Nights like tonight…

My baby boy, Sebastian. Don't you just want to reach out and rub him or poke him in his belly?? :-)

My baby boy, Sebastian. Don’t you just want to reach out and rub him or poke him in his belly?? 🙂

Tonight is one of those nights in Boston where it’s dark before 6 (not that the sun ever showed its face today, anyway), and stormy, and you can hear the ever-constant gusting of the wind outside. I sit on my love seat near the window and look out at the branches at the tops of the very tall trees behind our building wave back and forth in the wind. It’s one of those nights where, if I still had a car, I would be very careful as to where I park it, lest a branch come down and land on the top of its roof, like I saw happen to someone else last year. It’s one of those nights where I sit and hold Osito in my arms and try to comfort her little chihuahua baby from shaking so much, and then I look around at my cats who are looking back at me, and I think of how blessed I am to have all of them to love, and protect from nasty weather like this, and people that don’t feel as kindly toward animals as I do. It’s one of those nights.

It’s on these types of nights that I wonder about what my true dreams for next year are. Do I just want a much simpler life with much less stuff, and be in a stationary place where someone else is responsible for repairs rather than me? If so, can I find a place to live that will allow me to have all of my animals? (Because for me, a place that won’t allow my animals is a place I won’t even consider moving to. That is one thing I absolutely know for sure.) It’s nights like tonight that I go back in my mind to times when I think it might be better to just move to a new location like the Pacific Northwest.

Would it make more sense for me to just move to a new location and see if that’s what is compelling me to want to make such major changes to my life – maybe it’s just the change of location and type of work that I crave, and the idea of living in an RV and traveling the country is taking all that craving for something “new” to the extreme, and one that I might regret, like I have regretted buying the scooter? Would it just make sense for me to move someplace entirely new and get a job that probably won’t pay what I’m making now, but is something different? I’ve already figured out that I live on about a third of my gross salary, or 52% of my take-home salary and that still allows me to save and pay off debt, so I could continue on at a lower salary but still get rid of more of my debt. I see all these YouTube videos of people who have gone onto the RV life and so many of them say, “go on the road without debt, it’ll make things so much less stressful and  you’ll feel more freedom.” Well, that’s not an option for me when my total debt is over $100K as of now. So, am I just kidding myself to think that a full time RV lifestyle is actually do-able, even if I can find a way to supplement it in some online way?

Nights like tonight are when I doubt that a full-time rv lifestyle is in the best interests of my pets. It’s when I fear that it will be too stressful for them and that I need to take their well-being into account more than just my obsession to live in something tiny. I mean, they do need their own space, and one thing I always vow to do is to not let them down. Wouldn’t cramming all of them and me inside an SUV to travel and then into something like a Casita or Scamp be just cruel or inconsiderate of them? They depend on me to take care of them and look out for them.   And what if they get out of the RV and you can’t get them back inside and they go missing? (How could I ever forgive myself? I know the answer to that is, I couldn’t.)  Also importantly, am I being unrealistic about myself to think that I can live in something that small? Can I really downsize my stuff that much?

As these thoughts go through my mind, I wonder if it’s just me being scared that makes these thoughts run through my mind. Is it just me wanting to take the easier way out, by just making a big move across the country but not going full-on into the RV lifestyle at the same time? Am I just too scared or lazy to think of figuring out all the domicile and insurance issues? Am I copping out?  Or is this a self-preservation part of me saying, “whoa, whoa…you don’t need to make all these changes at once! Don’t you realize that moving several thousand miles away from everything you’ve ever known IS a huge thing?!” Or, is it the more pragmatic part of me coming out and saying “there are ways to live simply that don’t involve carting your house around with you everywhere. You can live in one place and have a garden and grow your own food and spend time in nature just as easily in a new location without the stress of having to pay for all your own repairs on top of a campground rent or other cost.” I don’t know.

