For only being 27 years old, Tom and I have had a lot of adventures in our lives. We did the whole college thing, the really tiny rural town thing, the oil field thing, the big city thing, the small mountain town thing, and now we are here, doing the ranch thing.
To be honest, it took me a while to agree to move out here. For a whole year, Tom made the 4 hour drive to the ranch from the little mountain town we were living in every weekend because his family needed help. We talked about moving here, but the thought of living in my hometown (something I swore I would never do) was enough to send me over the edge. I wasn't ready to give up the life we had built, my job at a little school I really loved, and the freedom that came with living in a different town than our families. I hated the idea of being a ranch wife - never going anywhere or doing anything fun, never seeing my husband.
After a year of Tom driving back and forth, we agreed that we would move at the end of the next school year. I don't really know what made me say yes, other than I knew it would make him happy. I wasn't thrilled about it and spent most of the year stressing and wishing it would somehow fall through. My philosophy was that Tom would stay in his lane and do the ranch thing and I would stay in mine as a teacher. I told Tom not to ask me to help with anything, and in my mind, I planned out all of the weekend trips I could make to visit my friends and get away from here.
If you've been following my journey on Instagram, you probably know that I no longer feel that way about anything out here. Somehow, in some twisted, alternate universe, being a ranch wife is actually a perfect fit for me. After several months of complaining and crying and definitely not being ok about our new life, something in me shifted. I started helping Tom with little tasks like putting salt and mineral out for the cows. Over time, those little tasks grew into bigger things like learning how to drive the tractor. I started to realize that I can do hard things. I can do things that scare me, and I actually enjoyed it.
The truth is, this place breathed life back into my broken little soul. I quickly started to realize that the things I had so desperately been clinging to in my old life never made me that happy to begin with. I was a very unhappy person who had simply grown comfortable in that misery and accepted it as my fate.
So when people ask me how I deal with the unpredictable schedule, saying no to things I wish I could do, my husband working 14 hour days, the mud, the manure, and all the things that come with ranch life, I can confidently say that out of all the lives we have lived, I would choose this one. Every. Single. Time.
This ranch life has taught me that I don't need a lot to be genuinely happy. It's taught me that there is joy in the simplest things and letting go of what people think about me feels really good. Most importantly, its taught me that my happiness matters. I get one life to live, and I plan on making the most of it. No more finding comfort in the misery and dwelling there. No more comfort zone at all, actually.
At the end of the day, I choose this.