Friday, September 14, 2012

BIGHUGETHINGNEWS

For a second I was all, “I wonder if it’s even going to seem like BIG HUGE THING NEWS anymore after all of this hype and waiting around and not helpful tweets like this one.”, but then I realized that, No Way.

It’s totally still BIG HUGE THING NEWS.

To me.

And since this blog is all about me and that’s what you guys have been reading about for the last seven years (still wows me, that number), I think you’ll still see it as BIG HUGE THING NEWS, too.

Because the BIG HUGE THING NEWS is all about me and my life and also Bubba and our life and how I’m apparently doing my damndest to change it all.

I’m throwing a curveball, friends, a big fat life curveball and I’m hoping for the best while also knowing that there’s a very real Worst out there that could take over these best intentions of mine and set me back on my ass, OUR asses, like nothin’.

To give you an idea of the big fatness of this life curveball I’m throwing (and let’s not forget for a minute that I have zero eye/hand coordination and that throwing’s not my game to begin with), I already had (and have) a pretty sweet life.

One that didn’t, from an outsider’s perspective, probably need a big fat curveball thrown right at it. No, I imagine that most people looking at my life would have been like, “Hey, that’s pretty sweet. Great job, amazing husband, cute dog, evil cat, fun times galore, much drinking and misbehavior. Good going, weird girl.”

Not, “Ugh, what are you doing with your life, weird girl? Get your shit together. Throw a curveball. Change everything you’re doing because WOW you’re really fucking shit up.”

Which is what I’ve always thought was the premise for changing one’s life - the act of majorly fucking it up for a long time and needing a big fat curveball of change to shove everything back onto the rails.

But my life was great - IS great - and yet still, I’m shoving and curveballing and basically, if looked at on paper, fixing what’s not broken.

Except on the inside, I knew it was broken.

I was, in my early 30s, still living the life that I designed for myself when I was a teenager. Which, if you think about it, is what a lot of people do because that’s what we’re sort of guided along to do, right?

We go through school, all the while being prepped for the idea of college and trying to do things to get into the college that will serve us best in the long run. Which means deciding what we Want To Be.

When we’re, like, 12 years old.

So, shit that’s important and shiny and fun when you’re 12 is what you end up basing these decisions on.

And when I was 12 and impressionable and watched MTV (at my friend’s houses, we never had cable) and went to the mall and did whatever, the shiny interesting shit was what was on TV and blasting out at me from billboards and the radio (terrestrial, since there wasn’t satellite radio then - savages) and Cosmo and what not.

Which is to say - advertising.

I really absorbed a lot of advertising. And not the messages, necessarily - like I was running from one parent or store to another going, “I MUST HAVE THIS THING.” - but the concept of it and its power.

I saw that advertising did, despite folks’ intentions, influence people. It spoke to people. It got into their heads and got them moving. Albeit in some of the most tragic and ill-advised directions, but it got people doing shit.

And not for nothing, the stuff was sorta glamorous and shiny and cool and rad and all of those teenagery things, too.

I wanted to be a part of that. When I was 12.

So, I set out on a crash course to become part of that world. I took special classes in high school for graphic design, I went to junior college courses during high school to get ahead, I chose my college based on where I could major in Advertising and Marketing rather than just “Communications”, I steered myself right back to San Francisco’s Financial District as soon as I graduated so that I could work in one of the ad agencies I’d been ogling since my youthful days of traveling to Giants games with my mom, I then worked many long hours in various ad agencies and, when the age of internet advertising came along, I went full force into that world. Then I worked at the hub of internet advertising for nine years all up to my ears in it.

It was fun, thrilling, sucky, stressful, interesting, boring, exciting, depressing, awesome, lame and every other emotion in between. I cheered, I cried, I swore LOTS, I met some cool people and some shitty people and I changed.

Over the time I was living this self designed life of my 12 year old mind, I totally changed.

I mean, truly, I was probably working on this change my whole life, but didn’t really pay attention to it until I was sitting in a meeting in a conference room on The First Day of Spring and couldn’t stop thinking, “I should be outside.”

“I should be outside and my manicured hand that I’m now looking at typing away furiously on this keyboard should be balls deep in my garden knocking down the cover crop that’s rapidly going to beans so that it will have time to break down enough to feed my summer vegetable plants when I put them in the ground in a few weeks and...”

