My Happy Place
I reside and work predominantly on a beautiful, rural, cattle farm my husband and I purchased in 2002. I’m a born and bred city girl and, through surprising circumstances, I suddenly found myself swapping a social/welfare career for complete serenity and solitude. Although the move was exciting and positively life-changing, it proved to be an extraordinary transition on many levels.
Initially I concentrated on cleaning up farm waste material, which had been cunningly hidden from view. I enthusiastically learnt such tasks as pulling down aged, rusty fence wire and replacing fence posts by hand—all towards improvement of our property. It was liberating dirtying my hands and I slept like a baby at night, satisfied with my physical achievements. I would be alone most days listening to the mesmerising and diverse sounds of nature, while a group of curious cattle would stand close by, supervising my every move.
‘After nine months however, I began wishing the steers would join in on my one-sided conversations, as their big, beautiful, brown eyes were no longer quenching my social needs.’
It was bizarre and completely unfamiliar to the lifestyle I was accustomed to. After nine months however, I began wishing the steers would join in on my one-sided conversations, as their big, beautiful, brown eyes were no longer quenching my social needs. The honeymoon was over and although I loved my country life, including all my precious, adopted, furry family members, there was definitely something missing. It didn’t take too long to work out what that was.
All my adult life I had been employed in a service role and, to the best of my ability, I had assisted people of all ages to heal and grow. This opportunity initially arose through a nursing capacity, later in the addictions arena. I worked for a not-for-profit organisation for ten years, engaged in various internal programs. My roles were challenging, fulfilling, often frustrating and, at times, extremely heartbreaking. It was imperative I regularly checked my mental and emotional barometer.
So here I was, suddenly immersed in the rawness of mother earth, happily soaking in the fresh, clean air, as the sun kissed my face. It was humbling and I was truly grateful, but was this now my purpose forever more, to nurture our land and animals? Would my life now consist of patching fences, making sure we stored sufficient fuel for our farm equipment, and regularly changing the pump oil and turning it on to keep our cattle watered?
‘I realised I had been granted the opportunity to recuperate from the pain and suffering I had listened to for so many years, which became my daily norm.’
A little anxiously, I contemplated this question for many months, and suddenly one day it dawned on me that I was exactly where I was meant to be! I realised I had been granted the opportunity to recuperate from the pain and suffering I had listened to for so many years, which became my daily norm. My energy had constantly swayed between desperately wanting vulnerable, anguished individuals to believe they mattered, while keeping healthy, professional boundaries. It was an internal struggle at times, as I felt their debilitating pain. Perhaps then, this was my reward for having consistently and passionately chosen to assist others? A gift of solitude and being embraced by nature’s peacefulness and healing. Once I acknowledged this new understanding to be true, I actually found it quite easy to savour each moment of my day by being mindfully present. However, the niggling whisper to help people and to promote positively continued.
After considering how I could possibly still have a voice for those who would choose to listen, I remembered how in the past I loved to pen my words. In fact, I lived and breathed writing throughout my adolescence, finding comfort in a diary, which supported me through challenging teenage years. I even tried my hand at writing poems! Maybe the vast internet would be a wonderful and appropriate venue to share my knowledge, I thought.
I finally decided to start a blog. Not so much a running commentary, but a journal documenting my experiences. When I find the time, which is often in short bursts between necessary farm chores, I step into my authentic world where time stands still, yet in reality passes quickly. I predominantly write about my personal encounters, ones people can relate to. As the words unfold the content magically falls into perspective, and I gain an awareness of rhyme and reason. My focus is to promote a sense of ‘journeying together’ and to bring comfort, hope, growth and understanding through messages the reader perhaps recognises in his or her own life. Topics vary as significant experiences happen throughout my weeks. If my intuition tells me there is benefit to sharing my often very personal occurrences, I will happily do so.
‘When I find the time, which is often in short bursts between necessary farm chores, I step into my authentic world where time stands still, yet in reality passes quickly.’
