The only free range eggs at my supermarket had a week left on their Best Before date. No problem, I think, I'll find a way to eat twelve eggs by then. This will be no problem.
Six egg sandwiches later, I'm thinking about the times you need to adapt to the changing circumstances in your life. Sometimes these changes surprise you (death, redundancies, being sick of egg sandwiches); sometimes you get to plan for them (Best Before dates and corrective surgery). And other times, the only change is you finally realising.
Last month, I interviewed to join a team of groundskeepers maintaining an upmarket campus garden. The interviewers were nice and seemed positive, and I left feeling there was a very real prospect of my getting the job. This made me feel sick. Not fooly sick - I mean the bad kind.
I had that same sick feeling after interviewing at a lovely local garden shop. I didn't get the job. I didn't get the groundskeeper job either. And both times, upon receiving the rejection, I felt relieved. It's weird, isn't it? Most of the time, we fear rejection, but there have been many times in my life where something inside me responds with, Shit, you dodged a bullet there.
I indulged in a few days of introspection. You know the drill. You get on with life, sparing clock cycles out of every task to mull things over in the back of your mind. In the end, I realised there was no denying it. I don't want to work as a gardener. I enjoy my private, casual garden jobs because they're with people I know and trust, and I can plan a schedule that works for everyone.
I also realised I'm enjoying the freelance writing way more than I expected. I thought the business side of it would kill me by now, but it's been fun meeting new people, getting reacquainted with old colleagues, and getting to explore the very broad spectrum of what being a writer entails. The hustle, on my own terms, has made me feel awake.
I feel a lot of pressure to get experience in the garden industry. Maybe it's my impostor syndrome kicking in again: how can I call myself a horticulturist if I'm not employed to act as one? I certainly can't call myself a homesteader until we're on a rural block... or can I? We're eating lemons off our own tree. I ate tomatoes from my own garden. I grew the ridiculous zucchini that taunts me from the fridge. Once again, identity seems to play a huge part in being comfortable with life decisions. I don't want to be a gardener. I'm pretty sure I want to be a homesteader, among other things.
Perhaps the experience I thought I wanted isn't the experience I need. If we do make it out to the sticks, I don't see myself amped about driving around to maintain people's gardens. I want to grow primary produce and create good products with as little evil as possible in the supply chain. Seems obvious now, in saying that, where my focus should be.
Today, I boil two eggs for breakfast. When I get back to my desk, I find the cat has stolen my chair. No problem, I think, I will steal someone else's chair. Life happens. We happen.
And we adapt.