Cultivate Your Garden

Photograph by

Photograph by

I’m not sure where to begin with this one.

To be honest, I haven’t really been thinking clearly lately, and my mind has been racing non-stop since I have returned to the States. I have been home for about 2 months, and all of a sudden my identity is starting to escape me. For a year I was identifying myself as a teacher, and now, I am sitting at a desk working 8-5 dealing with mortgage and insurance companies. I didn’t know this until now, but what you do really has a way of defining who you are. This is why loving what you do is crucial to loving life. And I love teaching, and miss it very much. As Voltaire said “We must cultivate our garden”.

Word, Voltaire.

I am also struggling with the aspect of materialism. Everytime I leave the country, my goal is to learn something new, and to become less materialistic as an individual. And I do think that I have accomplished this to an extent in the sense that every time I leave and come back, a layer of materialism does indeed shed away…But in all honesty, half of that layer grows back after returning.

All in all, it is easy to forget these materialistic things when you are away from them-out of sight out of mind, but even easier to return to your old ways upon returning…Which is deadly…Stepping off that plane, in your clothes that you have been carrying around with you in a backpack, which for some reason now- all of a sudden, seems for way too long. Sporting loose threads, greasy dreads, and a smelly backpack; bombarded by people with shiny things and indulgent ways slowly influencing you back to the “other side”…

And believe me. You have to fight it. Because it will happen if you don’t. And this is where your identity can start to teeter-totter. You have to stay strong and remember why it is you think what you think, and do what you do.

And personally, my reason is “simplicity”. Have less, want less, worry less, and the more you can enjoy life.

Two days ago I almost let it get me.I was sitting outside on my balcony,thinking about  “things” I want  before I move to Honduras in August for my next teaching assignment..New hiking shoes, new running watch, some more clothes….and before I knew it, the album I was listening to was over .I had literally spent a good 30 minutes wasting time on materialistic things.

This was a wake up call for me. There I was, sitting outside on a beautiful day, the sun shining and peacocks running around the yard, the trees dancing in the breeze giving form to wind, and ALL I could think about was what I wanted.

Don’t be a victim of this mentality. Because things do not make you happy. Love, life, experiences, and the people you surround yourself with do.


  1. Amen Jenna. Give me my credit card back…..just kidding !!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love all of your blog posts, they are so real and down to earth and I appreciate that. As for this post, at least you’re thinking of new hiking shoes, not a mercedes! I wouldn’t worry too much!

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