I’m in there with my laptop open, trying to contribute to a day long brainstorm session about online advertising operation strategies with my four inch heels jammed into the low pile carpet while routinely bashing my knees on the sunuvabitching table brace as I swiveled back and forth from looking at the overhead projector to my teammates to the laptop and, eventually to the window so that I could let my little inside voice get a word in edgewise for a little moment.

That was a few years ago.

I was still fully up to my eyes in internet advertising, the world of online technology and all the things that come in that burrito.

And it had started to feel not right.

I started to feel like maybe one day I was going to have to change burritos. I’d been an al pastor for most of my life and maybe I wanted to try being a bean and cheese for a while. Or a carne asada with pico de gallo. Or, maybe what if I was something completely different like a brandywine caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella and lettuce leaf basil...

What if that?

And then the little inside voice started to get not so little and then, eventually, not so inside.

I’ll spare you the intense, mind-numbing, extremely boring-for-people-who-are-not-me rehashing of the very self-reflecty and soul-searchy years that took place during my wind up - from the time when the little inside voice got too loud to ignore and when it became an outside voice making choices and throwing life curveballs and I’ll just cut to those curveballs...

BIG HUGE THING #1

Five months ago I enrolled in college (never thought I'd say that again) to get a horticulture degree in Organic Agriculture and Crop Production.


That's right. I'm going to be a farmer.

BIG HUGE THING #2

At the same time, I started building a business model for the kitchen garden coaching company that I’m about to launch.

BIG HUGE THING #3
And almost two months ago, I quit my job. My very great and lovely job at the very great and lovely company for which I’d worked for nine years.

And then came the pitch: Walking out the doors of the Great and Lovely job and into a life of uncertainty and excitement and passion and dirt and closed toe shoes and let me teach you how to test your soil and can your tomatoes and sow a cover crop and then WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE.

Except, the WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE part has not yet occurred. I imagine that’s on the horizon somewhere.

For now, I’m just basking in the glory of the pitch on its way to the batter.  The curveball is an unpredictable pitch that can throw off a batter something fierce and, in the case of my curveball hero, it breaks late and wears a disguise until it crosses the plate, so you never really know what you’re getting until it’s too late.

Also, I do not know when this became a baseball analogy, but since I do like baseball and I expect you not to argue with me while I’m pouring out my BIGHUGETHINGNEWS soul to you, I’m going to keep rolling with it.

So, quiet you baseball haters. I don’t understand you anyway.

The point is that Bubba and I - and let us not gloss over, meanwhile, the amazing, heart-swelling, superhuman husband strength that this man possesses which is pushing this whole life curveball over the plate that I will cover in many future posts - are changing it up.

(Now that I think about it, I should have used the changeup as my pitching analogy of choice, but I think that the world understands a changeup even less than a curveball, so I’m going to give myself a pass here, so nevermind this.)

We’ve both changed jobs, I’ve started school and a business and we’ve set our futures on a completely different trajectory than it was when we first got together a dozen years ago. We still want to end up in the same place, but our road to get there just now looks a lot different.

And he has finally gotten his true deep-down wish - I am forced to wear proper shoes. 



I will wear proper shoes. BUT ONLY FOR THE FARM TOUCHING. And only under protest.
You just can’t wear flip-flops while working on a farm. Which I was told in no uncertain terms during our first outing to the department's farm for my organic ag lab in my Reefs.

The next week I showed up in my Van’s, worn Atlas gloves and ballcap and promptly shoved my arm shoulder deep into a pile of compost.

I was home.


And now you all get to watch as I take a swing at this life curveball. Enjoy.

68 comments:

  1. And there it is. All the searching is done, now go do it (in your proper shoes).

    I'll be cheering you on from New York.

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    1. Yep, no more searching - just doing. Thank you for your cheers :)

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  2. One of my friends, after working in corporate crap for the majority of her career, did this herself a few years ago. She and her man moved to Portland, she went back to school for a wine-making degree and is now an assistant wine-maker at a small Willamette vineyard. She is in heaven.

    Good luck on your curveball!

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    1. Ooh! I like heaven! I hope to be able to tell a similar story where vineyard and wine are instead farm and horticulture. You get it. :)

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  3. Congratulations Finny! I'm really excited for you; it's a hugely brave step and it takes a particularly strong person to take it. Good job!!

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    1. Or a particularly CRAZY person - we'll see how it pans out!

