Friends, I have some bad news. I don't know anything. Okay, well that's not entirely true… I know a few things, most of which revolves around the fact of how little I know. And I'm ever reminded of just this when I dare to venture onto Pinterest (which we all know I have a love/hate relationship with).
While browsing for flooring options, I happened upon no less than 183,381 articles and blog posts that lead me in all different directions but promised infinite knowledge, happiness, order, and deliciousness.
“How To Milk A Cow Perfectly The First Time”
“The World's Best Chocolate Cake”
“How To Teach Your Children To Obey”
“Top 10 Things To Do Before You Start Your Day”
“You Suck At Life. Do, Know, Cook, and Accomplish All These Things To Feel Better About Yourself”
… Okay, fine, I made that last one up. But in a way, it's how I felt. And then, to make it worse, I felt guilty that I couldn't offer you – my dear readers and friends – any mind blowing knowledge about… anything.
Because the reality is, behind every screen and every “Top 5” or “How To” post is a writer that is just like you, and you, and you, figuring it all out and failing along the way. I could write a post on the Top 20 things to do before you start a farm, but frankly, I'm still figuring that out as well. The world is a place of trial-and-error.
I don't know the perfect way to do anything. I know the way that we do it, and sharing our experiences with you is one of my greatest joys, but they are certainly not perfect.
We've lost more animals than I care to count because of our mistakes, lack of knowledge, and naivety. I've cooked some pretty dang delicious food, the recipes of which I will gladly send your way, but I've also cooked plenty of bad meals. And we eat eggs for supper more often than I'd like to admit. I don't know how to sheer a sheep, I'm terrible at managing my rabbit's breedings, and just this last week we lost half of our heritage chicks because only the Lord-knows-what.
I'm growing. I'm learning. And I love it.
Truth be told, I don't really want to have it all figured out. Because how boring would life be if we were never challenged. I enjoy the fact that we've had successes with our livestock and our gardens, but I'm far from being an expert on any of it. Friends, I don't have a solution or a guide book for any of this madness. All I have is a journey that I get to share with you… from behind my little MacBook and camera lens.
I wish that the world would release the tight grip it has on us. You, my dear reader, are loved. Just as you are. You don't need to have mastered tomato planting or child wrangling to be worthy of that. In a world where information is shrieking from our screens and dictating what “should be” in our lives, fight to let go of perfection. Just because there are roughly 3 million lasagna recipes on Google doesn't mean you'll die if you cook the wrong one. Even if it's not that great.
When I was choosing out a farm sink for our kitchen remodel, I literally sat in front of the computer for hours and hours and hours trying to find the right one. I read reviews, articles, measured, remeasured, and then researched more. I acted as if the world would cease to exist if I bought the wrong kitchen sink. Oh, Lord, Shaye went with the double basin! That's it! It's all over! Come on, Shaye. Get over yourself. It's a sink. I get readers emailing me often recounting situations much like this in their own lives. Fear of failure, of a mistake, has completely debilitated them from moving forward at all. And yet they reach out to me… which always makes me chuckle… because failure and mistakes are what I do best.
But here's the reality.
You could spend 2 years researching, designing, and perfecting the construction of a chicken coop – daydreaming with the best of 'em on Pinterest and browsing articles on how an improperly designed coop will completely damage your chicken's mental state (and they'll be damaged for life, no doubt).
Or you could do your best, get out there, and build you a danged chicken coop, yo.
Life isn't about perfection – so let's not let that stop us. Let's take risks. Have experiences. Buy a milk cow when we have no idea how to milk a cow. And learn through our successes and our failures.
I don't want to tell you how to do any of that. And frankly, I hope your not here under the false assumption that, magically, I've got all the answers or have it all together. Lord knows we're a gigantic hot-mess around these parts.
I just want to share my journey with you. And be a part of yours.
I'm glad you're here.