Our community recently started telling us about their experiences in outdoor jobs. We’re excited to begin sharing the stories of these wonderfully free people and the unique jobs that kept them outside and in their element.
We hope you enjoy taking a glimpse into their lives, in their own words. Their experiences are worth celebrating and we can learn from them too!
Finding the intersection between our passions and values is key to finding our ideal vocation. We also believe that there’s no time limit to finding that magic. Laurie found hers after working a variety of jobs and taking the time needed to raise her kids. Now she’s living her best life working in a male-dominated field where her personal skills intersect with a love for the outdoors and a desire to live healthfully.
Laurie – Trucker for Local Co-op
I’m originally from Massachusetts and have lived in New England most of the time… including all through childhood and adolescence when I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life.
I would always tell people I wanted to be a brain surgeon because medicine and science always intrigued me. But while pursuing pre-med studies I found out more about what daily life was like for a doctor. That was a roadblock for me… I realized that, while the substance of the work would resonate with me, the lifestyle and cultural expectations would have felt oppressive.
To help pay for grad school, I drove a bus. That job was really enjoyable for me. I liked being on the road! But when kids came along I decided to focus on raising and educating them. During those years I flourished in building a home life that prioritized the outdoors and healthy living. Kids, guineas, chickens, goats, ducks, and gardens were my life for the next few decades!
When the kids were at the point of heading out on their own paths in life, it seemed like a good time for me to go back to a paying job. As you might guess from the homesteading type of activities, I was very interested in where our food comes from. And since I’d kept my commercial driver’s license current through the years, it seemed like the perfect fit when I heard that the company that delivered to our local co-op had bought a new truck.
I loved the idea of merging my passion for Earth-friendly, organic, local food with the enjoyment of being on the road visiting food co-ops and farms around the region. Plus it was a great workout moving all the veggies in and out of the truck. I’ve been doing it for 7 years now, driving part-time and keeping up the homestead when I’m not out having fun hiking!
Naysayers and bigots who think it’s odd for a woman to drive a truck get none of my attention or energy. I’ve learned that disregarding them is best. Not feeding that rhetoric helps starve that beast. Those people just don’t understand what a woman is capable of!
I _am_ a woman and therefore I am part of defining what a woman is. This is what I do, so this is what women do. I define it, not someone who may not have my best interests at heart. I don’t like society’s rigid gender roles and I don’t know who gave who the right to decide what a woman is, but that stops here!