At one point, Sash asked me why I wanted to move out of a building and live on the road. I answered that I liked the feeling of running away. Her response suggested she was puzzled, and went on to say that she wanted to do this to see America.
I guess, I was left feeling defective. Somehow, her reason for wanting to live mobile seemed more psychologically healthy than mine.
Like in most such situations, it caused me reflect.
When I was 16, I ran away from home.
It was short-lived however. I returned home late that night and sat on the front porch of our home. I hadn’t even went inside. At some point, my mom went outside and saw me sitting there.
She recognized what had happened because she ran away from home at 16 too. Except, she never looked back, just kept on running.
I remember the feelings in me when I decided to leave home: isolated, unwanted, untrusted, unworthy. In an earlier point of my life, I brought joy to my mother and father. Yet now, I felt like old baggage they were burdened with carrying. They were now remarried to new spouses, and had new sons. I had become a step-child. Everything felt past-tense now.
And I recognize that most step-children are able to put aside the demons that whisper words of resentment. Yet somehow, I have not been able to. Well, not totally true. For much of my adult life I have been able to reign in my emotions despite hearing those voices. But after having spent a few years with a therapist, I lost that ability.
Somehow, therapy made it all worse. It stirred up a lot of painful memories that had actually laid repressed in me. Some of these memories I had always known, but had repressed the details. I also had other very troubling memories come after I ate some marijuana cookies. These cookies contained a high level of THC, and I was someone who hadn’t experienced THC before. It made me relive an entire frightening scene in my childhood that my brain had shut off.
After reliving that, and after opening up so many feelings and memories to my therapist, I feel fearful and unwilling to trust. My brain will identify patterns evolving during daily activities and interactions with people that cause me to become anxious and defensive. Now, I overreact to things. I wasn’t like this before therapy. I used to be able to control my reactions.
Earlier in my motorcycling life, I discovered there’s a certain genre of motorcycle riders who ride their entire lives because it brings out this sense of independence and escapism. I’ve met some of these riders before, and one thing they have in common is that they are very difficult to get to know.
I’ve come to realize that I’m very difficult to get to know too.
I’m going through this period right now where I don’t ride my motorcycle much. I think its because my emotional state has become highly sensitized. I’d rather just stay inside the RV and immerse myself with work. Work, by the way, is developing websites, administering the websites I own, and writing new content. It’s all very cerebral, which is great for keeping me disconnected from my anxieties.
I’m also more anxious around people now these emotions are more huge. That tends to keep me indoors too.
I remember this motorcycle rider in San Diego who went by the nickname “Slomo”. He rode an old Kawasaki Concours. He was retired. Slomo would leave home in the morning and ride out to Tombstone, AZ, about a 480 mile ride each way, just to get lunch, and then ride back home. But that was just when he was in town. Usually, he spent weeks and months touring across the country.
He said the sense of constantly moving relaxed him.
I feel the same way. Though I’m now parked in a campground, in the California desert, in an RV, I still feel mobile. Albeit, going on two months of being camped in the same place is probably pushing my limits, the cost savings of not having to tow this trailer, and being able to live dirt cheap, is helping a lot.
My belief is that there are full time RVers like me as well. Well, back up a bit. I’m not really sure I’m a full time RVer just yet. Rather, I’m a lifelong motorcyclist who camps in an RV instead of a tent. At least, that’s still where my head is. The full time RVers I’ve met are different animals.
I still have that yearning to jump on Blackbird and head out across the country for a few months. And sure, full time RVers will say they have that same yearning too. But RVers still want the sense of owning their home, albeit a home on wheels. By contrast, when Sash and I moved out of a home, and lived on our motorcycles for 2 1/2 years, we didn’t have a sense of home other than the home we have in each other.
The sense of being homeless, yet still self-supporting, feels amazing! It’s the closest to real freedom you can get, knowing you don’t have to be anywhere, you don’t have any place to return to, and you can still work and have money.
Intellectually, that’s what I call running away.
Emotionally, it’s this whole other story I’ve written about above.
I’ve asked myself how long will I live in this RV. I have two possible answers to that. One, I won’t make any plans because I just don’t believe in long term plans anymore. Two, I want to get at least five years out of it.
But more than likely, it’ll probably just be until I die.
Why does the choice have to be a negative? Why does I t have to be escapism? Maybe it is what fits. Maybe a person is running TOWARD something, not running away.
If you put a strong effort into what came before, and something was ‘off’, the mistake would be to continue because that was the direction you started.
Maybe it’s not even running toward something or searching for something missing.
Maybe, it is simply the movement, Like an eagle or a wild goose that fits your nature….Maybe you’re simply a nomadic sort of spirit that must be migrating to be ‘normal’.
I know,for sure and for certain, I am. Sitting in one place for too long becomes an uncomfortable, noxious existence. I was created to LIVE. Not simply exist.
For me, moving, drifting with the seasons and at the urging of some internal rhythm is when I breathe easy without that gnawing sensation and find I am right where I ‘belong’.