A couple of weeks ago I took what felt like a giant leap into the unknown and announced to my employer that I plan to follow my heart and the flowers you read about here in a new direction this June. For 13 years I've coached my students to latch on to what they love, to step sideways from those people who are trying to turn them into people they don't want to be, to embrace making and art and a full life.
While I know I'll miss teaching a great deal, I also know that I'll be able to return to it when and if I decide I'm ready to. For now, I have too many unanswered questions about growing both flowers and my skills as a dedicated gardner and farmer. I feel this need to figure things out that I haven't felt before.
I think that some folks I've shared my plans with are genuinely happy and eager to learn more about what has been "my other life" for the last year. Others give me that look-- that look I've warned my students to ignore to some extent. It's a look that says, "Are you sure you really want to do that? Are you going a little bit crazy? You can't have any idea how hard that is going to be."
I'm trying hard to push those looks out of my mind. I think to myself, "If those folks only knew how much self-doubt and second-guessing it took to get to this point!" Yep, I'm actually doing it. I'm stepping away from a high paying administrative position in an independent school to grow flowers that I hope will be loved by others. There you have it. Gulp.
I'm not quite sure exactly where this journey will take me or exactly how I'll get there. I do know that it will take lots of hard work, many experiments, some significant research, and help from people in this business that I admire. That's why I'm turning to Erin Benzakien and her team at Floret Flowers this April. How much can I learn in three days at a flower farming intensive workshop in Washington state? Well, I guess that remains to be seen. But from what I've heard, I am in for an unbelievable experience. I'm counting the days. And you can bet I'll be taking lots of notes.
Thank you for listening. And for all of you gardeners and flower farmers who have connected with me over the last 12 months- thank you for inspiring me to join your ranks. I am proud to join you.