The Struggle
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

November 26, 2018

I was once told that my undertaking would be a struggle and in that, perhaps best to take a different path. Cambridge English Dictionary defines struggle as: 1. to experience difficulty and make a very great effort in order to do something: 2. to move somewhere with great effort: 3. to be in danger of failing or being defeated.

Keep dreaming while looking at the stars each night

Window frames in place, 3 will face south to capture passive solar gain.

The first yurt rises…

I have pondered this effort since undertaking it and indeed have experienced my share of challenges. In order to get my medical licenses recognized in Colorado, I found myself doing numerous online classes, traveling to Denver to get finger printed, Alamosa for written tests, El Paso for practical testing, paying numerous fees and that was just to earn a license recognized by Colorado, so that I might start working in the field again. Applying for work is not on the top of people’s lists for activities to enjoy and can be stressful at times, especially when needed to keep the wheels turning. Meanwhile, while moving into winter, I stayed in my neighbors 5th wheel while building the first yurt. As the temperatures began to hover in

Interior bathroom framed w/ loft… now for plumbing, gas, & electric

the single digits at night, my water lines began to freeze, the heater would go out, setting off the chirping of a carbon monoxide alarm in the middle of the night. Getting the permit for the yurts took three months and was not guaranteed, while trenching and constructing the platform became a roller coaster of emotion as I educated myself on the fly, confronting impasses and navigating solutions to achieve small victories.

The whole experience of juggling work, living, and building generally presented as a sort of comedic tragedy at times. One might be rolling their eyes asking who in their right mind would undertake this sort of effort by choice when I could have stuck with a more traditional flow through life.

The thing is, given the prospect to create a sustainable educational center and retreat, to one day be able to fund early childhood reading weeks, to have the opportunity to influence even a handful of people to bring sustainable practices to their lives, or provide a space for people to retreat to and find a moments peace, that prospect drives me each and every day and it comes from a deep passion to meet specific challenges we face as a collective.

Reading this, it probably does sound like a real struggle. Yet when passion is paired with effort, it feels more like a wild journey and I take joy in these daily challenges. The experience has made me immensely grateful for the simple pleasures in life like hot water and continues to teach me to re-evaluate the things that are most important, both to me and others faced with difficult daily circumstance. I write about these challenges because dreams don’t come easily, even when they make sense. On top of that, our daily lives are often presented with the shiny side facing forward in social media feeds as we try and show the best of ourselves and of our experiences.

I worry that these curated feeds make others fearful of taking the plunge into their passion to meet one of the great challenges of our times for fear of failure within a social sphere of “success”. We have a world of challenges we need to undertake together. They may often seem like struggles whether it is human rights, education, sustainability, equality of race and gender, or the countless other causes in need of attention. But if you find your passion in these vast needs, that purpose makes no challenge too great and with support from our loved ones and community, anything is possible. You can count on me to be there to support your effort, provide an ear to just listen, and encourage the passion to change the world for the better should you commit to climbing your mountain.

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Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Summer 2023 flyer earthship workshop
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