There’s a scene in Under the Tuscan Sun where Frances Mayes, in a moment of despair, laments having bought a house for a life she wants, but doesn’t see on her horizon. Her Italian friend/realtor consoles her by telling her an anecdote about a railway over the Alps that was built before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. Eventually, of course, her ideal life situation comes to fruition in ways she didn’t realize or expect and they all lived happily ever after. The end.
Right now, I am in despair as I think about the seedlings I started, so sure that we had finally found THE plan, and not knowing whether, in about a month, they will go into the ground at my parents’ place, go into containers to be transported to our new home if land suddenly materializes and the stars align, or die as a result of our indecision and displacement. Crippling though indecision and displacement may be, I don’t think they will actually kill us or thwart our plans to grow into self-sustaining farmers. But they do make it very difficult to maintain ourselves and our plants, as we both require consistent care, feeding, and a stable environment to thrive. And although I willingly agreed to leave the relative stability of our former home in search of a life that more resembled what we both dreamed life could and should be, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if it might be easier to surrender to the status quo. Get the job, pay the bills, and have the things so it will all look good on paper and no one will question or deny us the right to live as we please.
Right now, we’re freer than we’ve ever been. Ironically, we’re not free to live as we wish simply by virtue of having enough cash to buy land and build a dwelling. We’re trying to do things unconventionally (without a loan) and build an alternative to the standard house structure. Unconventional or alternative are words fraught with eyebrow-raising suspicions when dealing with the folks who deal in real estate transactions and building practices. Even in places that are ostensibly friendly to homesteading types. Try to do things inexpensively and in an environmentally friendly way, and there are myriad rules and codes (some of which are contradictory) waiting to tell you why you can’t. The system is rigged, whether you’re in it or trying to fight your way out.
And I can’t for the life of me figure out what all of this means. Research and constant communication have become both of our full-time job these days. We are putting it all out there and entertaining what feels like a million different options just trying to get ourselves set up somewhere so we can move on with building our life. And we keep seeing what seem like positive signs only to have the rug yanked out from under us, contacts who at first seemed enthusiastic and helpful go MIA, someone else get there first, etc.
And it all feels a bit personal in a “pride goeth before the fall” kind of way. Like every time we dare to think it’s happening and share that with someone or many people, the Universe says “NOPE. Sit back down. It’s not your turn.” This is why I have come to think of our current state of limbo as the Universe’s Waiting Room.
We’ve read all the magazines twice and the water cooler is broken. Can it be our turn next, please?