Has your life turned out similar to or completely different from what you imagined in your younger years?
Mine has been one big question mark. After High School, I earned an Associate degree in fashion with dreams of creative work, runways, global travels and wealth. Instead, I spent my 20’s and early 30’s depressed, in debt and unable to hold a job. During those years I worked in various occupations and co-owned a somewhat successful retail/wholesale business with my mom, but never felt successful.
Recently I was hired for a 9-5 job that I didn’t like, that paid just a little more than minimum wage and made me feel sick every day, The fact that money doesn’t buy happiness, even with weekends and holidays off to follow my passions, really sunk in. I decided that something had to change…as I’ve said so often in the past 7 years! I felt like there were only two viable choices, spend an unknown amount of time searching for another job, feeling quite despondent, or plan an adventure. With only debt and comfort holding me in place, the decision was simple, yet frightening. Seek and discover my passion, but give up the security of a paycheck and friends nearby? How will I pay my debts? How will I have money for food? What if something happens?
So many doubts went through my mind until one moment at work. I was scaring myself out of the idea when one of those Aha! moments hit. –I have no faith in my ability to take care of myself as an artist and writer. Basically, I do not trust myself.– Right then I knew that this was a chance I had to take.
I chose to participate in work trades through Workaway.info. What is a work trade? Basically in exchange for 25-30 hours of work per week, I receive a place to live and food for a specific set of time. Through Workaway, you can work anywhere in the world for a variety of people, businesses or organizations for varying periods of time. There is no pay involved, and transportation and expenses to and from the work trade are all on you. This is a big financial decision for someone at my income level.
After research and phone interviews I was able to find a series of four different work trades, each lasting two weeks. I will be homesteading, gardening, making sea salt, and helping at a bed and breakfast. This month I am in New Mexico and in October I will be in Massachusetts. The reason I decided to jump to the other side of the country is so I can celebrate Halloween in Salem with a dear friend, who has been inviting me there for years. My plan is to do work trades for about one year, but I am staying open to possibilities.
My first workaway is in the beautiful mountains of San Fidel, New Mexico at the Ann Wigmore Raw Food Retreat Center, as seen in the photo below. So far, I have been helping to clear brush and rocks and learning how to grow wheatgrass. It’s only been two days, but my body feels wonderful eating a mostly raw food diet. I love working outside and living at the base of a mountain. The scenery is beautiful, the air is clean and it’s quiet!
What happens next? I don’t really know, but you can follow my journey by subscribing to updates in the upper right corner.
If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.