I've been doing a bit of a a cowboy cranial RV Boondocking review of the past couple years, nearly three now, of my restless gypsy living. Yeah... that's what all that smoke you've been seeing on the horizon has been about. ;)
This has been a curious winter. After all of our wide RV Boondocking circles, this has been the winter of a guy 'bout my age walkin' up kind of tentatively, where we're sittin on a bench, or in the truck or where ever we're walkin' and askin'; "Are you Brian?" ;)
... and then a Grinning;"I thought so! That HAD to be You!"
Sunday afternoon it was Rich and Kay from Ohio!
Hell, I'm even gettin' better at recollecting names 15 seconds after they speak 'em! Maybe this'll all help ward off the continuing onset of Old Timers Syndrome.
It's a strange feeling for a guy that's always had strong bits of the hermit recluse as his major parts! My discomfort in crowds and "unexpected situations" is a strange feeling that leaves me stammering and diggin' his toe in the dirt like some kid. ;) (Heidi has to bail me out on occasion)
... and it's likely a contribution to a lil' more well rounded personality. ;) You can't have no idea what a deep impact it has been for a man who's been a loner out on the fringes his whole life. It is something for which my appreciation is deep; and the sense of honor I feel for receiving such kindnesses carries with it the need to ensure that I accept those greetings and words with proper and true humility... and humility isn't one of my strong points! ;)
... It all gets me to thinkin' a lot...
Yeah, I know. That's a dangerous place for me to wander! But, people write me all the time thanking me for inspiration and guidance... Wow... That people take the words I write and make decisions based on that was startling and scary at first. "What have I done to 'em?!!!"
To claim it a heavy burden would be arrogance... Yet it is one for which I appreciate the responsibility involved... and it's reshaped my thinking over the past few years.
What's rattlin' 'round the Ol' Brain Pan now is; When people read here and then start off on their own, What is it they want out of this gypsy life? What do they expect when they step off on a full time RVing or RV Boondocking life? and how many actually succeed?
By success, I mean; How many actually Find what it might have been they were searching for? and how many turn "Home" in disgust and boredom? In there somewhere lays something I fret over a bit here and there; How many turn away believing I misled them? When they failed to find the "picture" I painted... am I to blame?
I'm the first to say, in a lot of respects I've not yet succeeded. What I wanted was a measure of quiet contentment. What I expected was mixed results. In THAT I am succeeding brilliantly! :) but you have to understand, when you're dealing with such as me, you're dealing with a guy who'll question the arrangement of the clouds if he makes it to Heaven! ;)
Now, if you measure it by the lack of pressure on my heart and soul... I am also succeeding brilliantly. I am where I have always belonged; Nose to the wind on the open road... A man, drifting across the face of the earth in what HE sees as his Freedom. Like the Red Tailed Hawk just soaring and watching... doing his thing in the place HE belongs. In that, my success is towering in my own eyes.
Where I still need work is in finding that spiritual place where the combat with the un-ceasing efforts of the world at large, to turn bunch quitter loners like me back into the obedient herd... is a more subconscious muscle memory thing... rather than the grinding, emotional, shorts-in-a-knot thing it often becomes. I need to polish my Cowboy Zen parts juuuuuust a mite more.
ahhh... what can I say... at sixty summers I remain a work in progress. On these questions I can only offer a few bits of advice;
If you are one who isn't and hasn't been driven (like this writer has been) by a restless urge to just always keep moving on... his whole life... but traveling Full Time in an RV seems to have captured your imagination, I'd suggest starting out with a Specific Time Frame in mind; One year, two years, whatever.
Go so far as to post some future date in your journal or on a sticky on your refrigerator.
Plan at the end of that time, on that date, to re-evaluate where you are... and where you are going. Don't start out with the idea that THIS is a how it will be, cast in concrete, can't change a thing end of discussion decision.
Don't box yourself into a place where you keep on pushing yourself down the road, because you're embarrassed to admit it doesn't work for you, if over the miles you've determined that it's something that just doesn't fit.
Many are going to find that the place that fits them best... is the
place they left behind. You didn't fail. There is NO Shame... You
Learned. There is no need for embarrassment. Go back there, go home. With your new found knowledge and experience, and many fine memories, go back
and change those things that pushed you to leave.
Many are going to find that they've stimulated something deep inside and the thought of taking off their tires and putting the rig up on blocks just makes their heart ache.
Many are going to find that the wandering gypsy way isn't something that jumps them out of bed in the morning laughin' and gigglin'. They simply climb out with the calm, serene feeling of belonging right exactly where they are. Their breath comes deep and full... and in their way, content.
One thing I can tell you is... out here on the road, that negativity and effort to turn you from your chosen way that you experienced when you first started out will never go away. It might fade a lil' bit and it might become more coy and shaded... but it remains.
You will still, on occasion, find yourself questioning your choices. Forewarned is forearmed.
You already know I spend a lot of time... too much time... wondering and questioning... I find myself trying to convince myself that I should go back to some version of the "Old Life"... that world where you serve the man and Soh-sigh-uh-tee.
Feelings of what a selfish person I must be for my wandering ways float around and bite in unprotected moments.
Then I realize, and not in arrogance... but a clear and pragmatic view... I AM serving society and the community. We all are. By preserving our free choices, options and dreams... we preserve the possibility for other people to pursue theirs.
Guiding our OWN lives onto those shining sunny slopes where we are fulfilled and our self-worth is healthy and whole, where ever those Sunny Slopes may lay; we contribute to a stronger and more complete society. It is Not selfish. It is what is right and proper. Making our lives a strong thread in the fabric of the world around us is THE right and proper thing for us to be doing.
Just A Gypsy, Weaving a Life
I hear you clearly, Brian. What a really fine way to verbalize today's topic!
Clear, humble, looking inside deep, and everyone can envision just the way you meant to say it.
A big pat on the back....:)
You sound at peace today. :)
Well said Brian.
And for my part, thank you. No, that is THANK YOU.
I / We had been thinking of this lifestyle for sometime. Came across your blog then a few others. Yours was one of the first and I believe you were the first I reached out to with any question. 'Watching' and listening, our interest and confidence grew. We are now closing in on 6 months and can say not a bad day yet. In fact they just keep getting better.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Wayne & Rhonda
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