These days my shoulders are a touch lighter and carry contrasting concerns, such as my fear of snakes, our fluff balls coming together, or our house water pump breaking down, which means we have no water! Worse still, the need for rain when drought happens. I think the thoughts of a farmer now, however, I continue to want to make a difference in this beautiful world of ours, if only small.
I still wish for those, who are lacking self-worth and direction, to find peace and self-love. I believe low self-esteem is the root cause of most of the issues we humans face. I most certainly advocate to look within and to listen in an attempt to live as true to ourselves as possible. I pray people discover what it is that makes their heart sing and find the courage to pursue it. Each day brings a new gift of learning and my daily goal is to grow a little more insightful than I was yesterday; to be a better person than I was yesterday, and to write as often as I can.
There is once again a satisfying purpose to my otherwise busy lifestyle, and with only a pen and paper or a laptop needed, I am able to visit ‘my happy place’ whenever I wish to and I am truly thankful for that.
‘May you find your happy place too.’
If you’d like to write for Writers in the Attic, consider this an invitation. The topic is anything to do with writing—your writing life, what writing means to you, or what has influenced your writing.
600-1000 words is a good length, and I acknowledge the time and effort involved in writing these pieces by sending a small gift as a thank you.
I enjoy reading every essay I receive, so don’t be frightened to take the plunge! If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me here.
This is a lovely post – writing is a ‘happy place’ for me, too, so I can relate. And I loved your revelation about how your reward was to be out in nature, having your depleted energy restored – it sounded well-earned. Wishing you all the best with your writing and farming life 🙂
I relate so much! Could spend my whole life writing! I agree, nature and writing are the best ways to restore depleted energy supplies. 🙂
A lovely post, Camilla. I was brought up on a farm then left and lived many years in the city. Since moving to a suburb in W.A.’s Darling Range I’m much more at home with the peace and stillness and enjoy my opportunities to write. Thank you for bringing Camilla to us, Louise.
I love going out to the hills—I could easily live there, too!
It’s been my pleasure to share Camilla’s essay with the world. 🙂
I love that writing is your happy place Camilla, mine too.
I think there are a few of us who feel the same way, Jodi! 😉
I’m so glad you have found your happy place x
Me, too! 🙂
What a truly beautiful post by a truly beautiful human being. Thanks for sharing your story, Camilla. May you find a happy place wherever you may be. Thanks to you, too, Louise, for providing an avenue for writers to share their stories.
Once you’ve found your ‘happy place’, everything seems to fall into place, doesn’t it? Thanks for visiting and commenting, Maureen! You’re a huge support to so many. 🙂
What a beautifully, thoughtfully written piece. Isn’t technology amazing? Linking us and our thoughts together, no matter how far away from each other we live. It sounds like Camilla has found the perfect balance – a life of solitude in the country, with access to the world whenever she wants it at her fingertips. I can see that many people would benefit from the positive vibes that flow from her writing. Thanks, Camilla!
You’re right about the internet and social media—it enables us to feel connected even if we’re physically apart. And I agree—Camilla’s lifestyle sounds like the perfect mix for a writer. 🙂
Oh my goodness thank you. I’m so humbled by all your comments xxx
Thank you for writing such a lovely piece. I’m so glad you got to read all the comments, too! 🙂
What a lovely post. I’m glad you found your happy place 🙂
It’s a really uplifting post, isn’t it! Thanks for reading, Samantha! x
I loved reading every word of your story! You are light and love and a truly beautiful person! I feel so blessed to know you and reading your story I feel I know you so much more! The universe was truly kind to bring us together. I love the happy place I feel when I am in your company!
Thank you my friend! 💕🙏💕
With much love,
This is so nice to read! Sounds like you two were meant to be friends. Thanks for popping by and reading, Carol, and for writing such a lovely comment. x
Great that you can find a way to deal with your empathy-overload, Camilla. Writing can be so restorative.
Writing is restorative, isn’t it? Helps us make sense of things and puts everything in perspective. Everyone should write! 🙂
What a wonderful journey of self-discovery. I’m so glad that writing has brought you some comfort in your isolated life, Camilla.
Writing’s good for so many things, including forming connections and easing isolation. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kirsty. (Hope you’re getting more sleep these days! 😉 )