Beginning a new way of life is always an adventure. It can be exciting and it can be difficult, but it’s always an adventure. Coming from a suburban lifestyle, as a recent environmental science college graduate without a job in my field of study, I was excited to have the experience to learn more sustainability practices and live off-grid. Broadwell Hill Learning Center is located in Stewart, Ohio, and I’ve been living here since November, working alongside Con Faller and his business, Athens’ Own.
Part of the holistic goal of Athens’ Own is to build community resilience. In order to do that, one must be adaptable. In order to be adaptable, one must be open to new ideas. I will admit that adapting to life here has not been easy for me, but it has been a learning experience. I came into this opportunity knowing I would have to change how I live and operate, but I did not understand the degree to which I would need to do so.
Every day, every decision involves the constant consideration of its effects, something I think many of us are not used to. Initially, I was not fully open to this thought process, though I did try. It also involves a lot of continual practice, and is a gradual process. It has been one of many new ideas necessary to learn for life out here, off-grid, and necessary for me to form my own holistic goal. The development of this and many new ideas requires a constant openness and willingness to adopt them into my own life. Without doing so, I would be unable to adapt to this new situation, and miss out on a huge opportunity to increase my own resilience through Athens’ Own.
My time with Athens’ Own and Broadwell Hill has been an adventure thus far, and I know it will continue to be one. Using every day to learn is an opportunity we all have, but it is up to each of us to seize that opportunity. The first step is being open to new ideas. Sometimes they manifest in considering simple, yet complex thoughts; insignificant, yet meaningful actions: what if I didn’t have a thermostat I could just turn up if I was cold?