It Gets Better!

Kiri describes her journey to Windward

May 13, 2020



Hello there. My name is Kirianna and I’m an Assistant Steward here at Windward. I wanted to write a piece for the notes that gave a special recognition to this marvelous journey I’ve found myself on which has, ultimately, lead to me living my ideal life. An odyssey where a hard working, kind hearted trans woman survived a 20 year long depression hell that often devolved into bouts of self destructive behavior, and in the end, transformed into a perpetually happy, optimistic, goal oriented go getter of a human being. A true testament to the, often hard to believe in, adage, “It Gets Better.”

If there IS a truly proper and natural way for a human to live it’s definitely NOT a 40 hour, nine to five, job kind of life in an overcrowded city where the most important focus of your attention is whatever gets you the money, regardless if it makes you happy or not. I found myself stuck in that very situation for two entire decades of my life and it had a terribly negative affect on me and my quality of life. I lived an existence where I was replaceable and I never seemed to make enough money. It was always paycheck to paycheck, always just one misstep away from disaster and financial ruin. Work always wore me out both physically and psychologically so all my off time was devoted to resting and trying to recover myself. I definitely never felt I had time or energy to build myself up or to create an improved situation for myself, nope, the status quo was what was working so that’s what needs to be maintained.

working the chop saw

Working the chop saw

Though, my life also seems to have these moments of change and acceleration, where everything is jumbled up and a new, improved order is established. One such occurrence was when I took a chance and moved across the country from MA to WA because the opportunity emerged out of a good deed I had done for a close friend a year prior. Then again, when I was charged by my then girlfriend to check out Intentional Communities and out of dozens, if not hundreds of options I decided upon Windward. It truly feels like I was always on a fated course to come here, since here at Windward I’ve blossomed into the person I was always meant to become.

Time has a way of passing differently at Windward than is usually experienced. A wise person will have a lot of time to reflect and consider their life and situation while surrounded by the lovely and abundant nature combined with our fun, quirky animals. To the introspective person who values personal development, they can discover a great deal about themselves here. What I love most about Windward is how it allowed me to “catch up” with myself and stop living a reactive existence and start building up the person and life I wanted to live.

Over my nearly three year residency at the Windward community I have had the chance to develop and work on myself while helping move the community forward. I feel I’ve grown more as a human being, here, in the three years here than in the last 20 out there in the city. The slower more natural pace of living at Windward gives you the opportunity to be more honest with yourself and really figure out what it is you’re all about. In addition, the different style of life at Windward also provides an excellent “Reset/Restart” point in your life to implement positive changes within yourself which can bloom into beneficial new habitual behaviors.

tending the garden

Tending the garden

I’ve also gained a vast and varied amount of skills, practical for living a self-reliant lifestyle. In my hands-on learning, I’ve also acquired the confidence to implement these skills effectively into my daily life. I think of it like I keep gaining new Super Powers, being able to do awesome, useful stuff that other people can’t. I can grow vegetables, raise livestock, do cooking, baking, roofing, tiling, masonry, and am able to use a wide variety of power tools with which I can make a multitude of structures—basically, my imagination’s the limit.

Also, while living at Windward I met the woman who would later become the absolute love of my life. Through my love and devotion to her I was able to reach new heights of self confidence and self-esteem that allowed me to access a drive and motivation within myself that made me feel positively unstoppable. Life just continued to get better and better for me.

That drive and motivation ended up manifesting as an obsessive interest in building an online business to try and make more money. Out of nowhere, I was all about making a dropshipping store. The business model is you create a store website through something like Shopify. Then when you make a sale on an item you have listed on your site you, in turn, order that same item from your supplier and then have it shipped to the customer who bought it from your store. This way you can have products available in your store but you don’t need to keep any inventory whatsoever. The low up front costs make starting this type of an online business an option for anybody who can put in the effort.

feeding my piggy friends

Feeding my piggy friends

My first was called, “The Love of Presents,” a dropshipping store. My second store was, “Spirit Kitty Prints.” a Print-on-Demand store for T-shirts. The first one I was able to make sales but not enough to turn a profit and the second, I didn’t make any sales but, my Facebook product ads got a ton of interaction. If I knew, what I learned about running ads from my second store when I made my first, things would have played out differently and that is what my third store will prove. I was set to create a third store which would combine everything I learned from the first two but then the CoVid-19 crisis gripped the world and my triumphant third store had to be placed on hold indefinitely until people were allowed to go back to work.

Meanwhile, I wondered how things could possibly level up for me since I’ve gained so much already and become a person that was superior by leaps and bounds to the woman who first arrived at Windward. The answer came in the practicing of a new kind of spirituality. Though it’s not so much new as super old and is only now starting to be practiced again. It pretty much focuses on developing one’s mind and using techniques to access the subconscious to more easily edit yourself on a personality/habitual level. It’s effectiveness depends on positive mental states and optimistic thinking, so depression is now a completely unheard thing for me.

Windward is definitely different, but that is exactly what makes it so valuable and precious. It offers an alternative to the increasingly unnatural way of living that people everywhere are being conned into. What Windward gives those who can see past the superficial and glimpse it’s hidden splendor, is a place where you can live a much more human existence. Satisfying physical hard work, constantly trying to find ways to better your home and lifestyle, caring for animals and livestock, abundant nature at all times, and a deep inner happiness that all your efforts in the end help the people in your community.

checking on this spring's new chicks

Checking on this spring’s new chicks

I wouldn’t give up the person I’ve become here at Windward for anything in the world or even for the whole world itself. I wholeheartedly believe that each and every person is on a journey to creating the very best version of themselves and that every experience is a meaningful part in the story of how that person gets there. The environment that Windward provided allowed me, after a 20 year life rut, to completely recreate myself from a habitually depressed, negative minded person into the complete opposite. I was able to do all this while living here and I know for sure it can help anyone else who has an honest desire to become their very best self as well.