Friday, June 1, 2012

What Might Have Been


Today is June 1st. I feel a strange twinge of depression, failure, and lost hopes. Just a twinge though... Just fleeting emotions at the tail end of each thought and word. This day should have been different. I should have been at Polyface Farms today, for the summer internship...

Yes friends, today is the official start of the internship on a farm in Swoope, Virginia. And I am here in Oregon. Not over there... Eight girls tried out for the intern position back in January. I was one of the eight. Only two girls were chosen to come back for the summer. I was not one the the two. I cried for two days straight when I heard the news that I would not be going back to Polyface, and struggled with depression for a month. It still comes back sometimes... In whispers, in quiet moments; it haunts softly, and waggles its invisible finger at me. "You didn't get the intern position, you lazy good-for-nothing." "You probably would have been a failure there anyway." At times I feel like Smeagol, talking to himself in LOTR. You just want the little taunting voice to go away...

Spending the summer with the Salatins was a bit of a pipe dream, but I took a chance and at least got part way before the dream broke. Not many people get to go to Polyface. Even fewer get to spend four days there and really get to know the Salatins. What a time that was... I'm happy that I at least got that experience, but still... I failed. My summer will be spent here in Oregon after all. 

My morning might have been spent moving chicken tractors, feeding the laying hens, moving cows (actually that's an afternoon chore), and feeding hogs, had I woken up in Virginia and not Oregon. Had I been there and not here. There would have been Leanna, Brie, Eric, and Noah, plus the other interns to do chores with. Instead I do them alone here. 

Truth be told, I have been dreading June 1st. And yet, over the last month I have been asking myself if I would drop everything and go to VA if the Salatins suddenly asked. Would I? I have 118 broilers, over 20 rabbits, 6 goats, kids on the way, milk customers, a cow... Had I gotten that glorious position as an intern, I never would have bought Summer. Or Peaches. That poor heifer might have been sold to anyone, or maybe she would have been left to rot in the field at her old place. I wouldn't have gotten Sombrita and Metty either. Nor would I have boarded Bob for the few months that I did. I wouldn't have gotten the broiler chicks, and I would have sold off the rabbits. Would I really go back to VA if I was asked? I haven't the foggiest. I cannot tell you how many times I have argued with myself about that question. It's the chance of a lifetime, of course I'd go! No... Better stay here and attend to my growing business. Oy vey.

Life still continues despite the heartache of knowing my summer plans have been changed. There will always be the regret of not making the final cut, but I guess I just have to live with it. A few people have asked me if I will try again this year and apply yet again for the internship. My answer is 'no'. I will not. I went to Polyface for four days and fell in love with the place. I honestly could not bear sending in another application only to be rejected again. Call me a coward if you wish, but a person can only withstand so much pain. 

It's time to put my past behind me. I know this. Now, if only I can do it...


Hannah said...

Praying for you today! God has a special plan just for you. :)

Illinois Lori said...

I feel for you, Caitlyn...know that if it was God's plan for you to spend the summer there, you would be there. God's plan for you was for you to have 4 days there. You do not yet know why He did that...but He did. Perhaps it was to heal family wounds. Perhaps it was to have you make a contact/develop a network of people who will play a part in your work and life in the future. Bryan is trying to decide if he wants to go for it again, too. He's not sure yet, especially since he really wants to raise sheep, and there's none of that at Polyface. I'll be praying for you both :-) He just arrived back in New York for his internship there...I'm so grateful that it worked out for him to be there, it's a pastured sheep operation, and they know the Salatins--their daughter does the speaking circuit alongside Joel, but she's nowhere near as well-known...who is, LOL?!!

Trust in Him, Caitlyn...he has you in the palm of His hand, and His way is the best way...follow it, though you don't know where it ends yet.


Anonymous said...

God never closes a door without opening another. Please know that this wannabe goatherd really appreciates you and your willingness to share and teach through this blog. My daughter and I are lactose intolerant, so goats milk and cheese will be a welcome addition to our diet. Happily, we are animal lovers as well, so we are looking forward to caring for some new caprine family members! But first, I need to research and prepare. So thank you for your help!
Heather in PA