There seems to be a pattern there, a crisis comes on us more or less half a year into a new lifestyle. It happened when we started travelling and it happened again now, after a few months of being in the community. As we ignored early symptoms, we ended up with a relational turmoil – we bring all unsolved issues into the relationship, putting a lot of stress on it, without proper time, energy and patience to face what is at the core. During travelling we had needed three weeks of separate journey to see if we wanted to continue together. This time it took 4 days of no conversation followed by a week together in Italy and the a separed period, when Anna attended the Ecovillage Gathering to rethink things, re-ensure ourselves in a new path and regain energy and motivation to keep going.
And where did the crisis come from? The answer is a bit different for each of us.
Being more stable in one place, travelling significantly less was a huge change, especially for Anna. She misses a certain sense of freedom which comes with travelling and being able to decide from one day to another to be somewhere else. She also still struggles to find a space in the community in which she could use her strengths and talents and which could give her recognition. For now her joy and passion rise from outside projects rather than from inside activities.
Andrea struggles with setting limits. He works a lot for the community, definitely more than the expected 30h/month, being unable to say no. And this has consequences in many different areas.
In Arterra there is always something to do. Add on top all the meetings and constant messaging in a languages we are yet not fluent on, it can easily become overwhelming. Having space for ourselves, for the couple, for working, for the community is difficult to achieve in just 24h per day. Only 24h per day... why would you do that, uh?
We also miss a space for emotional and spiritual development, not only connected to the mind.
Leaving Arterra to go to Italy we were not sure we would return – or rather, come back to close the tasks, pack our backpacks and be out before the end of the summer. Yet, we decided to give this experirence one more chance, but with a new attitude. So far we tried to rather observe and adjust to what is and what we imagined was expected from us but it didn't work out in the end. We come with a new attitude of trying to find our balance, take care of what's important for us and not go against our own needs and values. And either it works and we can stay longer or it doesn't and that's also fine.