My Kobayashi Maru?

Have I gotten dumber six months on after returning from Norway to live in the States? Why do I suddenly feel rudder-less? Is this my Kobayashi Maru? Have I created a no-win scenario? Let’s dive deep and find out why this self-doubt has increased lately.*

*Editors’ Note: I often try to write about things on the journey that my readers will find interesting but this might not be that kind of post. This is more of a post for myself and to restore balance in the universe. I hope you don’t mind too much. Thanks!

First mistake… a bit too naive?

First off I need to admit that I was a bit naive to think that I could make the leap from 15 years of Corporate and International business straight into farming and running my own business. First off, my experienced expat friends said it would take time to get re-acclimated to living in the US having lived in Norway for the past 4 years. They were spot on! Talk about culture shock in your home state. It is taking more time than I thought.

I did get a job to make new connections and continue to sock away more land fund savings – but this did not prove to be a winning move. Please allow me to elaborate.

My second mistake… getting a job

Working for money: good. Working where you cannot be creative: not so good. In fact, for me it’s demoralizing. At my stage in the game, money is ok but something to put my passions into is even more motivating. It’s not my employer’s fault. This just did not work out. Plus I won’t go into the details on how working in Norway has practically ruined my chances of being a good American worker going forward. Once you’ve had such decent benefits, it’s hard to take less and look yourself in the mirror. But as the evidence mounts on why I need to run my own business, I’ll be sure to give myself as many benefits (Scandinavian-style) as I can muster in the near future.

Third mistake… leaving good friends to pursue a dream?

I have the most amazing group of friends in Stavanger, Norway who were very supportive of me following this dream. It was very hard to leave them and start this journey. Sometimes I wonder if that was the right thing to do. Making new friends and connections here has been hard so far. I often feel that with my varied experiences I have nothing to offer in this beautiful, albeit sparsely populated quiet mountain town. It is sort of like the South Park song except there isn’t a Kyle to my Stan?

Lessons learned

I am not admitting defeat by any means and of course I will soldier on. But what have I learned thus far?

  • I will not be in such a “desperate haste to succeed.” I cannot rush success.
  • My stated goal is to farm and I will only supplement this goal with work that enhances my passions and creativity.
  • I can honour my good friends from afar best by finishing what I set out to accomplish.

A series of leaps and bounds

During the journey, any thing worthwhile is going to take a series of leaps and bounds before it gets into full swing. I should not be so hard on myself as these are just learning experiences I can grow from. I will be resigning from the job I’m at now in the middle of August. Around this time I’ll be travelling to Kentucky to do some more artisan bread training and hone my skills. Plus we’ll take some time to travel around that part of the country and head back through the Upper Peninsula in Michigan into Canada on our way back to base.

Who knows? Eventually I could even be leaping my butt right out of the Adirondacks. I’ve come to the realization that I need to be more flexible as to where I can viably put down roots and start this venture. I have the business plan and the marketing and the ideas – but I’m missing the product and the “factory” that is needed in order to produce the product. Plus I need the right demographics and access to markets, etc… It’s not all fun & games in the journey, but I’m still here and Jah will provide.

By the way, this bitch session is over and I promise to have some good food, ales, bread or farming stuff next week as I return to my regularly scheduled programming next Wednesday. Hope that works for you. Thanks again!