We are happy. Really happy.
#vanlife – The dream, right? To putz around here and wander over there in some hippie-dippy sort of free-bird way. Not a care in the world, next to no agenda, and no shortage of beautiful scenery, right outside your sliding door! Pretty dope eh?
As someone who has lived in a van for a combined 16 months or so, I have had my fair share of praise for this lifestyle, as well as some critics and “van woes.” I have shared fairly openly in previous posts about the obvious struggles – finding places to sleep, showering, going to the washroom in the middle of the night (thank goodness for dark ditches!) and lack of privacy to name an obvious few.
However, I have yet to touch on a different challenge – adventure over-load! Now before you get mad at me for claiming my life is “so hard” because I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the fun, understand that that’s not really what I mean. So hear me out.
Our Objectives for this two month period have mostly been to cram in as many adventures as possible, to have fun, to get in shape, and to get BETTER at rockclimbing. I like these objectives…especially since we chose them. Here’s where the struggle lies – I get ANXIOUS all the time.
I haven’t really shared openly about my struggle with anxiety, mostly because I don’t really fully understand it myself. For whatever reason, I tend to react to situations with a heightened sense of fear, stress and anxiety. No matter how chill a climb is, I get knots in my stomach, my heart rate goes up, and I panic. No matter how baller our parking spot is at night, I get cranky when we set up “house” as I stress about every car that drives by and sees me in my p.j.’s. No matter how safe our summit route is up that peak, I (often) break down and cry at some point along the journey – I get tired, frustrated and terrified.
Here we are, doing what I WANT to be doing, pushing our limits and having a blast, and my dang stress gets in the way! Yesterday I reached a breaking point at the crag while we were climbing. I got so anxious that I actually managed to convince myself that I didn’t even want this anymore. “What are you doing T? You’re never going to be a good climber. You are awful at this. You’re wasting your time. You’re slowing Dan down. Stop pretending.”
Excuse me for being so honest…but welcome to my (sometimes irrational) head! Where does this come from? Why does my head fabricate such lies and my heart latch onto them so easily?
So vanlife. Yes, it’s a gateway to mobile, adventurous living, and for that, we are beyond grateful. But it can be too much at times. I feel guilty if I take a day off from outdoor activity. I feel inadequate if I have a day at the crag when I’m just not feeling it. This lifestyle can be so go-go-go that I forget to breathe. I forget self-care.
If I’m scared on a climb, that doesn’t mean I suck or I’m digressing. It just means I’m scared! And isn’t that sometimes a part of this whole crazy adventuring thing? To push oneself out of one’s comfort zone and to embrace the challenge. It’s ok to feel scared, overwhelmed, and anxious.
It is NOT ok to feel inadequate. That is where I draw the line. I’m good at this! And oftentimes, the things Dan and I do are HARD and I need to remember to give myself some credit. I won’t always feel like the best adventurer of all time…and that’s ok.
May the adventure live on in its own wacky, sporadic, nonlinear fashion.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.