It's a funny thing, living in the country. Well, as an ex-city person anyway. There's more talk about the seasons. The rain. The frosts. About what plants grow, and how to grown them. About nature in general. And animals. Dogs, chickens, foxes, kangaroos, cows... But the thing I've learned the most about hasn't actually been nature-related at all. It's been more about people. Myself mostly.
You see, when I lived in the Melbourne, it felt like I was always surrounded by people fairly similar to me. Not deliberately, it just sort of... happens. Sure everyone has their different hobbies or interests, but you go to work where everyone else is in the same industry, working on similar projects. Your friends have heaps in common with you, that's how you become friends in the first place. Even the stranger next to you on the tram is battling the same commuting grind as you, with the same sense of frustration. You begin to think that how you are is how everyone is... and if anyone seems different, it's easy to dismiss them as kind of, well, weird. Sadly, it's easy to be a bit judgy.
Towards the end of my time in Melbourne, I started to feel like the odd one out. I just wanted to move to the country to live a simpler life, quit my corporate job, bake sourdough bread and restore vintage furniture. Like this Danish teak baby I've been working on this week....
I know, freaky dream right? But since we moved to Daylesford I feel like many of the people I meet seem somehow... different. Different to what I've subconsciously deemed 'normal' in the past. But different in a good way.
Yes, some work crazy hours, like our city-dwelling friends. Hell, some even still do the massive commute to their fancy jobs every day! But some raise chooks. Or pigs. Some love fossicking for food. Some are into making ceramics or painting or writing... or unusual combinations of all these things! Some live chic country lives, and some live simply. Some couldn't care less about the corporate world that I couldn't really see beyond a few years back. The old me probably wouldn't have understood those people... but now I'm with them!
It's been great to get a totally different perspective on things. And that's when you learn.
I've learned that everyone has their own interests and motivations and passions and values... And, more importantly, I've learned that I'm just fine with that. No judgement to anyone who lives without the rat race. And no judgement to those who can't live without it. In fact, no judgement at all (unless someone is a total a-hole then by all means, judge away!) Some will zig while others zag. I'm just glad I've found my thing that makes me happy. And I'm grateful I've met some interesting people who show me different ways to look at the world.
So let's just all go about our days, being different, and doing whatever it is that makes us happy. And being happy for those who do their own thing too.
Ash von Braun
Happy tree-changer and vintage furniture dealer living in Dayesford, Australia.