Hello everyone! My name is Deimantė, I am a 25 years old lithuanian, who came to join the Rural Discovery project. Enchantée!
Since the pandemic began, being a recent graduate, I felt like hitting a wall. Even though it was a tough period in my life, it gave me some time to slow down, re-examine my choices and value system. During my personal journey I have learned the beautiful three H’s approach – “Head, Heart, Hands” – and figured that this third H was missing in my life. It basically means that only thinking about changes in life and creating a rational basis for it as well as expressing emotional attachment and commitment to change is not enough if you do not put it into action and actually do it. I finally had to realise that by letting negative emotions overcome and waiting for a brighter day to come, nothing is going to change. So I came up with the idea of doing something that I wish my 18 years old self could have done but was too afraid to do. I started looking for an interesting project to have my first volunteering experience which led me to a small village in the south of France called Lastours and honestly, I feel more than grateful to be here.
I am one of the Shroomans (it became like a nickname for everyone working on the Mushroom project) and most afternoons I spend collecting spent coffee grounds from cafes and restaurants in Carcassonne, mixing them with mushroom spores and waiting till our first mushrooms come to life. As a biotechnologist and a person who believes in low-tech circular economy projects, this project has a huge value to me. I feel like this is how people should think while consuming, creating businesses and designing products instead of prioritising the “take, make and dispose” kind of thinking. If we are given the ability to use tools and resources, we have to use it wisely without disrupting harmony in the environment. At the end of the day Earth doesn’t belong to us, we, like everyone and everything else, belong to it.
Being here gave me not only purpose but also a whole learning experience. At first coming here felt very overwhelming: dealing with coldness while hating it, meeting new people while being introverted and adapting to change while spending years in a comfort zone was pretty hard. However, after some time I have figured that this is really everything that I needed. City noises, grey colours, streets and buildings packed with people made me even more anxious while living at the campsite feels so natural and healing. It helps to find this inner peace which was missing, reconnect with nature and others around, cultivate gratitude and just learn to live in the moment, not to speak of personal development. I feel like I am stepping into a new phase and learning more and more about myself, regaining my confidence and self-esteem.
Sometimes little changes and choices like this add up to revolutionary results in life.