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Job searching in Missoula has made me realize how much I truly miss my very first job: Working at a horse stable as a mucker back on Maui.

The jobs I’m applying for now are the usual ones: Grocery Stores, retails, waitressing, bussing, and, if I get lucky, a bookstore job, since I already have experience in that field. But the idea of spending my summer indoors is more than a little distressing. This is going to be my very first full time summer in Missoula, and I would love nothing more than to be out in the sun, working up a sweat, loading up bales of hay, mucking out the manure, washing the horses, wheeling manure over to a dump ground, that’s work for me.

I never thought I would enjoy physical labour before that job. I had juvenile scoliosis, and I was worried about the toll that hard labour would take on my back. But to my surprise, doing the work actually improved my back health. The real horrors of back health actually came from carrying a heavy backpack all day at school, and the exercise I got from working at the stable provided my body with great catharsis. It was also emotionally soothing for me to be alone with only the horses for company, they make the best listeners.

So, I’ll keep looking for a typical job, but I’ll be dreaming of mucking and growing stronger with every shovelful.