So, you get your college degree, or drop out, or some amalgamation of both/neither, then ask yourself, what the heck does a hippie do now?
I completed three out of four years of peace building and writing degrees, basically a program of study as nebulously social science-y as I could find, and have had the tremendous good fortune to find myself living with my best friends on two acres of land in quasi-rural Appalachia.
Our dream is to work our way to living entirely off-grid, and fill our bellies with perma-culturally raised farm food. That’s the short version at least.
Every one of our quintet of weirdies holds a job (or jobs) in town, and three are still pursuing higher education.
The going is slow and steady. Money is a consistent struggle eased by innovation and hard-effing work. We’ve lived on “The Project” as we affectionately nick-named our farmette, for close to three months now, and have ducks, a sizeable fall garden, and apple trees to boast of.
Many small, important, and relatively boring tinier accomplishments have filled the time as we acquaint ourselves with our new home.
Life is full of paradoxes in every stripe. None of us would be here without one another, and our level of comfortability and familiarity sometimes borders on the absurd. Speaking as an introvert- relationships take work too.
This week, we finally have all our autumn seeds (shoutout to Southern Exposure Seed Exchange) in the dirt bed created entirely by hand. We’ve scavenged more fruit and veggies than we could keep from local dumpsters. All of our animals are happy and healthy, as far as I can tell.
We also went to Walmart three consecutive nights, and I may have danced around the living room in celebration of buy-one-get-one free coupons for Chipotle. We can’t do our thing without the care and work of every housemember, and our sanity would be exponentially further jeopardized without the friends, travelers, parents and couch surfers that grace our homestead weekly.
If you wanna get fit, ride your (ulp, sorry xxxxxx) roommate’s bike to work. Wanna get tan and strong? Dig a garden. Want to feel loved? Move in with a bunch of hippies. Want peace? Take a walk facing the mountains. Want courage? Play your handwritten song around a fire for a group. Want thrills? Brave raiding a well-lit dumpster.
We don’t ever have full wallets, haven’t figured out how to dismantle, or even live without the capitalist, oppressive, meta-machinistic dominant culture, and sometimes spend more money on cigarettes than seedlings.
And I have never felt so optimistic and free.