It was two months ago (April 7) that Sash and I left our apartment in San Diego for the RV life.
Of course, the way my brain works, is that I don’t feel the magnitude of what I’m doing until well after the fact. I’ve been told by professionals that I have “Dissociative Identity Disorder”, which is a defense mechanism for dealing with trauma and anxiety. I tend to intellectualize things so as to turn break something down, that is otherwise frightening, into bits and pieces so that I can see that there’s no “monster” lurking in the shadows.
Other people might call it “compartmentalize”.
But I guess today, I started to realize that this 28 foot toy hauler, that weighs 6,000+ pounds, is now in my possession and is here with me to stay, much like a wife, or a 30 year mortgage, or a case of Hepatitis C. This isn’t something you can just “get rid of”. And even if I did get rid of it, what then? Where do I go?
I find myself now, perusing the RV forums for some interesting piece of information that makes a light bulb go off in my head. I actually feel as if I’ve joined a new brotherhood and I’m one of those guys who’s already giving advice.
One guy posted today that he’s never owned an RV before, and that he’s soon going to be buying a travel trailer. He wants something small, like under 20 feet long, because he’s nervous about towing it. So, I told him, “Don’t fuck around splashing water in the kiddie pool. Jump into the deep end and get the bigger trailer, because you know that’s what you really want.”
Which is exactly what I did.
Yeah, I was nervous about towing a 28 footer, weighing about 8,000 pounds fully loaded, with an undersized half-ton pickup that’s rated for the same maximum pounds towing. But my brain did that thing, where I intellectualized the apprehension, broke it down into its pieces, and realized that there’s nothing there I couldn’t handle. I figured if the truck can’t pull it fully loaded, then we’ll take the motorcycles out and not take them. Or, maybe we take only one motorcycle, or maybe we avoid driving up mountains (not doable here in California).
Most people seem to integrate their emotions with their intellect and make a well-thought out decision. My brain, instead, calculates the likelihood of success versus failure, comes up with a mental pie chart, and then decides. It’s only when I can’t seem to make that calculation that I go into apprehension. But it’s not apprehension out of fear, it’s apprehension due to lack of information.
Once I get to a state of comfort, when my brain says that it’s now safe to shut off the defense mechanism, the emotions start to come on. That’s when I realized I’ve swam too far out into the ocean. I think, that’s where I now find myself.
Yet still, it’s a good thing.
If my emotions play any part of my decision-making process, it’s likely I’d never make any decisions at all. I have to make that jump into the deep end just to force myself to cope with the situation, or else die.
And then there’s this clock ticking in the background that says I’m going to die someday, and that it could happen sooner than later. So, the intellectual part of me says that if I don’t take that plunge, I will either be late to the party, or die getting there.
What’s more, is that my brain hates monotony. It needs to be fed new variables, and deal with ever-changing situations. I become restless living in the same house, the same town, and seeing the same neighborhood. This lifestyle of moving whenever I feel the need to move suits me better even despite the anxiety of owning this big rolling, 6,000 pound box.
So while our hearts is often what warns us of the magnitude we’re about to face, sometimes it’s best to just listen to that voice in your head that’s asking, “Well, why the hell not?”