I am reading this book. And I started it a long time ago, but at the time I was working 7 days a week, every week, so most of my reading was done at work. In a kid friendly environment. And if you’ve ever seen the cover of Henry Miller’s Sexus, you’ll know why I felt a little awkward displaying it around the place that pays me each week. But the way Miller expresses himself leaves me in awe. And as I picked up this book for the second time I found, on the very first page, something that spoke to me.
“A wholly new life lay before me, had I the courage to risk all. Actually there was nothing to risk; I was at the bottom rung of the ladder.”
What a feeling! Anytime I’ve made a big change in my life I’ve felt like I was taking a major risk. That’s a testimony to how rigid our lives are expected to be, but realistically what am I actually risking? The people I love I will continue to love, even if I don’t see them every day. And I can get my same job back again, even if I managed to forget half of my experience in the van when I build my new resume.
And that’s where we are now kids. There have been a lot of doubters, worriers, and supporters, but regardless of what any of those individuals have said, I made the move. In what will probably be the longest 12-14 weeks of my life, I will have a Ford Transit to call my own.
I cannot contain my excitement. In just three months I’ll be able to turn an empty cargo van into my new home. Hopefully it’ll look like this when I’m finished.
But not really. The inside will be made specifically for me. With primary goals on making a comfortable bed, with a place to charge my laptop close by. Most to everything will be purple, I’ll have the fridge stocked with local hard ciders and butter and cheese so I can eat grilled cheese for every meal. Which also requires a stove. So now, I have to learn how to attach a solar panel, how to connect my fridge to some batteries, some basic carpentry, and how to get rid of half my wardrobe. It’ll be tall enough inside for me to have dance parties for one, and cozy enough to open the doors on a crumby day to just read books in nature while the van keeps me dry.
This is how my life is changing. I’m downsizing, I’m individualizing, I’m living. I’m making this life my own in its entirety, and in that I feel like I’m actually living my life how it is meant to be lived. One of my most favorite books, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, puts it best,
“It’s the beautiful thing about youth. There’s a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.”
And that’s what I’m doing, I’m damning myself to a life of following my desires, passions, and interests. I’m committing to a path that allows me not to commit to any paths. I’m taking the right fork, and when I’m finished with it I can turn around so I can take the left fork. I’m living.
So while I’m whiling away the hours until then, I need your help. I need distractions from my wait, and what better way than to plan for the fun activities that lay ahead of me. What are your favorite things you’ve seen in North America, and what are the experiences you wish you could have? Mention them in the comments, I’ll need your help. (And if you know anything about heating a cargo van I could use your help there too.)