So here I am with quite a few dreams, ideas, and a wish to do something, but I am surrounded by people not interested in the same things as me, with a very different lifestyle and usually not into permaculture (unless it would be about growing that weed you can smoke, then some would be interested I think). I am not a musician, but somehow I am surrounded by musicians... Not sure why, anyway, most of them here are totally absorbed by their hobby and music, some even build music instruments. But you can't eat music, be sheltered by music and so on.... I really value music and musicians, it's not that, it's just that it has taken over their lives, and they are absolutely not interested in lowering themselves to work the earth, the land, care for plants/animals or even build homes/sheds etc...
I am personally very tired of everything connected to music, I have been reading a lot about permaculture, but somehow I am stuck in a bubble here.
I also have a very different type of lifestyle then those people: I dont smoke at all, I drink very occasionally, and eat much more home cooked food, read a lot... I am seen as a bit of a nerd maybe, boring and slow, because I am not a musician.. We are going different ways, and it get more obvious everyday. I do not wish to have breakfast with people around me smoking in my face, and not even asking for permission if they can smoke, and coughing loudly because of their unhealthy habit.
How to change my place and situation? I feel stuck here, but wish to buy land and have a ton of ideas ! But I cannot do this completely alone. So, what you do?
What part of the country are you in? Depending on where you are, it shouldn't be too hard to find some people of similar interests.
I know the feeling you have since I too have "out grown" a lot of my friends who are more interested in maintaining a certain lifestyle than doing anything... dare I say "productive?" Not an easy shift, because making new adult friends is always awkward. But I've found that if you just embrace the awkwardness and be open with your intentions then it tends to work out.
Funny lately that I've taken some offense to being called a hippy, because I work too hard for that! But since nobody knows what a permie is, hippy is where I get lumped into. I'll tell you who I took a lot of inspiration from and that's yogis. I went to a training for 3 weeks on a working yoga ashram and it was amazing to see how productive these folks could be running a summer camp/farm/training center, all while being highly spiritual and many musically inclined.
Best of luck to you! I'm sure you'll find a more compatible tribe even just a couple new friends and connections at a time.
As I do not know what your interests are other than maybe gardening (using gardening as an example) if I were in your position I would spend my spare time walking around garden centers, nurseries, parks or botanical gardens, etc.
Take some classes on the things that interest you. This is one of the best ways to meet people who are of a similar mindset.
Volunteering is another great way to be around people that interest you.
Does your local area offer a community garden? Sign up even if there is a waiting list. Ask if there a volunteer positions,
Maybe you are interested in recycling, do they do that in your area? Ask if there are some volunteer positions, etc.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Hi there. Sounds like you are ready to move on. Don't blame you about the smoking while eating. That would drive me crazy. It is important that you follow your path that makes you happy and healthy. My hubby and I are ready to move on also, but have to wait a bit. We can relate. :)
Maybe take a Master Gardener course. Over the years I've wanted to do that but my career, then small business and family obligations always got in the way. Finally a few years ago in a new place, at loose ends at age 60 I enrolled. It was pretty much all review by then but I was among "my people". There were mostly middle age and senior folk there (similar to myself, people who finally had the time/opportunity to do it) but about a quarter of the class were young people both male and female looking to start lives or careers with the knowledge gained and the certification of Master Gardener. There were all levels of knowledge and experience in that class from newbies with interest to very advanced gardeners. Even though I had already learned most of what was being taught it was well worth the money and time spent.
You describe yourself as I would have described myself in my mid/late 20s. Bored and disenchanted with rootless and often self destructive people, I was more nerdish and interested in establishing something solid and positive in my life. It took a while to connect with my husband (early 30s) who is also nerdy and into all things mechanical but I had already started my real life by then. I'd suggest that you've already established enough reasons to move on and start your life but fear and habit hold you in the rut.
If you can't take a class, maybe there are local meet-ups or gardening groups, also maybe work a season or intern on a local organic farm or orchard. Habitat for Humanity is always looking for help building their donation homes. There are tons of local opportunities here in my area such as groups removing invasive plants, cleaning streams, tree planting, non-profit historical farms or gardens looking for help. As we've rebuilt our lives in a new place I'm too busy to take advantage of most of them now but they are there. Like a concert they are often advertised briefly in local papers and all it takes is going and participating. I think you'll find this crowd more to your taste as most of these folks tend to be self directed, health conscious, non-smokers (or at the very least polite about it) and are not aimless partiers.
I think you need to say both 'yes' and 'no' to certain things and people :)
The yes - it's often more embarassing than we believe it to be. Many people feel ashamed of saying that they'd prefer to grow tomatoes along with the elderly, instead of going to fancy parties. Whatever you say yes to, people will put labels on you, some of them unwanted. Stay strong and hold your ground.
