Who and What

My name is Hailey and my grandfather is a farmer. I'm the 7th generation to live on the family farm, and my babies (when the time comes) are going to be the 8th. My husband and I are even renovating a trailer on my grandparent's farm so we can move back to the family farm sooner. This blog encompasses the things that are important to me. These things are:

~Special Education
~ADHD, including my own battle with it over the years. It's now my superpower.
~Farm Life
~Equal rights for women.
~Goal setting
~Fitness and health
~Financial Stability
~Personal Happiness

Friday, January 30, 2015

Forget Being a Princess, I Want to Be a Farmer

Above is one of my favorite pictures from when I was little. A few things catch my attention. My hair is simply cut, I am on a green tractor, there is definitely mud in the vicinity, and those cows were not ones found at a petting zoo, but on my great-grandfather's farm. There is also an obvious joy in my eyes.

Fast forward about 20 years, and I am typing no more than 200 yards from that spot. I am sitting in the trailer my parents brought me home from the hospital to. The furniture is made from heavy duty wood that is scarred from many years of love. Two twin sized fitted sheets cover the circa 1970 couch cushions. From the living room windows I can see my grandparent's house (a mere 10 feet away) on one side, and my grandfather's garden on the other. This is home, and this is where I truly fit and am most myself.

The last six years have not been easy. I spent four years at Virginia Tech, which were certainly valuable, but perhaps not what I had hoped them to be. I failed to complete one of the two majors I set out to, which is something that I regret, but was a necessary sacrifice at the time. I then spent two years getting my M.Ed. in Special Education and working at a school for students with significant behavioral issues.

Somewhere in this mess and mayhem, I think I lost myself. I stopped doing many of the things that made me who I was. I stopped riding almost entirely. I told myself I didn't have time to read for pleasure, and while I did still pick up a book, it lacked the enthusiasm I had for it in high school. My personal care in terms of nutrition and fitness has been erratic at best. Perhaps worst of all, I stopped doing volunteer work. My focus has been lacking to say the least.

Six months ago, Brad and I finished renovating my grandparent's old trailer and moved back onto family land. We got our first dog, Sage, in October, and Kona came by surprise a month later. I started making friends and socializing again when I started working at BES, a small school in a rural community. Slowly but surely, I have started to feel more like myself. Blogging has definitely helped. However, I still feel as if I had a long way to go. I have set many small and medium goals for 2015, but the biggest one is simply to rediscover myself, love myself and reclaim a sense of purpose in my life.

In the last three weeks I have read, eaten well, exercised daily, and allowed my imagination to flow in a way I had forgotten it could. In that short time, the noise in my head has cleared to reveal a much clearer picture of what I want in my life.

Every nice day we have, I walk one or both of the dogs around the hayfield adjacent to our home. It is enormous, sloping, and makes a good long trek for  two very high energy breeds. At the highest point, I can see most of my parent's and grandparents land. The majority of it has been largely untouched by any farming other than baling hay or grazing cattle or horses for the last 40 years. Within it I see possibility for three of my favorite things: family, farming and food.

While the details are still hazy, I think I'm finally figuring it out. I want to farm this land, raise my family on it, and use it to teach the world. The very thought fills me with a joy like no other.

If you search for the typical photos of me as a little girl dressed as a princess, you will find them. But they are not nearly as numerous as the ones of me in overalls and surrounded by some form of livestock. Maybe that tiny little girl has something to teach me. I think she knew what I should be when I grow up: a farmer doing good things with family land.

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