Chance's Story: Part 1
Hi guys, Chance here. Welcome to our family project "RealFat Life." I'm looking forward to exploring the masculine side of food, work and family with you, but first how about a little bit of my background?
I'm a big picture kind guy so I won't bore you with too many details.
I grew up in a family of four kids - my dad was in the IT field and my mom stayed home with me and my siblings, educated us, and fed us great home-cooked meals every day. My dad taught me to love narrative - epic fantasy and science fiction - which ultimately led to my study of the visual arts - my mom taught me to love good food and history and agriculture. Both parents were avid readers.
In 1998 when I was 9 years old we moved from the suburbs of the greater Richmond Virginia area to King William County 35 miles north east of the city. It was farm country. Nothing but corn, horse pastures and trees as far as the eye could see. This is where I spent the rest of my childhood and teen years. I worked on a cash crop farm across the road from where we lived and developed a great connection with the land, and an interest in agriculture, but I was frustrated.
"from a young age I wrestled with the
cognitive dissonance of my fascination
with ancient history and agriculture contrasted
with the values of emerging information age"
Our house was fairly tech-savvy for family living in the middle of nowhere. We always had access to computers and the internet from the time the technology became available thanks to my dad, and it provided both opportunities and challenges (of the teenage variety, you know what I'm talking about) but from a young age I wrestled with the cognitive dissonance of my fascination with ancient history and agriculture contrasted with the the values of the emerging information age which seemed to favor a life of office work and computer screens as the only economically viable path if I wanted to make enough money to provide for the family I hoped to have in the future.
Chance's Birthday in King William January of 2010
From the time I moved into the city to go to college to the point I met my future wife I largely abandoned my hope of real-life adventure assuming I'd have to satisfy my more visceral ambitions through work in the arts and entertainment industry. I studied illustration in college with the goal of becoming a film director so that I could immerse myself in world where the characters still actually "did things" as opposed to being chained to a desk all day as it seemed was my fate.
I graduated from college armed with a strong set of creative skills and an absolute ignorance of the mechanics of business and economic viability. Perfect time to get married right? That's what I did. Sallie swept me off my feet. On our first date I remember her ranting about the travesties committed by the food industry and how nutrient-starved the American population is.
"suddenly my frustration at the previously invisible
economic and ideological chains that bound
my hands began to make sense"
After four years of studying the history of visual communications (A.K.A. the history of propaganda) every word she said fit neatly into a slot in my mind and suddenly my frustration at the previously invisible economic and ideological chains that bound my hands began to make sense. As my conversation with my bride-to-be continued to unfold she connected me with a rich history of the food and lifestyle that existed pre-industrial revolution which has been ruthlessly erased from our cultural narrative by the greed of industry.
Newly married, pregnant, broke, and unemployed we were charged up with ideological zeal and we were going to convince everyone that there needed to be an immediate and radical lifestyle adjustment! I was a zealous advocate of everyone abandoning the convenience of industrial food products and embracing the labor intensive process of prepping all food at home or face the dire consequences of horrendous degenerative disease!
Your'e probably smarter than me and be able to guess how that message would be received - click here to read how it went in Part 2 of this post.