Tuesday, May 10, 2011

26: New Beginnings


On the farm, spring is an exciting time of year.  The winter was filled with planning and idealizing, but the spring is a time of action and trust.  Risks are taken creating a sense of anticipation.  Once the ground is tilled and the seeds are sown, there is only so much left to do but wait to learn from the successes and failures of the summer harvest.  Once awakened from it's winter hibernation, everything begins to change at a rapid pace.  Last spring I watched as the farm developed into a beautiful array of delicious and colorful food, this spring I've become engulfed in its transitions.  Over the last few weeks, as my 26th birthday approached, I...

embraced these transitions.  From finance to farming has taken on new meaning in my life as I literally step away from the financial industry and dive headfirst into a full time farming apprenticeship at Stone Barns, but

stepping away does not mean leaving behind all that I have gained.  Pieces of every experience seem to come along for the ride in one way or another even if the connections aren't so obvious at first.  Asset management is an ever changing business.  I've learned that it's not about how much you think you know, rather how much you can adjust.  How can you adjust to the wide variety of personalities, client needs and fickle financial environment?  Everyone can be fun and happy when things are good, but how will you handle the challenges that inevitably face us in life?  These are all questions that affect any business whether in finance, farming or anything else.  The road is foggy, but in order to progress we can't sit still.  We must rely on our hearts and our instincts and just as a farmer trusts his winter plan in the spring, I must trust that I am heading where I need to go.

Life is a farm in its own right and with every new growth comes new uncertainty and fear, however, the truth is we can never escape uncertainty as there are no guarantees.

With all the noise and confusion that comes with developing as a person, sometimes your heart speaks out clearly and I believe these are the times to listen closely.  I may not be able to provide all the answers about my endgoals, but who can?  I'm 26 and understand that I still haven't faced nearly as much as many others, but I'm of the belief that it's not what you do in life that defines you, rather it's the approach you take to do it.  There is no perfect job, we are complex creatures and perception and expectations are funny things.  The grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence until it's not and it doesn't ever have to be.

We are always growing, always learning from each step we take and hopefully trying to better the next generation by attempting to understand the mistakes that were made in this one. Nevertheless, it's not a perfect science and I believe experience is the best way to learn.  Whether in finance or farming, there are always overlapping themes.  There are important skills and interactions that I have had in my 3 plus years in the financial industry that will definitely be joining me at the farm.

The journey continues...


  1. Really beautiful and well put post, Jason. I love your courage to follow your heart and enter the unknown! Today, your words were exactly what I needed-- I'm inspired!!


  2. Thanks Lacey, you've surely helped pave the way.