House-hunting is heart-breaking. There. I said it. Whoever says differently is lying to you, or hasn’t been looking long enough.

If only I could convey to you just how my heart longs for open fields, swaying trees and the smell of rich earth! Recently, while searching for homes outside of Austin (frustration has expanded my search area), I found a fantastic home: well built, and on an acre of land. Immediately I started thinking about all the things I could do. A clothesline. An enormous six-part garden. Chickens. Pigs. Bees. Compost pile. On and on–the dreams I’ve written of often on this blog. My heart wasted no time in reminding me of those closeted hopes and dreams.

But that house is not available to me, much to my intense disappointment. I’m still waiting to see if there’s hope, but in the meantime, I’ve continued to look around some. And I’m getting more and more frustrated, because this latest disappointment has taught to me just what exactly I’m looking for. What my desires truly are. What I need in my life to satisfy these yearnings.

What it really means is weighing what’s most important to me. For a few months, I’ve been thinking that what I “should do” was invest in my first property here in the city.  I wouldn’t be too far from work, I could have a starter garden and learn what it means to own my own home. Then in a few years, I could move up and out to the country, if that was still something I wanted. That seemed sensible and responsible. That’s the safe route.

But then there’s that pesky heart of mine. Crying out in that fog of falling asleep. It keeps reminding me that I need to live in the moment I’m in, that I should be brave and seize the opportunities that speak to me. Maybe dreams can come true. Maybe you can buy your dream house the first time, and live there forever.

That’s when my even peskier brain kicks in, reminds me of responsibilities, of practicalities and obstacles to happiness. Living in the country very obviously means NOT living in city. One cannot be far from the chaos of the city without also being far from the benefits of it. 

But. BUT. Work is not my whole life. Granted it is a large portion of it, but absolutely NONE of the beautiful people or lives I admire are because of the view from their desk. I want to come home and live the other half of my life the way I want to. I want to go to bed exhausted because I just spent three hours cleaning out my barn, or come in covered in dirt and carrying a basket of harvested vegetables. I want to make jam or pie (PIE!) from my own sun-drenched raspberries.

The difficulty lies in reconciling the two. Is it even possible? How do I leave behind all the chaos and un-sustainability of my city life while retaining all the benefits of having things so close ? How do I gain the happiness of the lifestyle I want without also gaining the problems of living farther out? I’m afraid there isn’t an easy path. I have to give up something: the dream of farmhouse living for a while longer, or ease and convenience of the commute and a boyfriend who lives less than a mile away. Because both have my heart, and to say yes to one is to say no to the other. And how do you break your own heart? Living in limbo like this is stressful.

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