I should explain that I am very afraid of making another large, and costly mistake. I’m not talking about the scooter, here — while that was costly ($3500), I consider my most costly mistake going to law school. More specifically, continuing on with it after my first year, when I thought of quitting but thought “well, I’ve gone this far and borrowed this much money, I don’t want all that money I borrowed for 1L year to be for nothing..” so I continued on, and borrowed EVEN more money.  And there is a small part of me that wonders if I’m just being rebellious and spoiled by not just sucking it up and staying in my situation for a few more years, and go hog wild on my debt and have it all be done with. (Then, there’s an even smaller part of me that says, don’t be crazy, you could be dead in the next four years too – life is too short.)

I could go on and on with all the questions floating around in my mind right now, but I think the main question I have is, how do you know when it’s your heart that is talking to you, and not just fear taking over?

I would love to hear your thoughts – thank you for reading.

18 thoughts on “Nights like tonight…

  1. You obviously have a longing in your heart that is pulling you towards a change in your life, just as mine keeps pulling me toward wanting to be mobile. Terri…..listen….it’s all about confidence and trust. If you even have an spark of a desire to do something, that usually shows up as a gut feeling which is usually the universe setting things in motion to fulfill that desire. Trust that things are aligning for you and have confidence that when the time comes everything will fall into place. For now just stay calm and give the universe time to work everything out for you. I know it sounds crazy but it happens time after time for me. Just like my house not selling. I know that it will happen when the time is right and me stressing out about it will only prolong the process. So take it easy on yourself and give yourself a break…there’s really no pressure…only what you are making for yourself. Things do and will work out, sometimes when you least expect it. You’ve accomplished so much to be proud of. Relax your mind a little, don’t try to figure out all the detail, and just know that things are already set in motion without you doing anything. Take Care. You will be fine!!!

    • Thank you, Gary, that is just what I think I needed to hear. I guess right now, I’m trying to listen to what my heart is saying, but the message is coming through muddled. LOL. I am definitely trying to have that faith that things will work out. And yes, I have a definite longing for change. I wonder, can I be an organic farmer? Can I work on an animal sanctuary? When I hear about animals not being treated right, or go to talks about animal law rights like I did the other day, it hits me so hard in the stomach and I sit there and think to myself that I could be doing so much more, so much more. I have this education, shouldn’t I be using it? Or doing more hands on stuff? I appreciate the advice, relaxing the mind is probably a good thing. I think I need to take up meditation (it’s part of why I run.)

      • Well, we can only do so much Terri. I’m 54 years old and spent most of my life trying to make things happen, or really to force things to happen. Life gives you what it gives you when it wants to. I finally learned to let go of being in control. I just do what I can do and move on. I also learned that really to change the world, all I could do is change myself. You can really do all the things you mentioned above, you can do anything really, but when you stress about it in your mind…your mind will work against you. Took me many decades to figure that out. I talk about that in my book. I also talk about meditation. By the way, I should have my book up and running on Kindle in a few days. I’m so excited!!!
        Just know that your mind is just a thinker–It usually operates in fear mode–and it is the cause of our misery. Deep Huh? But so, so true

      • I didn’t know you were writing a book – consider me to be one of your first readers!! I’ve actually been thinking of writing something for kindle myself. AS for all the problems I see in this world, yes, I am trying to make small changes with myself, like eating healthy, using less plastic, taking care of as many animals as I can afford to (kind of like running my own sanctuary of sorts, I guess you could say.)

        I think it’s the ego that makes us run in fear mode, right? God I hate it!!

  2. Sounds like you would be miserable in Boston anyways, wouldn’t you rather be miserable over in the west coast? =) You’ve already ran the numbers and did your homework. Don’t let anxiety get the better of you…

    Your animals will be fine with the accommodations. I’m sure they will be happy to see new surroundings and have different smelling air. They could have it worse. They could be fenced in a tiny yard and only see the same 10 blocks for most of their lives.

    • I definitely need a change from Boston. I can’t take this weather anymore. And what’s been getting me through work lately is knowing, this is the last fall semester to work through, the last time I will teach “fill in the blank” class, etc. I think I am very nervous about spending a huge amount of money on an RV and car and then finding out that maybe it’s too much change.

