Updated: May 21, 2020
I only started this whole van life adventure about six months ago.
I was so excited to be able to fully get into this new life change, this new lifestyle. I could feel myself becoming the person I want to be.
Every day we are on this weird little rock (yes, little) I try to get that much closer to being that person. Pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone, live to my edges, experience life- but also to be the kind of friend, sister, daughter, and human that I want to be. It has never been about being perfect, we've all made mistakes. It's about learning from your past self as you look at them with as much kindness as you can manage, and be better this year than you were last. Some days I'm more successful at this than others.
I feel like this lifestyle is a culmination of years of personal growth. It was like someone opened a window. Have you ever felt that? Literally just overjoyed, elated, relieved, and ecstatic about your own life? I hope you have.
Then, suddenly, we are in the middle of a global pandemic that our country was not at all prepared for, the disc golf tour was cancelled until May, then June, then July. And instead of being able to make use of this new found freedom where we travel, meet new people, cherish time with friends we already know, experience different places, and aren't ever stuck- physically or mentally.... We got stuck!
I am grateful we had somewhere to go, not everyone living like this can say the same. We were fortunate enough to spend six weeks this past spring in eastern Tennessee at a friend's home nestled at the edge of the Smokey Mountains. He generously allowed us to park in his driveway, use his house for facilities, and even took us on some truly fantastic hikes around his hometown area.
Still, the idea of being stuck after what felt like so long in the making was, and still is, hard to handle. I had already wanted to finish some crocheting projects, clean out some parts of the van, build new toppers for my crates to turn them into movable seating, and teach myself wire wrapping and embroidery and this has been an excellent opportunity for those things. I already wanted to build a store online to sell my handmade items (I'll be up on Etsy within a week!) and work on these pieces of art & pieces of my life while we traveled around.
Yet, somehow, as this virus points out errors in our preparedness, inequalities in our society, and injustices in our communities, it also brings to light things about our own selves.
The stress and anxiety surrounding this virus is so easy to get caught up in, but the truth is- I haven't lost the momentum I thought I had, and neither have you. Global pandemic or not, I am going to use this time to keep pushing, keep learning, keep experiencing, and keep loving the way that I want, because that is what I want my life to be about. As for the rest, we'll cross those bridges (or burn them) when we come to them.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, make good choices.
***It's okay if right now you're just focused on surviving. You don't actually have to do any more than that! You don't have to start a new workout routine or start a blog (HA HA HA) or learn to bake bread. We're all a little different, and that's GOOD. Everyone has their own path and coping mechanisms. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and treat yourself like a friend. ***
Photo of a sunset in Tennessee.