A good friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that my career change was an inspiration, it made me wonder how giving up a well respected job with great pay could be considered as inspirational, and too whom? I have been planning my move to the land for almost three years now and at no point did I ever think that it would be seen as an inspiration or that anyone would even think it was a good idea. If anything I have been embarrassed when I have ventured to tell people that I intended to become a pig farmer, often making a joke of it in meetings. An inspiration was, and is, the last thing I think that I am.
If you have ever dramatically changed your career you will know a little of what a massive shock it is for me to go from managing an office to becoming a free range pig farmer. It is even more of an shock for everyone around me, the term ‘pig farmer’ alone strikes fear into the hearts of any parent, parent in law or family member and whilst everyone is very polite I cant help but think that they all believe I’m having a mid-life crisis.
Well the good news is that I am not having a mid life crisis and that I am not being irresponsible. I am honoured that I might be an inspiration but in reality I am just following the path less travelled. I now feel embarrassment when I tell trades people and the staff at Farmlands that I used to be a manager of a consumer electronics company, I feel like a ‘fraud’ farmer. But as much as I worry about wether or not I can truly become a farmer I am also really excited about the challenge, about the food we will create and the life we will have.
So to all those worriers and supporters alike let me say this. If your life is not exciting you, if you are not getting challenged and don’t feel passionate about your work, if money is not the reason why you are happy… try something else. Better still, get the family on a plane and get over to Woody’s @ North Manakau and come and help me to build a sustainable farm that we can all enjoy. You might find you like it and you want to buy your own!