Facing challenges while living in a yurt forced me to learn and adapt

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Courtesy+image+Cole+Federbusch+outside+of+his+Yurt+on+Friday+April+30%2C+2021.

Courtesy image Cole Federbusch outside of his Yurt on Friday April 30, 2021.

Cole Federbusch, Staff Writer

My dad built a yurt from scratch around the time I was born and I have been living in it for the past two years.

A yurt is a common style of home that has been used in Central Asia for thousands of years. It’s essentially a sturdy, long-term tent.

My time in the yurt has forced me to learn a lesson about adapting to my surroundings and dealing with both mental and physical challenges that are hard to control.

Due to the yurt’s thin walls and location in my backyard, I often accidentally hear conversations or arguments from the neighboring households. It’s like living on a campsite permanently.

“I’m taking the kids and moving to f—— Texas,” a neighbor shouts. Waking up to this is normal in the yurt.

Sometimes this can be entertaining. The time that one of my neighbors fell and knocked a bunch of metal tools over, cursing the entire way down was a fun one.

But in the morning, these sounds never amuse me and usually consist of an angry parent rousing their children for school. 

On top of this, my neighbors are under the impression that yard and construction work is meant to be done at 7 a.m. 

The yurt’s thin walls also absorb a lot of heat. This made sleeping nearly impossible when the sun’s morning light hit the structure.

The combination of loud noises and overwhelming heat made sleeping very difficult in the morning and I’d often woke up confused and groggy. 

To combat this, I bought ear plugs that blocked out the sound and installed a ceiling fan to stabilize temperature.

I found solutions to my problems with noise and heat, but I was still waking up angry about my situation and often couldn’t fall back asleep. 

It was then that I realized I was actually impairing myself by worrying about things I couldn’t control and needed to switch my mindset if I wanted good sleep.

Everything changed when I began to take ownership of my living arrangement and accepted my situation.

I bought posters and paintings to cover the walls and improve the decor. I purchased a ceiling light to go with the fan and picked up a used toaster and refrigerator so I could enjoy hot meals.

I even installed a Wi-Fi extension router so I could use my TV and do homework.

Finally, my initially problematic living situation felt like home.

Although it wasn’t easy at times, I am grateful for this experience of overcoming the challenges around me because learning to adapt is so important in life.