“…that live down the street. Got a good looking woman with her arms ’round me. Here in a small town where it feels like home, I got everything I need- homegrown-and nothing that I don’t- homegrown…It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want. It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want. Weight you carry. It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want. It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want. I got everything I need, nothing that I don’t. Homegrown. Everything I need, nothing that I don’t. Homegrown. Everything I need, nothing that I don’t. Homegrown. Oh, everything I need and nothing that I don’t. Homegrown.”
Lord have mercy, how amazing does that sound?
“Everything I need, nothing that I don’t.”
Zac Brown and company nailed it with this song. NAILED. IT.
This is the dream, right? To find the sense of contentment ole ZBB croons about.
I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment lately. I posted this article (Just click on the word “article” to read the whole thing!) on One Organized Girl’s Facebook page not too long ago and I want to reference it again. The title of it is “Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to An Island and Scoop Ice Cream” and here’s an excerpt from it-
One day I was working on my laptop, finishing some edits on a book I’d just written. I was distracted, wondering what I would do now that the manuscript was finished. While I had several job offers, none of them excited me. I let my hands idle too long and the screensaver, a stock photo of a tropical scene, popped up. Here was something to get excited about. What I wanted — something I’d fantasized about for years, in fact — was to stop living in front of a screen and live in that screen, in the photo on my computer. And why couldn’t I? With no professional obligations or boyfriend, I was completely untethered for the first time in my life.
Feeling slightly ridiculous, I posted a message on Facebook saying that I wanted to move to the Caribbean, and asking for suggestions as to where I should go. A friend’s sister recommended St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Nicknamed “Love City” for its famously friendly locals, it was home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. I glanced out my window where punishing, chest-high snow drifts were forming on the ground at an alarming rate. On the sidewalks impatient and preoccupied New Yorkers bumped into each other without apology. I immediately began expediting my passport.
It was startlingly simple to dismantle the life I’d spent a decade building: I broke the lease on my apartment, sold my belongings, and bought a one-way plane ticket. The hardest part was convincing myself it was OK to do something for no other reason than to change the narrative of my life.
“You can’t just move to a place you’ve never even visited!” my mom protested.
“Sometimes you just have to leap and the net will appear,” I said with more confidence than I felt.
Six weeks later, I stepped off the ferry in St. John. I had no plan, no friends, and no clue how ridiculous I looked, festively ensembled in boat shoes and a dress celebrating the palm tree. Yet I had a strange feeling that everything would unfold as it was supposed to.
My parents did not share this viewpoint. I come from a conservative Southern family with a healthy respect for the American Dream: You worked hard in school, chose an upper-middle-class job with a 401(k) and a good matching plan. So they were pretty taken aback when, upon arriving in St. John, I took a job at the local ice cream parlor.
“But, but … you went to Yale,” they sputtered. “And you’re 31 years old!”
Perhaps there was something indulgent and Peter Pan-ish about this new lifestyle. But the truth is, I was happier scooping mint chocolate chip for $10 an hour than I was making almost six figures at my previous corporate job. It was calming to work with my hands. I met new people constantly, talking face-to-face instead of communicating via email and instant messaging. When I closed the shop at the end of the shift, my work was done and my time my own. Besides, I found that not everyone shared my parents’ concern. “When I moved here 25 years ago, my dad insisted I was ruining my life,” said one of my regular customers when we got to chatting about our lives one day. “Recently he visited and told me, ‘You had it right all along. I’m toward the end of my life and looking to retire to someplace like this, and now I’m too old to enjoy it.'”