Unless You Want to Live in a Cabin in the Woods

This is a turn of a phrase we’ve all heard in our life ‘Unless you want to live in a cabin in the woods…’ usually followed by ‘…you have to learn how to manage <insert suitable stressor>.’

The thing is… What if I do want to live in a cabin in the woods? Personally, I mean this literally. It is a dream of mine. To build a cabin that looks out onto trees. That is warm and ecological. Where I am free to take things slow.

For some, a cabin could be a figure of speech. Your metaphorical cabin could be a new job that maybe isn’t as well paid, but sustains your soul and doesn’t twist your tummy in knots. It could mean a year abroad, where you decide not going to university because your brain isn’t wired to study by sitting over books.

What I’m trying to say is, we are free to reject what society deems normal and successful and we should do it more often.

In society, we’re now all striving for productivity. We are at the height of consumerism. But God, doesn’t it just feel so empty sometimes when the day is over? Even when you’ve hit your targets and bought that thing you’ve been desiring.

I’ve never had as many to do lists or replied to as many emails. You can be ever so organised and still not have a sense of purpose.

As a child, I’ve never really struggled with anxiety. Sure, I was a bit shy and I would stress out over exams, that kind of thing. But the real deal came later.

My family (and I think of my mom mostly when I say this) always told me that my health is the most important. They didn’t teach me this. I am the one responsible for the cues I picked up from my environment, as I became an adult. I’m the one that sets myself targets, subconsciously based on what I saw someone do on social media.

It really hits me sometimes how disconnected we’ve become from the most basic of things. We now have to go to designated areas (i.e. gyms) to run around in one spot, just to get some exercise into our week. There are so many paradoxes in the way we live our lives.

So now, whenever I do something, I ask myself, am I doing this because I think ‘I should’ or because it actually feeds my sense of self? If people ask me, if I’m busy, I’ll happily say ‘I try not to be’. And you’ll find me in the woods even more often.

‘See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.’

-Mother Teresa

Hair, MakeUp and Photo Assistance by the lovely Klaudia Wojdala

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