Mojave to the Bayou

As I prepare for my move to Southern Louisiana, I am starting to settle into the rhythm of change. Moving is stressful, overwhelming, and often we fall out of our healthy habits in order to accomplish all that needs to get done. With less that 3 weeks to go before we pile into the cars and trucks to take off, things are starting to boil up.

However, I have been planning for this move for some time, and have been able to carve space for myself amongst the change. Meditation has found it's way back into my life after a few weeks hiatus. I'm reading more than ever, and all of the work is still getting done. I've had time and space to reflect on my journey, and I feel stable in my decisions. I am enjoying myself in the desert; I am leaving with a warm heart. 

This might be a bit rambling, but as many of you know, once I get started... well I can ramble. But I wanted to touch on my time in the Mojave, my intentions for the future, and my gratitude for my experiences.

I moved out to the Mojave Desert with an intention of getting away from society, finding a place of solitude to be with my partner and start a business. Silly me, starting a business is not solitary work. Once I was living in this quiet town on the edge of society, I became overwhelmed with an itching to create, make, share, re-evaluate and keep going. I have worked more during my time in the desert than I ever anticipated. In retrospect, life has seem a bit unbalanced... However, life is not always balanced. Maintaining balance is a tricky endeavor, and it isn't always beneficial for our goals. I wanted to jump start a business, and it took an exhausting amount of creative work and planning to do so. If I had attempted to maintain balance, I'd probably still be coming up with a name.

The Mojave is a difficult place to call home. We moved into an awfully ugly house at the base of a rocky desert mountain home to coyotes, mountain lions, bob cats, and all sorts of predators. I found myself in the wild wild west. 

Where I live, it's dry, dusty, and the sun is unstoppable. There is no escape. It can make you feel insane at times. Heat is one thing, but the Sun! Oh how many days I have cursed the Sun. 

While living here, my garden has failed time and time again. Each death of a plant has felt like an intense failure. A new determination would well up inside of me, and I would try again. Only to see my plants wither under the weight of the Sun or the power of the Wind. Eventually, I accepted that what I want to grow, and what wants to grow here are not one and the same.

My time in the Mojave has been intense and demanding. The climate demands a lot of our bodies, and the environment, while absolutely beautiful, still feels foreign to my soul. I came here for an adventure, and I am leaving with stories, friends, and new business endeavors. But it has not been all positive, in fact, it has been extremely difficult finding positive light out here. Somehow, Justin + I have managed to love each other harder and find happiness in one another. We have so much fun together, I think we could survive living in the arctic tundra together and still be giggling to ourselves each night.

In a zone that's far from hospitable, I faced myself head on. I saw things in myself that I didn't like, and I kept going, evolving. It almost feels like I have been on one of those reality survivor television shows. 

I don't think of the Mojave as home. It has been home, but it has never been home. I thrive with trees, rain, blooms. I crave to be overloaded with green. I was born and raised in a wooded area in Pennsylvania. My summers were spent in cut offs and a t-shirt digging in the mud between chapters of my latest book. They were not spent hiding inside by an air conditioner until the sun hits the horizon.  

There's a grit to life here that leaves many people standing against themselves, dealing with things they thought had long been dealt with before. I'm beyond grateful for this adventure. My family and I congregated here by circumstance, and our bond has strengthened ten fold. Bad personal environments were swapped for space. We all came to this quiet place, void of distraction, and strengthened our foundation. Each one of us is leaving this area with a stability in our legs. Moving forward with clarity and energy serves us well, and I have the desert to thank for that.

And as I look forward, my dreams that always remained in the "some day" are getting closer to the today.

One of those dreams is a mini farm. We have spent the past year practicing food preservation techniques, making as many things from scratch, and raising chickens. Together, we have a collection of skills that we plan to continue building on. In time, we want to raise a family in an off grid lifestyle. We have a long way to go before that happens. But our move to Louisiana leads us closer to people that have skills we are lacking. We are not skilled farmers, neither of us has ever hunted for food. We intend to fish, hunt, and grow as much food as we can. You can not buy a sustainable lifestyle at the grocery store, you're going to have to sweat for it. We are ready to sweat.

Working for ourselves was one of the biggest steps we took in finding a way to rely on ourselves. We hope to grow our businesses, and find some semblance of financial security to make our dreams a reality. We are so grateful for the community that has supported our work in all of it's many phases. We hope to use our passions and work ethic to continue bringing quality products to you, both here & the Junkyard Co., while supporting a life that gives us time and space to be with the land.

I want to thank everyone who has made my time in the Mojave fun! I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this difficult journey of become a 2x business owner. I want to thank any of my employers who allowed me to work part time from home while I worked on building my businesses. Thank you for my friends, creatives, family, and supporters for sticking with me! I can promise this move will be so positively beneficial to 5th Dimension, and I can't wait to share the next chapter of my adventurous life with you all!

Jayna Anderson