Have you ever compared yourself to your peers?
For the most part, I feel like an average 20-something. I graduated college, sent out resumes, and soon accepted my first full-time job. I’m not sure whether it’s where I see myself for the rest of my life, but I haven’t really figured things out yet. I like listening to music (loud), driving with the windows down, watching trashy TV, and browsing Facebook.
Oh, and I own a herd of rabbits.
That’s right. I knew there was something I was forgetting.
In some ways, “rabbit ranching” has been such a positive part of my life. I was a painfully shy tween. Though I’m still not interested in yucking it up with a large crowd of obnoxious individuals, rabbits broke that barrier. While I’ll never consider myself an outgoing extrovert, rabbits give me something to talk about. I say “hi” to people I meet on the street and occasionally strike up conversation with random people at the grocery store. I don’t always talk about rabbits, but as a kid, they were a topic I knew intimately and could turn to during awkward breaks in conversation.
In hindsight, maybe that didn’t make things any less awkward.
At any rate, they have been a blessing in many ways. And in other ways, it separates me. Sure, my friends know to leave well enough alone and pass it off with a nod and smile. But I think they’re still struggling to find the appeal.
What I wish I could explain to people is that rabbit ranching has little to do with an intense love for the species itself. A passion for rabbits encompasses so much more. I’ve met incredible people over the years, all with unique stories and different paths in life – but we’ve come together by one shared interest. It has allowed me to travel to areas I’d never visit otherwise. It’s the challenge of competition and the thrill of a win. It’s the feeling of life beneath a carefully bedded first-time mom’s nest.
Then there’s the barn. Working in the barn is an escape. When I’m there, I turn the radio on and forget about the real world. It doesn’t matter if I’m dumping trays, cleaning dishes, clipping toenails, tattooing juniors – time stops, and I get lost in my work.
If you’re reading this, you understand. But how do you explain that to someone else?
I think it’s one of those things you only “get” if you’ve done it…and even then, there are people who leave the hobby and never look back. In some ways, the “escape” is our best kept secret.
Maybe it’s better that way.