So, I’ve had this little conundrum for a couple years now: I want to own a home, someplace to call my own that facilitates my lifestyle and I can build it to suit my needs, but I don’t know where it is I want to live or what it is I’m doing with the remainder of my days. So, I rent. I give money to someone that owns land and structures (probably a bunch of them), and they use that money as income and live off of my indecision to settle down somewhere. I don’t want a home as a financial investment. My home is for living, not for selling. I couldn’t care less about the marketability of some off grid Earthen home I build for the Mrs and I. Forget real estate values, homes are for living.
All the homes I’ve wanted to build, and there are a few….hundred, require a heavy investment into the local area. As in, to build an Earthen home or cob, strawbale, timber frame, cordwood, Earth Bag, Compressed Earth Brick, etc., requires a lot of time and effort. I figure I better be really comfortable in the corner of the world chosen before taking such drastic steps as “digging in”. Not to say I wasn’t pretty close to doing just that on a few occasions. We wanted land. Like a fair chunk of land: 10 to 30 acres and we were going to pay cash. It had to be in some county where we wouldn’t be too bothered about building codes and what not. Someplace out of the way. No utilities available? Great! Don’t need ’em or want ’em.
Well, plans change.
I still love the idea of building the Earthen home, but my realizing that there’s a whole lot of the world I haven’t seen yet, it’s simply out of the question now. I know what would’ve happened. We would’ve bought our land, built a small home as funds would allow for it and slowly add on to it with weird and wild additions, trying all sorts of construction techniques, until it had grown with us so long we couldn’t leave it. Also, I’m concerned that without pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, I’ll just live in the woods and grow ever more cynical and jaded about a society I’ve largely cut ties to. Then there’s the cats. Many cats. A cat haven. A cat kingdom. Living with cats make traveling difficult. Homesteads are for staying put. I can’t have that.
So, here I am. Working 50+ hours a week driving around a truck making someone else a lot of money. It’s not particularly satisfying, but it’s a job skill that travels well. I’m highly opinionated, pissed off at the society I was born into, scared of the what the future holds, and uncertain as to what to do about it. I, like many others feel disconnected, without a sense of community, vulnerable to the institutionalized violence that purveys neoliberal capitalism. I desire the comfort in knowing what I do has purpose, not necessarily for others, but for me alone. For people I know, I seem to have an unusual ethical code based in the Marxist tradition and opinions on world events heavily influenced by people’s struggles and not history as dictated by dominant institutions past and present. I wish to take part in these struggles, but feel socially and emotionally stunted due partly to a lack of personal expression through the passions for which I know have talent for.
I should conduct my life as a gardener grows a bountiful, healthy garden; by pulling out the weeds of unnecessary negative influences so that I can better nurture the beautiful, productive yet vulnerable fruits until they have grown so robust and vigorous so as to shade out those influences that keep me from fulfilling my potential as a human being.
A lousy and naive metaphor for a comprehensive collection of personal insecurities.