Monday, January 14, 2013

The Permaculture Homestead: The Beginning

In my last post, I mentioned I'll soon be moving to Missouri with the hope of beginning a permaculture homestead and retreat there. Some of you wanted to hear more. I want to tell you. But how do I tell a story about a journey that has yet to begin and has countless endings?

I can't tell you the future without first telling you about the past. I think I shall begin as my favorite stories always do:

Once upon a time...

I moved to Seattle with a goal in mind. I was going to get my master's degree in nutrition and become a bad ass registered dietitian. I would learn everything there was to know about traditional nutrition science, and then I would teach people what I knew. The power of a gluten-free diet, real foods, cooking with love...all this and more I wanted to share.

And so it began.

I found a large house in a small town and moved in with four other students, vibrant women who fascinated me with their beauty and intelligence, their carefree ways, and dedication to seeking out the dream.

I was not the only one so intrigued. 

Five single ladies in one house attracted a lot of attention, and we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful men. I myself was intimidated, not so sure of my allure to feel confident around all these glorious specimens of manlihood. So I did what any self-respecting woman in her late twenties would do. 

I had a glass of wine.

Or perhaps it was vodka. It's hard to remember the little details. What I do remember was sitting at a table at a bar one night, feeling completely out of place. I saw my new housemates talking, a woman I had just been introduced to (who would later become a good friend), and men. Lots of men.

I was just getting out of a long relationship and I had no intention of getting into another one. I wasn't even looking to date. I just wanted to "find myself", you know...that thing that we do after a break up that involves yoga, therapy, good girlfriends, and eating healthy. Or maybe it's that thing we're supposed to do all the time but that we stop doing when we're in a relationship. Either way, I was doing it.

Daily kundalini yoga. Lots of good gluten-free food. Therapy. Me time. Losing a bit of the weight I had gained before the break up.

Truth be told, with all that self-care combined with moving across the country and losing the person who had been my best friend, I felt a little...floaty. Really that's the best way I can describe it. Like I was floating through life, not really clear about where I was or what I was doing. I was having fun and could feel myself coming out of the cloud of depression that had been weighing me down for so long. But I wasn't quite solid yet. I no longer lived in New York, but my feet were not exactly on Seattle ground.

That night at the bar something happened that I don't remember.

If this is a fairytale - and who doesn't like to imagine their life that way - then that was the night that I met my prince charming.

Or so he tells me.

I was drunk and I have no memory of ever having a conversation with him that night.

Oh I remember seeing him. He was one of the men sitting at the table. He had these piercing blue eyes and a brown cap on. Maybe he was wearing a sweatshirt? If I remember correctly, my thought process as I looked at all the men was, "Cute. So cute. Really cute. Ooh...pretty eyes...yum. What am I doing sitting at this table?"

And then I immediately found a man who I didn't think was attractive and talked to him all night.

Right. Because that's what you do when you're a wuss and are afraid to talk to the pretty boys.

Now, there's apparently another version of this story. While I maintain that my boyfriend and I did not meet that night, he tells me that I cornered him with one of my housemates and asked him lots of questions. According to him, he was actually feeling much the same as I was. Intimidated by the beautiful ladies and a bit out of place. I'm guessing he probably had a drink or two that night as well.

Not that I would remember.

Fast forward to the next night.

I'm with my new housemates and we're throwing a housewarming party. Of course, I don't know anyone since I'm new in town. Another housemate is also from New York, a third from Florida, so between the three of us, we've invited approximately zero people. But the other two have lived in Seattle for years and they seem to know everyone.

So here I am, getting dressed, putting on my makeup, fluffing my hair. Having a sip of wine. And I have no idea that in a few hours, my life will change.

It happened like this. I was drunk. Yes, that happened a lot in the first couple of months in Seattle. Don't worry. I've settled into being an adult now and only drink once or twice a year. Not as much fun, but much better for my health.

Anyway, on that night I was rather...shall we say tipsy? I remember hearing a stray conversation and this is when my inner geek jumped out. I had no idea he was even there, but suddenly I heard the word, "Legolas." I looked around. The man with piercing blue eyes was talking about The Lord of The Rings. All fear of handsome men forgotten, I accosted him. Legolas, you say? Aragorn? Let's talk.

The rest of the night was a blur. I remember music and singing (many of the guests were musicians), hula hooping, and most of all the excitement of a new crush. Blue Eyes and I talked in the kitchen as the sun came up and I remember downing another glass of wine because I was sure I would sober up and be like Cinderella at midnight. That is to say, awkward and nervous. I'm not condoning the use of liquid courage. But you know I'm nothing if not honest, and that's how the story went. 

It was one of those parties that never ended, with a number of guests staying up until 5am, then crashing for a few hours, only to wake up and get brunch together. Blue Eyes came along - no, he did not sleep in my bed nor was there even any kissing that first night or anything beyond conversation. He slept on the hammock downstairs and I slept chastely in my bed. But I was excited to see that he was coming for brunch, and not a little nervous at being around him...gasp...completely sober.

I had no chance to be awkward and shy however, since he sat as far away from me at the restaurant table as possible. So I chatted with the gorgeous man next to me, which was easy to do since he had a yummy British accent. My eyes kept straying to Blue Eyes though, my heart pitter-pattering in a way I hadn't expected to feel again so soon.

I was already smitten.

On the way home, my housemate (one of the two who knew everyone) asked me if I liked any of the guys at the party. I immediately staked my claim on Blue Eyes, lest any of the other ladies had any interest. My housemate nodded and said, "Yeah, he's cute. I think he's dating someone though."


My heart sank.

"But I don't think it's serious. I wouldn't let that stop you."

Read the next installment here.


Natalie said...

LOVED this! Great writing and my favorite post you have written. So fun to read. I'm dying for the next installment!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I was laughing out loud or smiling throughout this telling, Iris. I can't wait for the next part!!!

Shirley said...

I love this story :-) It reminds me of my own. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Ashley said...

Aw, so good! I can't wait to hear more! Such a great story so far :)

hunterslyonesse said...

♥ Oh my gosh, Iris. I was laughing so hard. What a great story of first meeting...or second meeting...or whatever. :D A love story for the ages!

Aubree Cherie Davis said...

So far, so fun! Looking forward to the rest :)


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