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.