A New Adventure

I wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. There were a few other more attainable career goals I had which changed as I pursued them. For instance, I began college as a pre-pharmacy major. Then I took zoology and realized I could not handle dissections. Then I took college chemistry and realized I didn’t really like it. Well, I didn’t like learning the theory at the time. Of course, getting a concussion the first full week of my first fall semester didn’t help with anything. So, I fell back to my previous desire to be a programmer and changed my major to Computer Science. Assembly language and discrete math happened, so I switched majors again to Industrial Technology concentrating in manufacturing. After graduation, I joined the Air Force and built a career in another IT – Information Technology. After getting my master’s in IT, I decided that when I thought I wanted to be a programmer, I really just wanted to play games.

A few years ago I decided I was going to change career fields. I got an associates in Human Services and absolutely LOVED it. But I kept doing IT. And then I got back into debt and felt stuck. But after 28 years I took a leap and sold my house to move back to my childhood home and start all over.

Where the house was. Now overgrown with kudzu at its summer peak.

The plan was to get the kids in a rental house or apartment and get a job to pay bills while building a woodworking business and turning my 40 acres into a self-sustaining farm. But things haven’t gone according to the plan.

It took me 2 months to find a job making less than half what I was making. I at least like this job much better. It took my youngest 4 months to find a job. So by that point all the savings was gone, all the money from selling the house was gone, and the credit cards were maxed out again. I got most of the material bought for building a woodworking shed, but circumstances happened so that my cousin wasn’t able to work on it with me – one of those being the ridiculous heat.

This whole adventure has been unbelievably hard and humbling. I don’t want to have to rely on anyone for help, but while I have a job, I don’t make enough to cover the debt and expenses even while living off grid. So I’ve had to ask for money, for supplies, and for food. I think about getting a second job and then remember that’s what the business is supposed to be. Now that it’s getting cold, I have to get more hardened shelters up for us and can’t work on a temporary shop. One of my cousins brought over his camper the other night before the rain hit so we wouldn’t freeze. That was an absolute Godsend.

I’ve had quite a bit of help from family and friends. All I have to do is ask. But that is the really hard part. Because running alongside my need for help is the narrative my dad gave me as I was growing up in which I can hear him saying, “See, I told you that you are stupid and irresponsible.” What I actually am is ADHD with a TON of trauma and probably some autism. (Comorbidity is a bitch for sorting out why you are the way you are and do the things you do.) When you’ve been given an identity by a primary caregiver since birth, it is deeply embedded and takes a lot more than positivity and self-talk to overcome. Heck, it’s taken a ton of 12 Step work and therapy just to identify. The thing is, when you’ve heard it from a parent, you are going to automatically assume everyone else thinks the same thing – “You’re stupid and irresponsible.” – and when you are raised in a culture of Social Darwinists, you believe you deserve all the bad/negative consequences of your bad choices because “You made your bed, now lie in it.” So, I keep my fears and pain to myself, and try to dig out by myself, but the hole just keeps getting deeper, and the shame piles on higher making it even harder to dig.

I’ll never be the rock star I wanted to be growing up, and that’s fine. I’m doing IT work in a factory so I’m finally working in my undergraduate field. I chuckle about it, but I think my undergrad advisor was on to something when he advised me to concentrate in manufacturing. I like to make stuff and build stuff and I feel almost at home as I walk through the plant to work on an issue. That’s why I’m still going to work toward my other dream of woodworking. I’m still going to work toward a dream of a self-sufficient farm – a farm that pays for itself so that I am less reliant on store-bought food. It’s frustrating that it’s going to take much longer than I thought and with a lot more outside help to get going.

I didn’t set out to share quite as much as I did in this first post in months, but the words were ready to flow so I let them. Perhaps that vulnerability will help me social media beg for supplies and money later. Haha! (Laughing like I’m not serious.)

If you made it through that mess, thanks for stopping by and reading. I’ll add links somewhere at some point for help with expenses and necessities. Peace to you!

6 Responses to 'A New Adventure'

  1. Gina says:

    Martha, you are a remarkable and amazing woman! I give you mad props for doing what you’re doing! I’m sure it’s very hard at times, but you gotta dig deep and press on to complete the mission! Wouldn’t it be neat if we all from DS would come help? Anyway, keep on keeping on! It’s great watching your accomplishments!

  2. I wanted to read this post when you first mentioned it on Facecrook. But We’ve been so busy with work that I completely forgot about it.
    I haven’t even been blogging myself a whole lot lately because I’m just too darn pooped by the time we get home from work to even go online.

    I didn’t realize how hard of a time you have been having. I dreamt we won the lotto and sent you a huge donation the other night. Hopefully, the karma from that will sum up to something real.

    You should build a hoop house for your gardening. It’s not all that expensive. Just some PVC pipe and UV-resistant plastic.

    It’s been dropping below -0 ‘C here and we’re still picking Tomatoes, carrots, peppers and lettuce. Right now it’s only 2’C outside and the greenhouse is at 12’C on an overcast day. When the sun comes out it reaches 30’C easily.

    I wish we didn’t have our own debts to pay I’d send you some $$. Maybe we’ll win that lottery, lol.

    Take care. Keep your chin up and know you’re an awesome person. Respect for what you’re doing.

    • DragonLady says:

      Well, I didn’t mean to let this sit for over a month without replying. Thank you so much for the encouragement. 🙂

      I actually plan to build a hoop house. Of course, it’s currently low on the priority list until I get Jamie’s and my winter quarters finished. It will be perfect until I can reclaim the old garden from the trees that have overgrown it.

  3. Danny Poole says:

    Wow. I’ve got to check on you more often! Woodworking now. So, what do you need? Table saw? Miter saw? Where is this paradise?

    • DragonLady says:

      Whenever I have the time and space, I’m going to make a miter saw from one of my circular saws. I have a table saw. I could use a planer. And a saw mill. Lol. I’m on the family “farm” back in Arkansas. It hasn’t been a farm since Grandma Bishop died in 1956, but it’s where I lived for most of my pre-AF life.

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