Last night, I ran through lemon yellow, early evening woods with cool air on my cheeks and my heart beating steadily. It was hard uphill running, but not too hard on a nicely graded single track trail in Palmer’s beautiful Government Peak Recreation Area.
Not one to normally run in the evenings because I prefer running in the morning, my husband and Aktive Soles, a local running shop, and Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers Association conspired to get me out on the trails for a locally organized race that benefits VMBaH.
I’m never sorry I went for a run, even though and especially because it’s work. Getting my heart going inevitably gives me a full body rush and sparks fleeting moments of elation. They fire up and die off just as quickly, like a fire spitting embers into the night.
I don’t want to say that we’re getting to the end of the hard part of Mobile Studio Pickup. I think we’re getting to the end of one, rather remarkably hard part. There will be more, because that’s life. But this phase pushed me to my max.
The concept with the Mobile Art Studio is to enable my husband and I to live a life that is more geographically mobile. In this life we will have significantly reduced financial commitments, thereby reducing the pressure on our incomes and freeing us up to be more choosy with how we spend our time on earth. For me, that means spending more time on art, writing, and being outdoors.
Right now, we are in transition. We are on our way to our vision with the Mobile Studio in hand, but we’re still firmly rooted in one way of being even as we try something new.
What Wes and I have done these past couple of months is inhabit multiple worlds simultaneously. These are worlds that are somewhat at odds with each other, and require intense communication and logisticizing for both of us individually and together.
On the one hand, we still have a home and a mortgage. But we put it up on Airbnb this summer to produce additional income to help offset the cost of the Mobile Art Studio and the pickup journey. So, while we “pay” on our mortgage every month, in reality it’s mostly covered by rental revenue.
Still, this is our house with its brick and mortar walls. While our home has been rented and unavailable to us, we’ve inhabited the Mobile Art Studio, because of course. But, the design of the Mobile Art Studio is to be mobile, when what we’ve really been is quite stationary in our own community, because:
Wes is working full time, and I’m consulting part time. We both need to be professionally and physically present, which tacks some boundary around use of the Airstream, like where we can take it and when. That means that the Airstream has temporarily not been an instrument of freedom, but instead been a moving home base as we continue to live our lives the way we always have. That wasn’t the design of the Mobile Art Studio in our vision, although it is functioning much better at this than the back of our truck did last year when we did our trial Airbnb run.
Since we’re trying to make money on renting on the house and don’t want to negate this effort by shacking up at expensive RV parks, we’ve sourced various driveways of very, incredibly gracious friends who see what we’re trying to do here and are supporting us. My gratitude for this is profound. My level of “over” this – the constant looking ahead, moving around, backing in, monitoring tanks so we know when it’s time to move, being cognizant of and doing our best to not overstay our welcome, coordinating cars, pulling into various RV parks over the weekend so we can fill on water and dump our tanks – is also high. It’s time to stay put somewhere for a while.
I’m not sorry we did this. We have a level of financial stability as a result of what we’ve done this summer that is, frankly, a relief. I also know it takes significant effort to make a change in life, particularly one of this magnitude that we’re implementing over a relatively short period of time. I am VERY proud of us for identifying where we want to go and taking bold and difficult steps to get there, asking for and accepting incredible support from our people, but also maxing ourselves on sweat equity in order to realize our dreams. We didn’t do this alone, but we did do it. I’ll take this over being bored, stagnant, or stuck.
But, I’ve hit my max. I’m sitting here thinking about what it means to be on this final day of living full time in the trailer (during this phase of life), and I’m in the middle of this extreme calm that feels sort of like being suspended in water. I hit peak stress sometime in the last couple of weeks, and it’s now spitting me out to a kind of flat-line, eerie placidity. I have heard about this crash after intense stress. I have cautioned others about it. But this is the first time I’ve experienced it myself, and I will say, it feels terrible. I can get to a relaxed state, but usually small triggers (an email, an indecipherable text, a missing item at the grocery store, an emotional tv show) spike an outsized physical response.
I need rest. I need a reset.
What I need to do right now is take really good care of myself. For me, that means being extremely careful about planning, erring on the side of not, so as to have enough recovery. It means focusing deeply on things I care about and am committed to, like some exciting upcoming client work through consulting, and commissions. I’m training for a speedy 10K in November, and it feels excellent to be back out on my feet running in a consistent, structured way.
It means finding ways to give back, big and small, so as to feel part of something bigger especially in this crazy and often heartbreaking world. I have to feel like I’m contributing.
This period of my life will reap amazing memories and insights. It’s already taught me exactly where my max is, which frankly I didn’t know before. I have no regret about it, but it is time for this to come to a close. I’m ready.