2012 has been a year of change for us at Red Gate Farm. We have started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) business. It's been so much fun but tons of hard work. I go to bed each night totally exhausted, but would not trade it for anything!
This transition for me has been a scary one. I spent most of 2011 working with a mentor weekly and then with a career coach. Hoping that one of them would be able to magically come up with the perfect career for me. The longer I spent in these coaching/mentoring sessions, the more I began to allow Red Gate Gal to emerge. I remember my career coach saying that it's like I was two different people. This was all too comical for me as I've always joked that I felt like Sally Fields in Sybil. A light bulb went off for me during this session. I was tired of trying to be both, so I chose to embrace my authentic self the farm girl vs. this corporate manager I'd been for 18 years.
I've never really been a risk taker, so making the decision to leave my corporate job to become a farmer was very out of character for me. I've joked that I've traded my business suits for cowboy boots! As the big 40 approaches, I'm told that around this age is when many women begin searching for something different. Maybe we are no longer able to ignore our authentic voice that becomes louder as we age.
I was introduced to a book in my early twenties called Simple Abundance. In this book Sarah VanBreathnach talks about nurturing your authentic self to be experience simplicity. Although I fell in love with the book, I could not fully appreciate it's meaning until later in my life.
Too many times we attempt to meet the approval of others. We strive to maintain an image that we feel others expect of us. We try to be everything to everyone and we put a muzzle on that inner voice that is growling and barking to be heard. Over time, trying to silence that voice becomes tiring. Dreams from our youth were placed on a shelf a long time ago. We come upon those dreams from time to time like an old picture. We dust them off, think about what could have been only to put them back up again. Other times, our dreams change as we grow and mature. We second guess ourselves and question if we deserve to be selfish to pursue our desires. The risk is harder to take as we become older and wiser (??).
I've learned alot during this transition. I have been amazed at the number of people who seem to be encouraged by this new venture we've taken. I've also been surprised at the number of people who have dreams that were never realized and have found encouragement through our decision. Just this past week while attending a women's networking group, one of the members told me that she loved watching the transition I was making. She made the statement that I am absolutely "glowing" now. This is not the first time I've heard this as I've been embracing my authentic voice. I see the same person in the mirror, but others are seeing something different.
I guess I want to leave with you today, that it's never too late. In the last few years, I've tried lots of new things. I've tackled fears of riding horses and herding cattle (several childhood traumas...LOL). I've been fly fishing and finally took cake decorating lessons. I've gone back to college, AGAIN...but I'll keep plugging away at my degree. We have just graduated from the Master Gardener course, something I've wanted to do for years. I'm getting pretty good at driving our tractor and wrestling goats. I've confronted some childhood hurts and accepted that I'm not perfect. I've learned to really love who I see in the mirror. And most of all...I have a wonderful husband. He has been so supportive during this time. He's allowed me to change and to find the simplicity and authenticity I've searched for.
It's never too late. Go on a treasure hunt and pull down one of your dreams off that dusty shelf. But...I warn you....you may never be the same. "Success is a journey, not a destination"-Arthur Ashe