A year ago I was feeling stuck about my dream every turning into a reality. At dinner with a friend, I declared “A year from today I will be living in the van.” This gave me fuel the moment I said it, didn’t hold much weight a couple months later, and lit a fire under me 10 months later. So I spent some months procrastinating, and then when my self-imposed departure date was just a couple months away I kicked it into high gear. This was when I was heading into the summer months of Florida- the worst season to be working outside; humid, hot, and rainy. I persisted through the rough climate and kept my eye on the prize. Each time sweat dripped down my face, I imagined myself breathing in the woods, feeling safe with my home parked nearby and Luca on my lap.
I have often described myself as a “master procrastinator,” always able to really pull things together in the last minute. I thought my old ways would carry me through this build as well. Well, I think anyone who has built out a van, and with it being the first thing they’ve ever built, would understand it is extremely hard to judge how long a project will take. It’s a constant struggle of trying to fit the square into the circle. Traction is surely prevalent in a van build, the more you’ve built, the easier the next step becomes, or at least the fewer options you have to choose from. I’ve noticed how similar it has been to doing a jigsaw puzzle.
So the week before May 25 rolls around. I have no kitchen, no toilet, no curtains, and no knowledge of how my whole electrical system works. I have no cushions, no cabinets, and no clue as to how I am going to pull this off. I contemplated moving into the van in whatever state it was at, at the end of the week. I thought now THAT would be motivation to work every living second to finish. I thought of driving out west where I could hire someone to help me finish. I thought of staying local, and living in the parking lots of Maker Space, Home Depot, and in front of my parent’s house. Over the years I had prided myself in my word. I was a person who did what they said they were going to do. It destroyed me to not be living in the van on May 25. It’s in moments of despair that I have learned to look inward.
Why do I need to leave by May 25? Haven’t I already been working my hardest to leave by that time? Will anyone judge me for not leaving “on time” other than myself? Why am I so judgmental of myself? Am I ok with not being perfect? Isn’t this whole trip about blowing with the wind? Aren’t I exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing?
After a very long talk with ME, a few talks with family and friends, I decided that I would wait to depart until my van had the necessities I needed to have a safe and successful trip. But I couldn’t let go of my proclamation easily and decided the least I could do was spend my first night in the van on May 25, 2018.