This road trip is possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done.
When you take a leap of faith, how do you know whether what you’re doing is an act of brilliance or a fool’s misstep?
This trip could be the start of a great new chapter in our lives, lead us to a bliss and happiness, launch a career or way of life we never would have even known about if we hadn’t opened ourselves up to life in this way. Our it could take us down a meandering path to nowhere.
In dark, sleepless hours, my worst fears taunt me. Kate and I will grow sick of each others’ constant company and will annoy RV park neighbors with our incessant bickering. The lives of people we love here at home will founder without our support. We’ll return home with our savings depleted and find that renters have destroyed our home. We won’t be able to wedge ourselves back into the job market. Our friends will have become indifferent to us. And the warm, full, rich and comfortable life we have established here will feel thin and ill-fitted.
Sorry, but it’s there. We might look like a couple of carefree optimists leaping blindly into whatever the future holds, and most of the time, I can pull that off. But I’m only a few steps ahead of ragged-breath fear.
I try to remember that my life is a series of blind faith moves that have proven successful. (And if some fork unchosen would have led me to fame and fortune, I’m blissfully ignorant of it.)
When I was 21, I struck out for California in a canary yellow van, with nothing but a gas card, $100, and a few leftover food stamps. I ended up as a nanny in Beverly Hills, and when that went sour, drove up to Santa Cruz and snuck my Irish Setter into my friend’s dorm room until I found a room in a mountain cabin for $50/month. I lived in that cabin for 8 years, with Kate for the last two. She had just moved in with me in 1986 when we decided to look for a sperm donor and start a family. We met Tony and after a cup of tea and a checklist of questions, chose the father of our first child. In two days, I was pregnant. Three days after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, we left our rental in shambles, strapped the kids into our VW van, drove to Eugene and bought a house, with only enough extra to pay two months’ mortgage.
Hell, my whole life has been out on a limb. It’s only the last couple of decades that it’s settled into standard issue. Compared to journeys of my youth, this adventure is cushioned in luxury and safeguards.
I can do this. We can do this. We’ll be okay. My new mantra at 3:00 in the morning. And when daylight comes, I tackle another project on my list.