I realize now that I want to settle down in my home state, New Hampshire. As someone who’s consistently envisioned myself in other states and countries, I never would have thought that I’d be able to grow my roots down deep into this state. I’ve had nothing against New Hampshire. I’ve always known its beauty. I’ve just wanted to experience other places, and live other lifestyles–lifestyles that I didn’t feel were possible to live here.
I’ve dreamed of living the tropical life: having a year-round garden abundant in fruits and vegetables; having dirty feet, tanned skin, and naked children; using my yard as if it were just another room to my home; wearing bikini tops and sarongs; getting to sleep nude every night in crisp cotton sheets.
I’ve dreamed of an Irish life: shearing sheep and spinning wool; wandering through the ancient moss-covered forests; mist-filled days and quiet nights by the fireplace; shortbread in the oven; elaborately knitted wool sweaters, pleated wool skirts, over-the-knee socks, and lace-up leather boots; my husband and I bringing our children to the local pub to hear the fiddlers and sing along.
I’ve dreamed of a quaint European life: living in an ancient village; meandering the winding cobblestone streets to the bakery in the morning for fresh bread; preparing dinner in the tiny tiled kitchen for my family in the dim candle-light, while listening to soft music; wearing my hair tied back with a silk scarf.
I’ve dreamed of living in a big house in a German forest, in a yurt in Mongolia, in an Icelandic town near the icy water, in a stone cottage in England, in an oasis in Egypt, on the coast of Nova Scotia, in a colorful house in Norway, in a tiny village on an island off the coast of the UK, in a Swiss mountainside village, and–as I’ve said before–in a castle.
I’ve traveled quite a bit in America. I’ve road-tripped across the country and back. I’ve lived in the mountains of Colorado, in downtown Savannah, Georgia, and in Bar Harbor, Maine. I’ve only left the country a few times, but my trip to Switzerland proved to me that the tiny historical villages of little wooden chalets hidden in valleys amongst the Alps do exist. I know that these “dreams” sound romanticized, but I’m not unaware of the reality that comes with living a more traditional life. I know that it’s tough, wearing, and exhausting–but, I also see the beauty, the sense of rhythm, and the gifts of living a more simple, self-reliant life.
I’ve learned so much these past few years–about me, and what I want exactly. I’m not sure if it’s from being a wife, or a mother, but my motives and ambitions have changed. I’ve come to realize that it will come down to what I make of life. I don’t have to find what I want. I can create it. And this is inspiring.