or not. Compromising yourself and your dreams is never worth it and while it’s always terribly sad when relationships end, the person you can be afterwards is always so, so worth it. Your tenacity inspires me and I can only hope that my old house will be half the place that your wonderful farm is becoming. You. Are. Awesome.

  41. “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same”
    I’ve been following your blog for a while and just want to say, you’re totally kick-ass. An amazing, inspirational, strong, hard-working woman- a great example for all of us dreaming for just a little more. Cheers to living your dreams, even if they change here and there… ๐Ÿ™‚

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