Recently, I was hanging out with my dear pastor, Sue and she gave me some advice that rang so true that every tuning fork inside my body started to hum. Last tuesday afternoon, I made an appointment to go over to her home to explain that I was feeling like I was in over my head as a new farmer and that I was a very green and insecure boss. I explained that I was very unconfident in my decisions on the farm and very afraid to make mistakes and fail as a farmer and lose the entire farm. I explained I didn't know when it would be a good idea to cut back, expand or let something go completely because I had never owned a business before. I also shared that I was saying, "No" more than I ever had in my life and this was unfamiliar ground for me and it only contributed to me feeling more insecure about my new role.
Sue shared how that in her life she had moved many times and that what she noticed in that her first year any where felt larger than life. Meaning that if I go to the grocery store in my first year and the people I interacted with happen to be very warm and friendly then I conclude, "everyone who lives here is so nice." Or if I go to a county office and feel like they are cold and hard to follow then I conclude, "every who works there is mean to me." Or if I go to out on the orchard and I don't know how to start one of the tractors one morning I think, "I will never learn how to operate the tractors here and I will always feel incompetent and green as a new farmer."
She explained I needed to be very cautious to make broad sweeping conclusions after small interactions and tiny experiences here in my new town. She shared how the first year will someday pass and I will learn that many of my generalizations were often unfair and not true about life in my new place or in my new role.
This was so very liberating and my heart was so grateful to hear this. Maybe there is hope for me after all as a farmer. Maybe I will survive my first year and gain more confidence in my new role with more time and experience. Maybe there are kind people who live here in my home town and maybe there are less kind people. But with one week left of our fruit stand and the winter ahead I am proud to announce that it through my first harvest season and I am a very grateful farmer.