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  4. Wow! Congratulations Finny - GO YOU ( and Bubba!). I was kinda close with the Tibet guess - you could have monks on your farm!!!

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    1. I do appreciate their footwear AND their beekeeping skills...

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  5. I have to say, I thought your BIG HUGE THING NEWS was going to be a baby. ;-)

    YOU QUIT YOUR JOB? Yowsa! I had an idea (FB, maybe) that you were going more farmgirl on us, but I didn't quite narrow it down. Congratulations! Bees and organic farming. You're going to be GREAT at it!

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    1. Oh Lera - you know me better than that by now ;)

      But yes - bees, worms, organic farming - it'll be great whether I'm any good at it or not.

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  6. This is MAGNIFICENT!! Magnificent! I almost teared up when I realized that you were going to be a coach, and way too far away to do any good for my field. (That's as close as I can get to a baseball analogy; I'm a total spectator.)

    Best wishes -- can't wait to read all about it!

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    1. Aw! Sweet gal! Move to the Bay Area and I'll coach the PANTS off of you. Or...well...that sounds bad. And you WILL read all about it - this blog is going to bust.

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  7. Congratulations, amiga! Brave and crazy... Here's to the relentless pursuit of happiness.

    I am curious though. As you plan the launch of your kitchen garden coaching enterprise, will you advertise? :)

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    1. OF COURSE! I didn't do all that time in online advertising for nothing :)

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  8. Sounds like a great new direction! My guess was
    garden related - I thought you'd get chickens!
    Hope they're eventually in your plans too.

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    1. Chickens aren't in my immediate plans, but definitely in the long term. I LOVE CHICKENS.

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  9. Woo-hoo! And it's about damn time you quit being a tease...

    By the way, what knoweth you about San Mateo/San Bruno area? We're house hunting (very casually as we have no money yet for a house because my properties in Wisconsin are still sitting on the market)...we keep winding up in that area.

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    1. Renee Anne, if Finny can't help with SM/SB area, shoot me an email. I grew up in that area...

      Finny: Thanks for ending the suspense! Congrats and GOOD LUCK with the new endeavor (and I "second" Megnstep's suggestion about chickens!).

      -QT

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    2. I'll email you offline about this - we used to live in Belmont (just south of San Mateo) and it has a fantastic climate and other good things...check your inbox.

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    3. IMQTPI - I third it! One day we'll have chickens when we don't live in suburbia next door to three other households with chickens.

      We're up to our eyeballs in eggs and chicken chores around here.

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  10. Wow that is BIG HUGE THING NEWS! I guessed chickens too, but that seems so little now compared to this. So excited for you. Keep us updated on your new business... might need some tomato coaching!

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    1. You guys will get ALL the updates and I would LOVE to tomato coach you, sister. Then I could meet you AND Lucy! (I will warn you though - I LOVE Corgis...those pantaloons!)

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  11. AWESOME! That is a lot of courage for both of you --- I am so impressed! BEST OF LUCK!

    Leslie

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    1. It's amazing the things you can do when you just take all of your carefully gathered Life Cards and throw them in the air - FUCK IT! Let's do something crazy!

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  12. They lied to you - I actually own a farm (well, the bank owns most of it), and I have worn flip flops in the barn. Just be prepared to get manure on your feet. Congratulations! Farming is amazing. It's crazy amounts of work and you have to love it, but you obviously do. I can't imagine doing anything else, and it's always nice to hear that others feel the same.

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    1. Um, can I have your old job, so I don't have to get rid of the farmlet? Kidding. Sort of.

      Congrats! You're awesome (you knew that). Bubba is awesome too, for supporting this.

      Agreeing with everyone else... Chickens. You need chickens. Their poo is excellent fertilizer.

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    2. I KNEW IT! I will keep the flip flops. All five hundred pairs of them. And, yes, I got chickenshit on my feet working on the farm that day in my flippers and, you know what, not the worst thing ever. I'm always in the market for more real I'm A Farmer And This Is My Real Life advice/warnings/stories - so let loose. You can also email me if you're up for it (or have time, this is busy stuff) finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.

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  13. You are my hero, as I continue to swing my bat in the online advertising world and constantly wonder about my life. Those are beautiful shoes, especially because you are doing something you LOVE. CONGRATULATIONS! You are such an inspiration.....

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    1. Oh Fu - I'll continue to ogle your beautiful shoes and your impressive approach to life, too. When's our next dinner, anyway?

