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Have you ever had the feeling that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Usually when we feel this sort of feeling it is because of a bad situation happening to us or maybe not even bad but just awkward. Now imagine for a moment that the wrong place was your entire teen and adult life thus far. Imagine that you feel as if your entire life was playing out in a time period that didn’t seem to quite fit with your values or wants and desires. I, unfortunately, don’t have to imagine such a scenario because this is how I feel 24/7.
Now, when I say that I feel as if I’m in the wrong time period, I am not meaning that I think I was born in the wrong era and that I would jump at the chance if a time machine were invented to go back to that certain time. No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. It’s more like that I feel as if I were to be born in a different time that I may function more, let say, harmoniously within that time period. Let me explain.
I am currently 24 years old and have been living in an urban area since I was about 10 years old. Prior to that I lived on a 2.5-acre farm that was my great-grandmother's. Those were, to me at least, the highlight of my life. These were the times that I was the happiest. The time where I felt the most free and comfortable. I loved everything about the country. When I moved it was like a culture shock from hell.
Here are few examples of what I mean. When I was living at my great-grandmother's farm, I could go outside and play pretty much whenever I please, aside from storms and after dark (we had coyotes and other things that lurked around). I had 2.5-acres of land which equals 108900 sq. ft. of space. That is equal to a whole average city block (around 100,000 sq. ft.) or better yet even a little over two football fields (a football field is 300 feet by 160 feet, which is 1.1 Acres.). That is a lot of space to a small child, hell, even to an adult. Imagine having a whole city block to yourself or a little over two whole football fields. I was then downsized into a 2,831 sq. ft. lot or a 1,268 sq. ft. house. That is almost 38.5 times smaller than what I was raised on. Not only was I placed into this small enclosure, I was then extremely limited on when and where I could go play.
Instead of beautiful fields and tall grass and a gravel driveway, I had a small, grass-barren, fenced in backyard that was right next to a parking lot behind a local quickie-mart that was home to most of the drug deals in the area. The front yard wasn’t much better. It faced a one-way street that people frequently ignored resulting in many near accidents. There was also an apartment from across the way that was extremely overcrowded and was usually a common stomping ground for the cops. Many questionable people would walk up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. I would want to go outside and sit on our front porch or go out and play in the backyard and I was so used to just going out and playing that when my mother stopped me and said I had to wait for her to be out there with me.
It caught me by surprise so much that I couldn’t help but reply, “Why? You didn’t need to come out at grandma’s house.”
She simply said, “Because it’s different here.”
Those words right there couldn’t have been closer to the truth. Going from a small town with 2 (maybe 3) stop lights in the whole area to a bustling, overcrowded and noisy urban neighborhood was just too much. I started staying inside more. I would leap at the chance to go to the local park that had a small wooded area, the closest thing to nature I could really get, but that was rare until my mid-teens when I got more freedom. During my teens, I would stay gone for hours on end as much as I could at the local park. I would spend almost all day there if I could. Though it was as good as I could get at the time, it still wasn’t the same. I couldn’t run barefoot across the field there, there could be needles or broken glass. I couldn’t run throughout the woods as I pleased because I may end up in someone’s backyard or there were areas of the woods where mattresses and tires had been dumped and it was dangerous to be around there.
The people were very different too. The people I was used to were people who had lived in the area for almost 50+ years of their life. These were people who knew everyone and there was hardly a stranger around. You could go talk to your neighbor without a worry or concern. I realized quickly things were very different here. I would smile and wave to someone I passed on the street and they would glare or look at me like I was crazy. I would tell people “good morning” and would either be ignored or on one occasion I was flipped off. There were some nice people here and there. I found the people in my neighborhood who had been there for decades and quickly befriended them. I became that cute little girl on the block that would go help the elderly woman around the corner with her garden or would sit on the porch across the street with one of the middle-aged women who missed her grand babies and was lonely. This helped me some, but it still didn’t feel like home did.
For years, things just never felt right. I felt out of place and as if I didn’t belong. I could hardly relate to kids my own age and was frequently called the “mom friend” or that I was an old lady in a teenager’s body. I laughed at the time, but inside I knew, in a way, that they were right about me. I didn’t behave like other teenagers and I didn’t (and still don’t) want the same things they did. Partying, drinking, and those sorts of things don’t interest me. Hearing people brag about getting so hammered that they had to sleep in their cars, or that they blacked out and threw up everywhere. To me, that doesn’t sound fun or rewarding in any way.
I would love to curl up on my balcony and read a good book. To go outside and tend to a garden or some plants. I would love to wake up one morning and go get lost in a small patch of woods and maybe find a small waterfall or get to see some wildlife. I would like to have a decent sized house, nothing too fancy, on a small patch of land. To hear birds and insects chirping outside of my window (not the highway that currently is right behind my house). I would love to have animals to tend to and to have a level of self-sufficiency that is hardly seen these days.
All in all, I have made the decision to one day be able to own a homestead of my own. I want to have a little house and some land. I want to have the animals and the food garden. I want to can my own food and to be able to provide for my family with my own two hands. I want to build buildings for my property and to make the things my family needs. I want to see fields of hay needing to be cut and baled. I want to see fields of crops waiting to be harvested for my family and to be possibly sold at the local farmers market. I want to raise my kids to know the value of hard work and how to earn things for themselves and how to live off the land. I want the simpler life that isn’t so bogged down with all the technology and the busy rush-about lifestyle that city-life entails. My main mission in life is to own a homestead and come hell or high water I’m going to do it. If I can’t be in the time I want to be, I’m going to make my time the place I want to be.