It is early morning. I am waking up in Smoky Mountain Campground, Idaho. We did it!!! We drove away. We left our normal, suburban living, to experience a different way of living. A life on the road. A life of adventure. A life full of possibilities and constant unknowns.
This past month has not been easy. I don’t think I could have possibly imagined the emotional toll that packing up life and moving a small portion of it into a bus would have on me. The build of our bus took hours and days and weeks. We spent almost all free time between January and May building the bus. This time was hard and tiring and exciting; always thinking of the possibilities and the times that were to come. Then June hit. We wanted to be on the road by June. We were not even close to ready. The bus was getting close to being ready, but wrapping up the pieces of our life we were leaving behind took more time and mental and emotional capacity than I could have ever planned for.
Packing up things we don’t want, things we do want, things we kind of want (that will sit in a storage unit until who knows when and then when we see them again we will realize that we don’t actually want them, but at least we had the pleasure of paying to store them). Deciding what to do with our items became such a draining task. I would look at things, things like a set of plastic Nerf rackets and baseball bats and suddenly I was in the most grand stupor of thought. Do we want these things? Do we want them now? Do we want them later? Do any of the members of our family actually play Nerf tennis or baseball? But might they want to in the future? I can’t possibly make this decision lightly. I could be altering future sports careers or at least future leisure activity choices. And what about the 500 markers, pen, crayons and pencils that we seemed to have collected over time. What is to be done with these? How many do we want? Where will the ones we don’t want best be put to use? Now, I must draw with each one to ensure that we are taking the best ones, throwing away the unusable ones and giving someone else the sort of okay ones. How is it possibly that these are the things that are taking up all my time and mental capacity? And these weren’t even the really taxing choices. I also had to sort through and contemplate toiletries: ridiculous amounts of samples from the dentist, trial shampoos and conditioners, the seldom used products. Do they get space on the bus? What about that one time I will want to use mousse and curl my hair; that time might exist and so I will make space in my tiny drawer in the bus for the curling iron and mousse. I mean, this scenario probably came up once in the last year or two, so I better be prepared for it. Day in and day out I was weeding through things. I ran out of steam and at times I was going so slow and painfully deliberating over the most ridiculous items. Besides sorting through things, we also needed time for doctors appointments and figuring out how to refill medication on the road. We needed to make sure we have the right insurance for our vehicles and ourselves. We needed time to deal with everyday mishaps like getting $7000 worth of Red Socks tickets fraudulently charged to one of our credit cards. Life keeps happening and you just have to roll along with it. Most importantly, we wanted time to see friends and family. To say “goodbye for now” and “see you soon”.
And even now, having spent the first night out of state and feeling like things have been wrapped up, tears are streaming. I am not really even sure why. I’m sure the exhaustion of this process has a good deal to do with it. I’m not feeling overwhelmingly sad that we left. I am just full of so many emotions. Emotions that feel raw and vulnerable. But I feel okay here. It is a process. I am ready to get out on a trail this morning. See the beauty and be filled the newness of a new day