It is interesting to think on how we came to be where we are now.
Two years ago, around this time, one of my friends attempted to take her life. Suddenly everything got too real. I was horrified, guilty- how could I have not realized what she was going through? What kind of friend does not realize such a thing. And perhaps the most haunting question of all: what if she had succeeded?
I brought it up at a doctors appointment and suddenly found myself crying, releasing all of the built up emotion in that tiny room, my legs hanging over the side of the gurney. They gave me a list of therapists to try. I have always had anxiety and depression, especially during the cold months, when I am trapped by the frigid darkness of winter. Thus, this suggestion was welcome by me.
So when I sat on that couch across from a stranger, clutching a box of tissues while watching her scrawl on her clipboard, the relief I felt upon blurting out all of my troubles was immediate. If you have ever tried acupuncture, or yoga, it was that type of sensation. When I walked out, I was able to stand a little taller, smile a little fuller. I would tell her my dreams of farming, how I was so frustrated that I couldn’t live this dream in my head, and one day she tilted her head and queried:
What about raising chickens?
My skeptical reaction quickly transformed into cautious excitement. She mentioned it to my mother, who was obliging out of politeness, but quickly assured me that no more animals would be joining our household. I nodded, and when we arrived home I ran to my room, pulled out my farming books, and began my research. A few months later I was ready. I had read two or three reference books, countless articles, blog posts, forums. I had compiled this into one presentation explaining every aspect of my plan- from what to tell the neighbors, to the cost of feed, to a full list of poultry veterinarians within thirty miles. Every night I would ask my parents for a half hour of their time, and every night they gave me an excuse. I was indescribably frustrated but persevered and eventually caught them sitting on the couch and planted myself beside them, my presentation at the ready.
I went through the slides slowly, answering any questions they had with confidence. By the end of it they seemed bewildered that they were actually starting to consider the idea. When I reached the last slide, I gave my closing statement and scurried up the stairs, straining to here what they were saying from my bedroom.
It took a week. I had just finished brushing my teeth, walked into the TV room to say goodnight to them, and my mother looked at me and said
“Dad ordered your heat lamp”
“My what??” I asked, not believing my ears, and then in a joyful, life changing moment I hugged them both and began babbling excitedly about how they wouldn’t regret it and thank you so much. My mother reiterated her displeasure at the idea, but grudgingly said that her and dad had agreed to buy a few chicks for me.
A month later I was holding them in the palms of my hands, the start of a glorious journey that began with what could have been an awful tragedy.
Here I sit, raising chickens and blogging for one and a half years. My friend: back to health and enjoying life. Just yesterday I drove on the road for the first time. It’s amazing, where we are now.