I like to think I am a citizen of the concrete jungle. A sophisticate-in-training, who can wear stilettos and navigate through complex social maneuvers more or less with ease.
However, I have found myself this summer in a very odd situation. Through a series of long and detailed choices not really my own, I am now living on this property deep in the country. This property has been empty for a decade, but it has “potential.” There are three houses on it, only one habitable (and very crowded),
I have spent most of the summer cursing my wicked lot, wishing I could go back to apartment life, where they had someone handle the lawn, Starbucks was across the street, and the only nature I ran across was while jogging through the well-maintained hiking trails.
But, I have to accept the things I cannot change, at least for now. In the interest of “bloom where you are planted,” I decided to embark on a renovation project. Granted, the only thing I know about home renovation was the one time I painted my bedroom. But, in the age of YouTube, and Ikea, how difficult could it be?
So, I found this gorgeous one room apartment/studio in the Ikea catalog, and decided the dilapidated one room building on my property will eventually look like this. Armed with the motivation of the naïve, I strapped on a pair of boots and a tank top, and headed to assess the situation.
Only I couldn’t get there. Even the pathway was covered in weeds, some taller than me. These weeds, most certainly housed all manner of wildlife, of which the mere sight would send me running back to the house with the shrieks of a mezzo-soprano.
But, being unemployed, and marooned in the country without technology, I didn’t have much else to do. So, I eventually found myself with a machete, and began wildly hacking away at the weeds.
And something happened to me. It was as if my spirit were connecting to something deep and primal inside of me. And it was good. It was healthy. Decades of civilized behavior, and the need to adhere to cultural expectations and protocols, seemed for a moment irrelevant. I allowed myself a primal scream, as I wildly conquered the earth.
“I am human,” my inner voice screamed. “All dominion of the earth has been given to me! You must be subdued.”
It was a validation of my humanity, and how free I could be when stripped of my veneer of civilization. Then, I wiped my brow and surveyed the damage. Not much. But, I was proud of myself. Then, I took my machete, and went back to my house to take a shower and check Facebook.
I think everyone needs this experience now and again. To step out of civilization and embrace the primitive human inside of us. It is a glorious and empowering moment. Now maybe I can get a job.