The PastI think that both George and I consider our adventure and our need to "drop out" as a type of life crisis. Rather than having affairs (so trite), or buying a slick car (we bought a Halaburton Truck instead - not slick but sturdy), tried to strip our life bare, exposing what was, and creating a Tabula rasa so that we could start writing/plotting our lives again.
Both of us were rather exhausted from repeated, and unexpected, deaths in our family (yearly + ordeals from 2001 to 2009), personal disappointments in careers and loss of properties, and financial woes (we thought they were serious, but our decisions were not as bad as this young lady's choices at least). Generally, George and I had lived in a crisis space for most of our marriage and we did not know how to function outside of crisis (gun shy would be a good way to put it), or how to make a new life with new expectations, hopes and dreams. We were in a rut. So we did the one thing that we thought would force us out of that rut in a dramatic way:
- We sold all we had (which was not not much and only brought in $1000).
- We cashed in what was left of our 401k's after the market had crashed (this brought in a little over $2000 - yep, that was it, makes us wanna cry).
- We purchased a used 5th Wheel and Ford F350 Truck.
- We went on the road.
The JourneyThe Bad
- We faced many problems during our adventure, including very expensive breakdowns of the RV and Truck. It is truly sad that people lie to you when they sell you things. Especially with the RV, we were lied to about the condition of the unit, as well as the hitch sold to us by the seller - the seller did not disclose the real condition and allowed us to tow a 10,000 pound RV on a majorly dangerous hitch. Lack of disclosure and lies about the condition of each item cost us much, cost us the rest of our savings really, and put our lives in danger.
- Our truck was also a mess and we have now spent more money on the truck than we spent to purchase the truck.
- Financial problems - yep, after the huge breakdowns for both the RV (We need a new RV - that is just that), and our truck, we are now super broke. But we are in good company, since I know very few people who are not super broke.
- We got to know some of the neatest, most delightful people on our trip. RV people are really terrific folk who talk with each other, help each other, and enjoy forming communities (albeit temporary ones). This was a wonderful surprise, and I am grateful for the new connections I have made.
- I have learned to appreciate rural life more, including day to day activities, values and the different type of community that forms in rural spaces.
- I have learned that I have a very hard time just being still and relaxing. I have such a difficult time at this, that I create situations to keep me in that chaotic space. Why is this good? It is good that I recognize this fact and I am now learning how to stop making these choices.
- I am happier with less stuff to have to interact with, but I would like a better RV to live in.
- My husband, our dog and cat can live together in a 30 foot space without killing each other, and with the ability to get along rather well (how is that for success!)
Going back to Seattle, both George and I are ready to drop back in and start over with a kinda clean slate. I am not sure what we will do career wise, but we are ready to start it up again. I cannot speak for George, but here are some goals I have in mind for my immediate future:
- No matter where we are, George and I need to continue to go on little adventures and have regular vacations- period! We spent most of our marriage not having this time to enjoy, and that is simply stupid.
- Get a better RV. It goes without saying that this space is great for camping in (especially after all the money we invested), but not really great for living in. I do not mind living in an RV or a small space. Our footprint on the environment is low and it is economical. We may never be able to afford a house again, but we could own another RV. We need one that functions better for us day to day, and one that George can better navigate (this was really a short person's RV).
- Outward improvements. There have been several different types of experiments that demonstrate that if you improve the outside of, the appearance of, a space or area, this improvement will encourage positive growth throughout the space, organism, and so on. I am taking this data and applying to myself. I would like to change my style from my normal everyday tee-shirt and jeans, to a more sophisticated, funky, appearance. I do not know how I will go about doing this because I know crap about fashion. Just saying. Also, I am rather tired of dressing like I am still 10 years old.I will also work out on a regular basis because I feel better about myself and life when I do.
- Career. It is time to branch out with this one. I will not say that I will leave education permanently, as I did about a month ago, because I do not know what life will hold for me. I love teaching and maybe there will be something there for me. But my door is open to other opportunities and I am intent on exploring those opportunities; opportunities that allow for creativity and offer a bit of financial intensive. I am an intelligent, well educated and accomplished woman. It is time I am given the opportunity and position that reflects this. I have worked for it and I deserve it. I know that there are times where I will not get what I want, but I am done cleaning toilets for a living (well, technically I have at least 5 days left of this task).
- I am returning to theatre. No matter what position I take, I will no longer allow circumstances, work and "career" to interrupt my work in and love for the theatre. I shall seek out community theatre work, improvisation work, and or other artistic endeavors.