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  14. This! Sounds! AWESOME! And it most certainly big huge thing news. I am looking forward to hearing ALL ABOUT IT (says the girl who is almost done with 5 years of school so I never have to work in IT again, so I totally get it).

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    1. See? You know what I'm talking about here. And you will hear ALL ABOUT IT. Meanwhile - thought of you during the Giant Race yesterday - you're an inspiration :)

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  15. Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! I had a suspicion about this one and I'm so pleased that I was right. You are definitely doing what you were meant to do. When I left Apple and started volunteering at the shelter I realized I'd never been happier. Broke, but so fulfilled. I'm sure you'll go through times, like do, when you wish you could still go crazy at a bookstore or have a really good meal at a really expensive restaurant. But once you throw your heart at something, the money doesn't matter. If you have enough to pay the bills, that's all you need. I get paid in purrs and wagging tails. You'll get paid with yummy things to eat and many happy gardeners who will benefit from your guidance. Bravo to Bubba for the support (of could he wouldn't have it any other way) and a standing ovation for your courage in following your dream.

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    1. Your move to shelter work played no small part in giving me the courage to make this leap. I see your FB posts. I see how happy you are. These are big BIG reasons for making this big change. And, since I knew this was coming long before I knew what "THIS" was, I tried to do all those pricey things before I quit the job. Hopefully it will hold me over for a while :)

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  16. I guess all I care about is if you will have goats. Because I love goats and I'd like to live vicariously through someone who has goats since Matt will not let me.

    Also, do not get manure on your feet. That's gross.

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    1. Too late. Manure has touched the feet. AND HANDS! It's OK though because cleanliness is very important on an organic farm and there are sinks with soap REALLY close by.

      Also, if things go my way, one day I WILL get goats and then you can vicariously live your PANTS off. Or whatever is appropriate to do with goats. Probably not take off your pants, but you'll figure it out.

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  17. You should also maybe change the blog from FinnyKnits to FinnyFarms.

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    1. Been noodling on that.

      FYI: You can get to this page via finnyfarms.com.

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  18. Ah so much better than being stuck inside a cube!! Congrats to you chicky!!

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  19. Replies
    1. I'm glad you think so! I'm stoked :)

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  20. Congratulations! I wondered if you were headed in a farm-ish direction. Very exciting!

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  21. Im so inspired plus excited for you!!

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  22. WOW! Good for you, congratulations & go get 'em!!!! Curveball or changeup, I know you have already hit a homer! Cheering you on from Minneapolis!!!

    ps.....I will be looking to you for advice.....

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    1. I will be happy to dole out any advice I have to give! Thanks for the cheers, mama!

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  23. Replies
    1. Thank you, sweet Jana! Hope all's well with the fam :)

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  24. Congrats! I changed careers at 30 and it's been better ever since. Good luck! It'll be great.

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    1. Oh yeah? I may need to know more about this career change...got a blog?

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  25. Where did you get the Organic Agriculture and Crop Production degree? At a college nearby or online?

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    1. I'm going through a horticulture program at a college in Santa Cruz - afraid it's hard to farm online ;)

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  26. Congratulation! I went back to school in my thirties (also with a degree in plant science) and have yet to regret it! Still trying to talk my husband into letting me manage our own farm (he's slowly thinking about it). Let me know if you need any help with your classes and best of luck!

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    1. I WILL NEED HELP! Plant science...that is fantastic! *following your blog now*

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  27. After years of trying to grow things in my yard (5 acre yard, that is) and growing frustration more than anything else, I hired a 'coach' this year. It's the best thing I ever did!

    I hope your clients will be as happy as I am. Then, when word of mouth (free advertising) takes over, you'll be as busy as you want to be.

    I think it's so great when I see young people who are strong enough in their self esteem to follow their dreams. It makes the world a much better place!

    Auntie Deb

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    1. OH REALLY! Tell us more about this coaching you got! There aren't a lot of garden coaches around here and there aren't any kitchen garden coaches, so this field is a bit new and undeveloped...

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  28. Fantastic! Love it!
    I started my own blog - to EAT your ORGANIC veggies!!!!
    Try me at http://veganideas.wordpress.com/

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  29. Farmer Finny!! Love it! I was worried you'd go the way of the really cool Indie radio station in college that suddenly went Country overnight - only in your case country is cool!

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[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.

Cheers.