Friday, February 26, 2016

Home Wasn't Built in a Day

It's well-documented that I'm bad at taking pictures.  Thank goodness Cody is good at it!
It's been a little more than a week now since Cody and I settled into Forks.  So far, so good.  The lifestyle here fits in really well with the types of changes I was hoping to make when I left Boston, and it's totally beautiful out here.  Although we haven't been here long, Forks is already starting to feel like home.

I took this picture on my second day here while exploring town.
In Boston, I started to feel like I was having the same day over and over again.  A lifetime spent in New England meant that there wasn't really more much for me to see, and spending a decade in the same city with the same career wasn't helping.  I was spending two hours a day in traffic, eight hours a day in an office, and more time than I care to count wasting time on Facebook getting frustrated at the world around me.

At some point, I felt like I needed to take accountability for my position.  When I look at some of the major decisions I've made that I've made that have had a significant positive impact on my life, they've all come with a degree of forcing myself out of my comfort zone:
  • moving to Boston
  • transitioning from male to female
  • leaving bad jobs
  • going to concerts for a year alone and forcing myself to meet new friends
  • forcing myself to date despite never having been in a relationship well into my 30s
The common thread in those decisions was that in each case, I needed to admit myself that complacency wasn't good enough.  Only then was I able to take the relevant steps to start improving things.

I left Boston and somehow managed to move even closer to the ocean.
If I were to name the major difference that I've seen between life in Boston and life in Forks so far, it would be something like this:  there are more things to spend money on in Boston, and there are more things to do for free in Forks.  There aren't nearly as many stores or bars or restaurants or places to catch live music, but what we do have is a lot of relatively untouched nature that's like nothing I've ever seen in New England.

Remember "Where's Waldo"?  See if you can find Cody.
I still haven't gotten over the fact that we live in an actual rainforest.
Most of our leisure time has been spent on various creative projects.  We bought machetes on the second day we lived here and immediately started carving out a path from our front yard into the woods.  We've been taking some of the loose wood and drying it out for various purposes, from firewood to art supplies to primitive forms of furniture.  I've been collecting some of the more interesting types of moss out here - I find it interesting both aesthetically and because I've never seen anything like it.

The woods combine everything I like about nature with everything I like about thrift stores.
I have to admit it, though.  As we move past the "settling in" phase, I'm now faced with trying to figure out what I want my life out here to be.  My goal out here - something that I will go into in more detail in a future post - is specifically to find a way to:
  • bring in enough money to support myself 
  • in a way that is fulfilling (ie, both interesting and useful), while
  • eschewing a job in favor of control of what I do with my time.
And it's scary.  I went from having a large number of distractions in life back in Boston to having almost none out here.  So now, I really don't have an excuse - I'm still on the same "taking accountability for my life" kick that I was on when I left.  I'm far from knowing exactly what I'm doing just yet.

Sometimes we just need to stop and take it all in.
That's fine.  I've never known exactly what I'm doing.  But I feel reasonably confident that I'm in the right place to try and figure it all out.