On February 17th, 2011, I updated my Facebook status to: “F-YEAH I GOT A JOB MILKING COWS!”
I didn't bother to explain how or why I got a job milking cows, so no one knew if I was being facetious or not. Then I posted some pictures of myself with no makeup and wearing flannel, and everyone seemed to accept that I was, actually, milking cows.
The farm was located in Nullawarre, Victoria, right near the Bass Strait. Every morning I would wake up in freezing temperatures to fetch the herd, start the dairy, and fondle the tits of roughly two hundred cows. I told my friends back home some story about honest work and self-realization, but to be honest, I was still a lost soul. Maybe it was the flannel, maybe it was the cow tits—I somehow felt more confused than when I started out.
I got the job because the man I worked for thought that all Canadian girls must be the good, strong type. (I weighed a little over a hundred pounds when I started out.) He also hired me because I had experience riding motorbikes—in fact, I had been riding since I was six years old.
So it came as a shock to everyone, including myself, when I ended up in a motorbike crash while I was on the farm. A bunch of cows escaped during their pregnancy tests one day, and I hopped on a motorbike that didn't have brakes. When faced with a choice between hitting the cow or the fence post, I chose the fence post. In those final moments I figured my headstone would read something like, “Loved animals, right to the very end.”
I don’t remember how I broke my wrist in the accident, but I knew it was broken the moment I tried to pull the bike out of the barbed wire. I remember yelling to the heavens: “I've been here six months, and now it’s ruined! I don't even know who I am yet.”
But I did manage to walk back to the farm with a piece of barbed wire imbedded in my thigh, a broken wrist, and all cows accounted for. The same week, I also survived a case of salmonella.
I may have felt stupid at the time, but if I discovered one thing about myself while in Australia, it’s that I'm capable of surviving more bullshit than I once thought possible.
Cara enjoys long romantic walks down the makeup aisle, and what hasn't killed her has made her chilopodophobic. Once she was a backpacker, but now she prefers her morning shower to be cockroach-free. An aspiring novelist and comedian, she can often be found making bad puns on social media.