Being back in New Hampshire this week, I feel like I’ve become a bit soft living in the suburbs of Denver. I’ve always been proud of being a strong, independent woman who was raised to be self-sufficient. I’m my father’s daughter, who can’t sit still and can do most things for myself (sometimes with a quick call to dad to make sure I’m on the right track).
When I first moved into my home in Broomfield, CO, I bought all of the necessary tools and equipment to run my household with little assistance from anyone else. I painted two rooms (including a horrible popcorn ceiling) by myself. I did minor maintenance/upgrades around the house, and maintained my own yard for the first few years. Then I got busy, the typical household chores and yard maintenance lost their novelty, and I outsourced those activities for the most part. Somewhere along the way, it became easier to call someone rather than spend the extra time doing things myself.
As my dad was plowing the driveway at the house I grew up in earlier this week, I realized that if I truly want to make my dream of owning and operating a yoga retreat in the mountains a reality, I have to get back to my roots. I need to toughen up and re-learn how to be self-sufficient. I was on snowshoes breaking trail through over a foot of snow behind my parents’ house yesterday thinking about that independent little girl I once was…not afraid of anything, confident in my ability to take care of myself. There is a picture of me as a child, I couldn’t have been older than 3 at the time, walking well behind the rest of the family, strutting my stuff without a care in the world. As I mentioned, I’m my father’s daughter. Always tagging along behind him as a kid, barefoot because he was, not worrying about the occasional pain from a sharp rock as I walked around outside. I climbed trees, rode snowmobiles and three-wheelers (yes, I grew up in a time before these ATVs were deemed too dangerous), built forts and spent a lot of time in the woods.
While I didn’t take my father up on learning how to change my own oil, I did take part in sanding my first car, a Ford Escort, so dad could paint it for me. I drove a stick shift, subscribed to Car and Driver in high school and could tell you all about the latest vehicles. I was a true blue NH girl. My first couple of jobs outside of high school that I worked to pay my college tuition involved packing sandpaper until my fingertips were rubbed raw, and using a torch to burn the flash off of plastic parts that were dropped from huge, injection molding machines. Jobs that my fellow coworkers were surprised a skinny, young girl could do as well as I did them.
I’m not sure if it was getting an office job, or moving to a more urban place with a milder environment that started the shift, but something changed. Over the years I’ve lost a bit of my edge, my toughness. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always been a softy when it comes to the emotional side of things. I don’t have quite the same stoic attitude of many New Englanders, but I did have a certain physical toughness that supported my do-it-yourself attitude. My belief that I could do anything gave me the courage to pack up and move 2,000 miles west, where I didn’t know a soul, and start a new life in Colorado when I realized that I was no longer happy with my life in NH.
As I trudged through the snow yesterday, I realized that I miss that girl who has been lying dormant inside me for the past several years. The person who would rather roll up her sleeves and figure out how to fix or build something than call in someone else to help. It’s time to prepare myself for the coveted “simple” life on 10 +/- acres of land in the mountains of Colorado where I will share my love of yoga, the great outdoors, and whole food on my quest to reverse the trend towards dependency on corporations to feed us, and the resulting chronic disease and environmental disaster that comes with that dependency. To be successful, I need to cultivate that inner fire and independence – the New Hampshire girl who can roll with the punches and remain standing on my own two feet throughout whatever life has to throw at me.