There are many reasons why I decided to get on the road in a van: freedom, more quiet time, adventure, financial, ... But the most potent and exciting one was to discover who I am when I strip out a lot of what has constituted my life for as far as I can remember. All the comforts and habits. I want to see "what I'm made of". I think that for many years I have been afraid that what I would discover wouldn't stand up to the idea I have of me. I was afraid to discover that when push comes to shove, I'm not as brave, resourceful and persistent as I'd like to think. Well, we will know soon enough! With the years, I have learned to love myself enough to know that I will be able to still love myself, no matter what I discover. And to know that I will surely be surprised by what I discover.
It's not even been a month, and I already notice that my relationship to life is shifting at a core level. The way I experience time and space is shifting. I have more time to myself, and yet the simplest things take much more time: making coffee and eggs in the morning doesn't look like it did back in my apartment where I just walked to the fridge, turn on the electric stove, cook and put my things in the dishwasher...
I can travel anywhere, and yet I have to think about where I'm going to sleep the next day. The most exciting thing for me today was to take a shower in a REAL bathroom (like in a house, you know, not at a campground or a gym) and get my laundry done! And yet, that sense of gratitude for those simple things made my day so much more meaningful.
I have never spent as much time outside...like, ever. I must have been outside at least 8 hours a day for the past 3 weeks (thank you perfect California weather!). That never happened. And I'm getting the best sleep.
Sometimes I get so frustrated that all my things are cramped up in such a small space that I end up just sitting on the floor of my van, among all the mess I made trying to find my fan or my spoon...and I just want to bang my fist on the floor until someone hands me the keys to an apartment.
It's been 3 weeks that I have watched a movie or a TV show, not even one episode of...oh well I was already not watching Games of Thrones or Orange Is The New Black anyways. Still, how much mental space that leaves me. I have already finished 2 books that had been sitting on my shelves for a year.
What is really cool about all this is that I don't even have to make an effort to "do better", to watch less TV, eat less, spend more time outside or keep my space neat. It's just how it is. I wonder how much in our lives we blame on ourselves being too weak or lazy or not having enough will power, when in fact it's the very organization of society and the way we have been taught to live that is at fault. I was watching this heartbreaking documentary about obese kids that were trying to loose weight eating fat-free cereal and yogurt (loaded with sugar), because that is what their MD and family said would work. And how defeated they were when they actually gained weight despite all the sacrifices. In some ways, I have been that kid. Wondering why I'm so tired and don't feel like going to the park, and can't keep my big apartment filled with stuff tidy, and watched 7 episodes in a row while eating chocolate chip cookies... I was eating the wrong brand of cereal.