Three Songs and What My Parents Wanted me to Be

I grew up in a very christian house. My mom and stepdad wanted me to go to seminary and become a preacher. When I was a teen, I thought I was best suited to culinary school. I got accepted to The Culinary Institute of America. Mom and stepdad refused to let me go there. So I moved to live with my grandma under the pretext of going to a college in NC. They let me go saying I had to come back to Ohio to go to school to become a preacher when I was done. I walked all over Fayetteville looking for a job. I got one, but was fired the next day. I kept looking for the next 6 months. I never got a single callback. So I applied for disability thinking I’d just use it until I found a job. I tried doing a program to help find a job, but my social worker left town suddenly and the program ceased to function shortly thereafter. I tried starting a knife making business. We got kicked out of the apartments for disturbing the peace. We got a random rental house and I started doing beadwork for extra income. I was very good at it. An opportunity arose for me to go to CA to sell beadwork at a local attraction and I took it. A week after I arrived, the attraction closed because the owner died suddenly. I ran out of money and was about to become homeless, so my grandpa drove from AZ, picked me up and took me back to OH to live with my Mom and Stepdad. It was rocky as hell. Then my grandma came up from NC and we rented a house together in Lancaster. I tried to make the old knife business and a new pottery business work, but my illness got in the way. Then we found this place where I live now. I throw myself into farming and when I have a bad day or a bad week, it’s okay, because the plants aren’t going anywhere. I can do this at my own pace. There are no deadlines, no orders to fill, no rush… and it’s quiet. So I’m a farmer.

But do I feel like these songs when my parents are telling me how to farm from the comfort of their condo in the city? Yes, I feel their chagrin at my being out here not bothering anyone, and not being a clean-cut asshole in a suit preacher.

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