We all have dreams that drive the things we do and make us wake every morning with fire in our eyes, ready to take on whatever the day brings us. We have passions that motivate us and bring a smile to our face when times are tough.
Like you, I have dreams too. One of my big dreams is to be a writer, and I’ve been working hard to make it a reality. I already feel somewhat like a successful writer because I do the hard work. I write every day and publish frequently. I feel fantastic because instead of talking about doing it, I’ve done it and do it every day.
There are still writing mountains I want to climb. My next goal is to make writing my only source of income. After that, I’d like to work on a few creative projects that would help me produce evergreen content that would pay year after year.
I have another dream, as well. This was an idea that turned to passion for me.
I want to retire at 55 and be a farmer
It’s funny, but I could almost say I am retired now. I’m 50, and I live in a place that many have referred to as paradise. I don’t have a “regular” job — meaning I don’t get dressed and go to another location to work.
What I mean by retiring has nothing to do with work. I will always be a writer to some degree. I will always make my money from writing because I have a family with young children to feed.
What I mean by retiring is that I want to be doing something I’m passionate about every day that’s different from my other passion of writing.
I want to be a farmer
The past few years have seen me become more and more interested in climate and sustainable living. I’ve been developing an interest in organic farming. What I’ve decided I want my family and me to do is completely switch the way we live life and do our part to fight climate change.
Part of that is shifting the way we use things that we have taken for granted before. I want to alter how we use plastics and change to a zero-waste lifestyle. I want to get to as close to a vegetarian life that I can get. It’s about both how we use and misuse animals and the huge carbon footprint that a carnivorous way of life has.
I want to change to a mostly plant-based diet, and I want the food I eat to be safe and organic. What better way to get my food than to grow it myself?
But I want to take it further. I want the techniques I use to grow my food to be sustainable and good for the environment. I want to explore ways to grow food with limited water because one of the major problems we will face in the world is a shortage of water.
I want to create a movement, or at least join one. I’m just one person, but one person can make a huge difference. Look at Greta Thunberg. She could have convinced herself that she was just a little girl and couldn’t make a difference, but, she didn’t. Instead, she did something about it, and her stand for the climate encouraged millions of others to take their own stand.
I am one man, but if I make a stand, I know I can inspire others to take a stand as well. If I don’t, who will? Because if we humans don’t do something soon, we won’t be here much longer. We’re in danger! I intend to do something about it. I won’t scoff at the problem and continue practicing toxic capitalism until society collapses around us.
I’m going to do something.
In the next five years, I’ll stabilize my financial situation. I’m already on the path; I just need to keep moving forward. There are benefits to living in the Philippines. Most things are cheaper here, so my cost of living is much lower than the average American or Canadian.
I own a house, but I’m going to buy a piece of land suitable for farming. Over the next five years, my family and I will develop it into a working organic farm. We will start small, and our extended family will eat the food we grow.
After five years, we’ll expand to a larger operation and start offering what we grow to the public. A small, organized operation can produce an enormous amount of food in a year, especially since the growing season is year-around here.
I will continue to write, but I’ll also work on my farm. As my kids get older, their needs will lessen, and I’ll have more time. Also, I don’t think there’s a better way for kids to learn a work ethic and lessons about life than working on a farm. I did it when I was a kid, and I’m better for it.
All this time, I’ll be working on getting the message out about sustainable living, organic eating, and climate change. I plan to use what I learned about social media to spread awareness in the Philippines and around the world.
These are big plans, and I have a lot to learn before I can do any of this. Thankfully, people are already doing what I want to do, and I can learn from them. I have the world at my fingertips with the internet, and I plan on continuing my research there as well.
I have big dreams and bigger plans. I know I’m going to have challenges and roadblocks. I know my mental illness will make it difficult for me. But there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life that drives everything I do.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
It won’t be easy, but I’m up for the challenge, and I want to do more than my part to combat climate change while fulfilling my dreams.
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Jason Weiland is a writer, blogger, vlogger, and mental health advocate living a dream life in far-away destinations he only dreamed of as a kid. He talks about difficult issues but has never lost his sense of humor or willingness to understand others and help when he can.
He would love to connect with you on social media.