“You don’t look like a WWOOFer.”

This was Thursday’s opening line. Oh, Thursday. You were something.

A WWOOFer is a Worldwide Worker On Organic Farms, and I am one of them, although apparently I don’t give off that vibe. If I had a nickel for every time someone commented “you don’t look like the roadtripping type” I’d have enough gas money for the rest of the trip. I’m not sure what it is about me, but next time someone says something I think I’m going to ask.

On Thursday I found myself immersed in crap from all sides. Literally, since I was shoveling cow manure for the greater part of the day (with a guy who is the spitting image of Wes Welker). I’m convinced the farmers around here feed their cows concrete. That was basically what we were hoisting into and out of trucks and onto the fields. It didn’t help that it was frozen, either.

Also made out of concrete: my limbs. I didn’t know why I felt like I was so weighed down until I heard that we’re at 7,000 ft above sea level. That’ll do it.

Crap was also coming at me figuratively. My phone decided to shut down completely. Not just die from lack of battery power, but flash a “SYSTEM FAILURE!!!” message – in red, just for added effect. There’s really nothing heartwarming about a system failure message at any point in time, but especially when you are clear on the other side of the country and your phone is your lifeline. Thankfully, after some rebooting and pleading and praying, it returned to working status. Sans reception, but I’ll take what I can get.

Crap made a third appearance when my decluttering skills were commissioned. The host had mentioned that she needed help getting rid of some things and organizing some spaces and wondered if I could lend a firm hand. Since I recently went through a clean sweep of my own, I was primed to ruthlessly weed out any unnecessary items. She ended up naming me the “Get Rid Of It” angel for the phrase I constantly used in the process, usually as an answer to one of these questions: is it in any way meaningful to you? have you or will you use it in the next month? can someone else benefit from it more than you can? will it fit in the area designated for things of that nature? These are the questions you have to ask in the process, and if you come up empty on the answer…then the answer is to get rid of it.

A few hours and garbage bags later we reached the end of the piles. When we were finishing the last of the cleaning she summed up the experience by saying that I was equally relentless and encouraging, not letting her get away with anything but not making her feel bad about anything, either.

It was the first time I’d heard my personality explained to a tee by a perfect stranger. Which helped me to feel more like myself, since I haven’t really been meshing well here. The people are great, the work is plentiful, the place is beautiful, but for some reason I’m not fitting in as well as I’d like to. This is probably because I’m expecting far too much since I’ve only been here for 24 hours. But still, it was nice to hear something about me that sounded like me at a time when I wasn’t feeling much like me.

Does that make any sense?

At any rate, Thursday ended on a better note than it began. A gift I greatly appreciated.