The no - seems obvious but again, can be difficult, especially when you still love the people you'll say 'no' to. All those smoking musicians may be dear to you, and they will continue to be after you tell them that you're not into their lifestyle. You can still find some common ground and care for each other.
Now, do the "people care" (referring to permaculture ethics) and build your community like you'd grow a garden. Start with what you have (maybe with a bare ground of no useful friends right now...) and grow a community of whoever you need - doesn't have to be huge (like a permaculture garden often isn't), will probably be a little different than you imagined in the beginning, but you should harvest some fruits eventually!
All great suggestions given here for sure. You are certainly not alone, just not in a fair distance to others maybe that support your lifestyle. I certainly understand. My husband would like 3 acres of just grass. The worthless crap that I have to spend time and energy and money to just mow. Money on the gas (and gas to get the gas), money, stress, and frustration on the lawn mowers that keep breaking. I get eye rolls and told my compost pile is trashy. The “weeds” that I value for what they offer such as Solidago canadensis (pollinators), Glechoma hederacea (edible, medicinal), Mentha Aquatica (edible), Trifolium (edible, medicinal), Iris pseudacorus (wildlife habitat), Verbascum (medicinal), and many more all get mowed over. Neighbors burning plastic and tires frequently sending plumes of black toxic smoke in the air that I breathe. It is certainly frustrating to not feel we are surrounded by community or working along side people with equal values, ideas, and goals. Frustrating to be surrounded by people who actively work against the ecosystem and environment, let alone want no conversation about permaculture or sustainability. As others have suggested, seek out your community by visiting other spaces or volunteering, or starting your own community garden or seed/plant swap, or something similar. Perhaps moving is possible. Maybe an eco village is in your future. For me, I will continue to look for solutions to make my vision bloom. Gardening in containers surrounding by temporary fencing. When the grass gets tall because the mower is broke yet again, that is just that much more green and brown that will be added to my compost pile. Moving all the “weeds” I want to promote to a safe area or containers. Continuing to partake in spaces such as this certainly helps to feel not so isolated in the goal.
All the very best and let us know your progress,
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. —Albert Einstein
"The Longest Journey Begins with a Single Step"
Sounds almost overwhelming. But that kind of frustration has some good at its core--a little anger helps us get busy, its good motivation. Im not wise but here are some ideas:
(1) Transportation is important. Got a car? A light truck is better, or a van if you can drive one, 8 cilynders is best it means you can haul a tiny camper/home and that gives you freedom. I recommend something like an 8 cillinder Ford F-150 pulling a tiny camper home. If you cant find a camper home get a toy hauler (little trailer) and outfit it yourself. Achieve the "ability" to leave anytime you want and explore: By the way some people live out of their van, there are all sorts of rehab videos out there. Be like the snail that carries its home on its back.
(2) Skill Development makes others want YOU: Woofing/experimenting/house sitting/community gardens other permie projects happening all over: There are opportunities out there to experience rural p-culture based life, the idea is to exchange labor for knowledge. Its an eye opener and not always easy. Unless you are anti-meat I strongly urge you to get practice w chickens and rabbits and growing your own food. The ability to grow plants from cuttings is a pretty good skill too. Lots of tutorials on that all over the place.
(3 )The longest journey begins with a single step: Feeling bummed out by the musicians and their culture? Go to the store and get some ugly potatos that are beginning to sprout. Cut them up in four pieces each and dry them. Plant them, anywhere. Plant them even somewhere you dont own, in a ditch, an obcsure place, a vacant lot. They will probably grow. Start your connection with nature. It may be symbolic but it is symbolic of your self-evolution.
(4) Try looking on Zillow and Craigslist for a little snip of land someplace that you might call home. Strange little unwanted pieces of land that might be just right for you for you to begin your new life on. You can do Permaculture on a 1/4 acre properly placed.
(5) Cultures that fish generally have more food security. Make sure your little piece of heaven is near a river with good fishing.
(6) Bicycles: If you are able, get a good basic bike and learn to fix and maintain it as a backup to the truck. It can be a life-saver.
(7) Acquire some hand tools at yard sales and swap meets. Go for rusty an cheap, orphan tools, and clean them up with some flat coca cola as solvent and a wad of aluminum foil. Or white vinegar works for that too. A good box of tools is a lifesaver. I've found great tools put out at the curb, rusty and unwanted.
(8) In some parts, there are so many trees that homeowners advertise free firewood for the hauling. That can also be the nucleus of a stackwood or cordwood house....just a thought...
(9) Develop community on boards like this. Start taking pics off your digital device and document it for others, you may find some interest if you are able to tell your story visually.
Some ideas, not all will work, hope something hits the spot...best with your journey.
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