From Chickens to Brooklyn / by Hannah Harley

I've always been fascinated with the idea of a conversation with a younger me.. Take a year ago, for example. I had applied to two MFA graduate schools in the country (reach schools, and I knew it) and was planning on traveling the world and working odd jobs with WorkAway when I graduated from Point Park University in the spring. But life worked out in its way. And I got in to both of them. But I still couldn't fathom that this would be the daily life I get to live. Being an MFA candidate at Parsons and living in Brooklyn.. Working on projects I'm passionate about and with friends who inspire me. It still knocks the breath out of me sometimes when I'm walking home from the subway. And to think that just two years ago, I had never been to New York City.

Perhaps it's so striking to me because I grew up in a small town, surrounded by horses and chickens. (Literally, surrounded by chickens. I hatched and raised them to 'adulthood' in my bedroom.) I spent the summers building dams with my dad in the creek and playing softball in fields with overgrown grass. I mucked out horse stalls and cleaned chicken coops. And it was a surprising amount of fun. 

So to be 23 now, having lived in Paris and New York seems like a page out of someone else's story. Like someone who was way cool in middle school and who had a cable television. Someone who didn't know fifty varieties of chicken breeds or where the best wild black raspberries were. Someone who probably didn't share a bedroom with 24 chicks. But hey, life works out in its own weird way. 

I do often wish that I could talk to that little weirdo, who made many chicken friends but very few human ones.  I wish I could explain how much better it gets. Kids can be vicious, and I didn't always handle it well. I wish I could explain that I didn't have to be defensive and mean and harbor that anger. Maybe tell myself that reading the books in class would be useful and that boys were not worth much energy. And maybe remind myself that that lisp with the retainer will never really go away, no matter how much practice I put into it. 

I've written this from my Brooklyn apartment, listening to some city noises instead of the cheeps I grew up with. I'm lucky I got a little bit of the rural world before living here. I'm happy not knowing which comes next, but in the event that a throughough knowledge of egg incubation is neccessary, at least I know I'll be okay. 

 A picture of a picture, so there's a bit more dirt on it than usual.   The chick on the far right is Fritz, a spunky and loving rooster who had a tough battle coming out of the shell. We helped him get out and he spent his days caring after his beloved hens. Miss that big Buff Orpington. 

A picture of a picture, so there's a bit more dirt on it than usual. 

The chick on the far right is Fritz, a spunky and loving rooster who had a tough battle coming out of the shell. We helped him get out and he spent his days caring after his beloved hens. Miss that big Buff Orpington.