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Help! I am having a real identity crisis!

 
Posts: 36
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Well not really but sort of but perhaps the title will bring the right person that can help me. My name is Terry and I am a new member of the permies forum. There are so many terms going around today to describe people that want to live in a more private and sustainable manner. A lot of folks have really defined reasons for why they live this way and I have never classified myself as any certain thing but I realize that there are enough of these terms going around that I fit in here somewhere. Point being I'm not sure that I am a permy in fact I'm pretty certain that I'm not.
I currently am living in a House that belonged to my mother who passed away recently, Cynthia J Long 1/31/19- God Rest her soul.  The house shall be sold at which point there will be a small amount of money and I will be able to get a piece of land for myself somewhere and put a well on it. The idea is to make this small amount of money count for the rest of my life. I hope to only have to work full time as long as it takes to get solar up and running and then hopefully only have to work part-time or for myself only. That is the idea. If I was to point to any reason why I would want to do this other than I am just sick of the norm and want to be left alone I have always romanticized about the idea of living off the land in some sense which had me involved from the Cub Scouts scouts to the US Army and into a life of adventure in many different forms. I have never been comfortable  with the societal standard for living in the United States. It's like we exist just to maintain a job so that we could have things and we do this until we drop meanwhile life has passed us by and it makes no sense to me. I am also at a place of a Crossroads in my life as I am now into my 50s and unemployed and living in a new state. I am realizing that I can either make a move into the same sort of career that I'm sick of or something altogether different or I can try to make the rest of my days count for me. I am a Christian however I'm not running off to the woods to protect myself against some kind of apocalypse. It's just who I am spiritually. I don't trust the government and I love my guns but I am not running for the hills and stockpiling weapons. I believe that we should live our lives in the way that makes us happy that does not harm others that we should love one another and help each other and not judge others for choices that they have made. As far as the environment is concerned I try to be as conscious as I can about it however as long as Harley-Davidsons exist I'm sorry but I will be purchasing gasoline. I love my organic food and I would love to learn how to grow it myself as well as methods of preservation and I love my medicinal herbs and I would love to grow them myself without having anyone breathing down my neck with regulation. I am into Recycling and it makes me want to be even more conscious about my environment. I am also a person that is very good with my hands, mechanically inclined and love to create. have not really put much thought into the idea of a self sustainable Life Style outside of having a garden. I am a carnivore. I love meat however I also love vegetables. I am not a hunter and would not even want a chicken slaughtered on my property however I have done such  deeds . I'm open to the idea of vegetarianism especially if it is helpful for my body. I am not one that's crazy about exercise however I have been that in my younger days and I am interested in living a life that allows me to be more active also to physically benefit. If I try to Define myself as compared to the norm demonstrated by those that I am around I would say that I am an eccentric. That's a pretty good term to use when we don't quite understand someone's expression. Truth is I'm sick of the way that we are expected to live and I see that there are enough people living in the manner that I have dreamt of my whole life that I would be a fool to not try. Realistically I do not even want to Define myself but I know I fit in somewhere. I have never been able to Define myself politically and I'm not even going to try that one anymore. So it seems that off-grid word would be a start if I intend on not being connected to the grid. But what of homesteaders , Preppers, tree-huggers and all of the other things used to describe us? I'm sure that there is a definition for permaculture on this website and I'm such a techno tardive not really searched . Anyone with awareness of any threads or resources concerning these definitions it would be helpful. Who are you? Where do you fit in? Is there room for me?
 
pollinator
Posts: 265
Location: East tn
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Terry, welcome. Permies value diversity and frown upon monoculture. So feel free to lurk, to ask questions, to share ideas and projects, and to commiserate with us fellow humans in various stages of rewilding. If you run into a label thrower or label rejecter (which you might) here, just chop and drop and know that another volunteer variety will be along shortly.

Again, you are welcome here.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1734
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Welcome, Terry!

I was in my mid 50s when I finally took action to change my lifestyle, moving away from the society norm. So in my opinion, there's nothing abnormal in your plan. Go ahead and take some baby steps toward being happier. You don't need to be a permie to do that. In fact, many of the more active people in these forums are not fully immersed in permaculture.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I think it's best to do what you want to , and try different things. If what you're doing isn't harming anyone, then after awhile stop to examine it and see if you are happier than before. You may have fits and starts with that. Sometimes people are very convinced that something will make them very happy, but in the end they find it boring or unfulfilling. So stop and examine what you are doing often. And run it through your own filter, and try to not think too much about what others want you to do. In my experience others want you to do what they are doing or at least to consider that the best way to go. So you have to be firm with other people and with yourself. If you decide to do something quite unorthodox, hold firm for a while and then examine the fruits of your efforts according to your own standards.
 
Terry Waller
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Thank you so much for these posts so far. I was not expecting that so quickly! It is so exciting to me that there are those that understand some of the questions that I have and not look at me with a blank look mouth a gape not knowing what to say which is what I'm used to. So far all very affirming and welcoming. I look forward to coming back tomorrow anticipating more responses. I am at a time in my life like no other and it is in fact kind of a scary place where I know I'm going to find out if I mean to go through with this or if it's just a good idea. I'm sure many of you understand walking away from security into the unknown. Cheers all and good night!
 
gardener
Posts: 1019
Location: South of Capricorn
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Welcome Terry! Change is hard and can be scary but just think of the luxury you have at being able and willing to think about change and growth. Many folks never even think about the possibility of changing, even incrementally.
Good luck at the beginning of your journey! You`re certainly in the right place for good information.

On a different note, I`m sorry for your loss. My father dying was one of a few things that happened all at the same time to get me thinking about changing my status quo.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1443
Location: 4b
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I like to think there is room for everyone :)  

I personally try not to get caught up in labels.  As soon as you have a label, you run the risk of people using it against you.  There is a thread about that very thing here: Hypocrite  The gist of it is, as soon as you identify as something, say, a permie, and you do something like tilling, you have people that will throw it in your face and say "I thought you were a permie" in the condescending voice we are all familiar with.  Much like telling people you are on a diet, people will immediately watch every single thing that you put in your mouth.  Best to just do your thing and not broadcast it.  

My advice is to do what makes you happy, and don't worry about what label that earns you.  I try very hard to do what I like, mind my own business, and not bother anyone.  Life is much easier that way.

Welcome, and I hope you find what makes you happy no matter what people might call you.
 
Posts: 10
Location: SC
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Hey Terry, welcome. My label is Regret. I’m 50 and I regret that I didn’t learn these ways sooner.
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 4147
Location: SW Missouri
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The label I prefer to use for myself is multi-faceted. Like a cut crystal, with different parts of me on each face. When I'm turned this way I look like a permie, when I'm turned that way I look like something else. Trying to label the complexity of an awake and aware human mind with one word seems to me to be a waste of time, all you can do is label a facet. I have a definite Permies facet.

To define permaculture to see if you fit in is hard, as everyone sees it through their own eyes and experiences. To me, it's a way to use the patterned systems of the physical world to work with us in our lives, instead of against us. It's a way to be aware of the actual parameters we need to design WITH instead of fighting against. But that is just how MY brain works, and how I see it and words that make sense to ME, I have always looked for the underlying patterns to attempt to understand things. Others see it very differently.
 
Posts: 71
Location: Southside of Virginia
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Hi Terry,
Rest assured you are not alone! I share much of your ideology, also in my 50's. I'm pretty much to the point of just focusing on my dreams and my heart's desire, which is simplicity. It takes a certain amount of courage to go the direction you desire, but the rewards are great. Cheers!
 
Don't listen to Steve. Just read this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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