Saturday, February 7, 2015

Simply Mind Changing!

Ever since I overheard someone, who is kind of in a leadership role, describe me in what I felt was a negative way to someone who had recently met me as some one who changes their mind a lot. Yea bummer that I walked up behind the leadership guy and he didn't notice. ..of course I backed off and walked away.  I am a self responsible person and check myself  and my thoughts/thought process often. Some will say too often - but hey it hasn't changed very much.  Anyway, for a year, since this happened, I have been noticing the process of mind changing not only in myself but also in others. I have decided that I am fairly normal! Yes I am a creative person and I like to stay busy.

I was recently asked to explain how I could buy and sell the Scamp and change my van from raw plywood with one configuration into Vantucket with a vinyl floor and bead board paneling. They also want to know if I am going to make more changes.

Humans are changing all the time. Especially those of us adventurer and nomadic types. We organize and reorganize our vehicles and thoughts and our bucket lists.  An event will happen or we move to a different location or make a new friend and our perspective will change. Some of us, like me, will reevaluate our stuff or our orgaizational method or our clothes and changes can be seen. Some other people need their daily/monthly/yearly routine or their location to be more stationary. In the world of RVers you can notice this difference in Snowbirds who stay in one area for the summer and another destination in the winter. Some RVers live in RV parks, some Boondock and move monthly some others simply wander.

I know nomadic people who set up seasonal base camps and then come and go from there. At times they even travel great distances to return to their base camp. I like to move to different locations. I'm still exploring the US and actually the world.  I get ready to leave at about 14 days, I can stay put up to three months.  Longer than three months has been painful in my past.

Okay so back to the point. I didn't know how to go about moving back to the US after living in Central America for so many years. I wanted something familiar. I didn't have any connection to a hometown or family members. My own children and I were estranged at that time. We have a phone relationship now. I came up with three ideas of how to get back and get to see the US. I picked one of the ideas and did my best to make it work. Now mind you that I needed help and didn't have people to trust.I could have taken a bus into California and found a way to get to Slab City where I could take time to deal with reverse culture shock and relearn how to maneuver in the US, find a vehicle off Craig's List and then begin my adventures. Now that I have been to the Slabs, I think that may have been a better decision. But I chose differently. Because of that choice that I made, I have my current van. This was not exactly what I was thinking about having AND it is a good van. So I have been making do. Initially I was struggling with some major traumatic stressors including my culture shock. I needed some level of comfort and I was traveling in an area that had unusually ugly weather. I probably would have let most anyone do anything to this van at that point in time. I was in shock and overwhelmed by the entrance to the ACE Hardware store in Blythe that year. And it was on that day that I was expected to make major decisions. Peace Corps workers and Missionaries experience similar situations although they are brought home to a support system prepared to ease them back into the US lifestyle. Please keep in mind that I had no one to turn to or to lean on.  I just kept doing the best I could. I got through that and made the best decisions that I could. Over RTR that year I had help building a raw plywood bed and kitchen of sorts in my van. I lived with it most of that year. It served me well. I was annoyed with the narrow and short bed and found a great solution in a thrift store. By the next RTR, I had been through another traumatic event just one week prior, and arrived in Quartzsite severely depressed with full intention of going to the Isaiah 58 people and asking to be put into the hospital. Instead I stumbled across Bob and the Pre-RTR camp. I met some lovely people who thought that some changes in my van would help me improve. Those changes did help and that experience reminded me of how I love being creative, how I sing when I am happy and how I love being with other creative people. I love turning nothing into something beautiful. ..and then I want to move on and with a new project. I made some pretty stuff that was kewl but that didn't fit my everyday life. So I traded and adjusted things over the year.  And all along I have been making do with a van that I respected as a good sound machine that I never loved - love and vehicles don't have to go together.

Over this past summer I was in and out of the hospital a number of times. Catholic Charities suggested that I get a space in an RV Park until I was better and while it was hot - so I did. At that point I thought that I was doomed to the mystery of being sick and that comfort during my illness was more important than travel.  I began looking at my RV Park neighbors lifestyles and thought it would be good to buy a small travel trailer.

I was not certain that this would be a great solution but I figured it was worth a shot. So I looked for something that was in my tiny budget and was a manageable project that would be an investment that could be resold if needed and not leave me broke. I found the Scamp. I struggled with the project and the people around me and did the whole thing while struggling with my sickness. And then I traveled. And I traveled with a great friend and my new companion Ozzie. Life was improved and improving ... and I got sick - sicker than ever before. I was hospitalized for four days. And I finally know what has been wrong and how to manage it! And then the van broke down and I was facing the potential of $1200 repairs and then Ozzie needed surgery! The investment in the Scamp became my only true solution to the financial crisis. The van repairs were cheaper and Ozzie was fine AND I now had an emergency fund. And the Scamp has a happy new mama.

Sometimes change is necessary. Unexpected. And life-changing.  It may seem that someone is changing their mind more than you might. There often are reasons if we are willing to ask instead of making assumptions. ..besides it's okay to change your mind
Try something different
Just because
Isn't that what adventure is all about?
I hope that the events of my life will stay more stable. I'm so sick of traumatic events. AND I am so much healthier thanks to my doctors help. And I am both less depressed and more active because of Ozzie being in my life. I still don't love this van and I'd probably change vehicles if I won the lottery. Though for now, and until I learn differently, it's the wise decision to continue maintaining the van I have.  Although it would be nice to have a really trusty mechanic only a phone call away!