      And yeah, I do stress about the animals adjusting. Cats don’t usually like change so much. Dogs, they are much more likely to go with the flow, and for Osito, she just cares about being near Mom. And pooping. And eating and sleeping. And walks. She doesn’t ask for much.

  3. I agree… just let it happen. Moving across the country is A HUGE thing. I would take that as step 1. When you feel ready, find a little house/apartment and move out there. Once you are there if you have a car or something, you could more easily get to other parts of the west coast… see what you like or if you still feel the desire to be mobile and go from there. My friend and her husband just did an exploratory trip to the Northwest and decided to move there!

    • May I ask where your friend and her husband went? And where they have decided to settle? Some nights, Carolyn, I am leaning toward what you suggest. Maybe the newness of the area will be just what I am looking for.

  4. I’m in the PNW listening to the rain right now (about 25 air miles SW of Seattle) , it’s going to be like this until June (more or less). If the grass is greener it’s probably because of the rain.
    I love the Oregon coast in good weather.

    Moving is never easy & you have a current life tied to student loans but how does one live without a dream?

    So much of my life has been either what I wanted to do OR what I had to do. I had a daughter who got sick, while she was well again she went at life with a ‘balance’. Work/school were JUST as important as fun/wants were.

    Life is too short Terri to ignore your dreams…..

    • I guess that’s what my biggest question, is, Rob – what exactly is my dream? Is it to move to the west coast and do organic farming or work with animals? And write? Just to have a simple life?

      The Oregon coast is just breathtaking, even when a storm is rolling in. I remember some of the photos I took from that last trip – they were spooky but I loved seeing that greyness roll in. I’m actually ok with overcast weather. I don’t feel like I”m going to melt in it, anyway.

      I don’t want to ignore my dreams, I think it’s just hard to figure out what they truly are.

      • I’ve known a few people who KNEW what they wanted to do with their life, knew early and they went for it.
        I’ve known a LOT more people who were not really sure, 50 or 60 years into it they were not really sure….yet.

        If you’re born, you are going to pay taxes and die, all the rest is up to you..

        Finding & following a dream sounds like a great thing to do but many of us are just waiting for Friday. Now if you want that Friday to happen in Portland than maybe that is what you need?

      • I know about waiting for Friday, it’s something I have been doing for a while now. I am definitely thinking about just moving to the west coast and finding a job there, but I don’t think it will be one in an office. I have other ideas about what I’d like to do. None will pay what I make now, and to be honest, that’s fine with me. As long as I can make a simple living and have a simple home, I’m fine. I really do need to consider what is best for all of my pets though. Cats don’t like a ton of change…. -Rob, would it be alright if I emailed you privately with questions about living in WA?

      • Feel free to write, vwrobb at gmail.com .
        WA, It is like other places here…
        It’s wet & green (this side of the mountain). I think it was 2012 when Seattle hit 70degress one day in June, that the first time we’d been that warm in over 7 months. Grey & damp from now till Jun or July for the most part.
        Eastern WA is different in climate, in politics and a lot of other stuff. Around 9% sales tax, gas is on the high side, no income tax.

        Feel free to write…

      • I have heard that about WA – that the eastern and western sides are like night and day, in many ways, weather, politics, etc. I think my personality may be more suited to the western side at this point. Thank you very much for the email – I will make it obvious in the subject line it’s not spam. It will also come from a gmail account.

  5. Yes Terri, your ego is created by your conscious mind. It’s creates this false identity but it’s not really who you are. I show you in my book how to calm the mind and see through its lies. I did learn one thing about writing a book, the writing was easy, the technical part on getting it published is a pain in the you-know-what.

  6. Did you go the self-publishing route or did you work with a traditional publisher? I know that both have their challenges, but at least with self-publishing you don’t have to deal with so much rejection… Looking forward to your book, for sure.

  7. Self Publishing. Good thing is, once I get the first one figured out, the process will be easier the next time. See…always a positive side!! Haha

    • That’s great. I can’t wait to see it and yes, that’s what I was thinking, too. Once I get the first time figured out, it would be easier to go from there.

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