31 May, 2010

Girl, interrupted?

I have been an emotional and physical mess lately. While desiring progress in my home repairs and preparations, I seem to be unconsciously working through some personal repairs and preparations, as well. In fact, the latter seems to be making more active progress than the former. While the nightmares of last week have gone (for now), they have been replaced with more vivid dreaming. These are not especially good nor especially bad dreams, but they are many in number and very involved, and they are keeping me from receiving any real rest when I sleep. I am waking up more exhausted each morning than I was when I welcomed sleep the night before. I am also greeting each morning with such stiffness and tension throughout my body as makes it very uncomfortable to set myself upright. In addition to my sleeping complaints, I have been experiencing some powerful and inexplicable mood shifts during my waking hours. By inexplicable, I mean that these emotional outbursts come on suddenly and strongly and seem to have no attachments to any current circumstance. For instance, yesterday, while doing some repair work with my father, I experienced a sudden surge of foul and prolific anger. there was no logical connection to this outburst with relation to our work. And my father had been only kind and generous in his help. But I could not easily contain this anger, so I had to end our work early and take him home. Fortunately, I was able to explain the strange circumstances to my dad so he understood (if even only a little) what was happening. But it only made me feel worse that I could have possibly injured his feelings, and that our work - and time together - was cut short because of my reckless emotional state.

My body is sore. I am tired - inside and out. It is getting more and more difficult to find center. I do not know how to navigate these experiences. I feel so very ill equipped to understand fully what is happening. I have glimpses of insight: I believe this taking apart of my home and the life I’ve built 'til now is releasing old and buried injuries and accomplishments that never had their due expression. But I confess that I don’t know how to allow their release in such a way that they do not break me or harm those around me.

I do not mean to put a negative shadow on these experiences. I believe they are healthy and a necessary shedding of the old to make room for the new. in general, I feel quite happy and excited about the new journey for which I’m preparing. I suppose I just forget that what I’m doing is bigger than simply changing my living arrangements - more, I’m changing my life as I’ve ever known it. I am actually trying to create a life I’ve long dreamed about living. I am risking the comforts of the familiar and safe and stepping into the great unknown. I am releasing my grip on conventionality. I have never felt myself to be conventional, yet I realize that I have most always acted in conventional ways. I must remember that with the breaking of convention comes the responsibilities of facing those fears inherent with unknown paths.

So, still, I struggle to understand all that is unfolding before and within me. Still, I struggle with my impatience to have it all happen now and to have it happen easily and without any real effort on my part. But, as everyone knows, all experiences and rewards of true consequence can only be gained by giving of oneself to something greater. So, I will continue to give as gracefully as I am able in the hopes that I will be rewarded for having done so.

28 May, 2010

Just keep swimming .. Just keep swimming ..

So much change, so quickly, has left me reeling. Or, more accurately, left me struggling to maintain balance in the midst of a swirling vortex of chaos and momentum. Every day seems like a strange trial of will and intention, of emotional and physical fortitude. It’s like I’m the character in a Greek myth ... well ... one of the really minor ones, at least.

Since I last wrote I have had meetings with a total of three realtors, and as many repair men. I have received two estimates for repair work needed, and am still awaiting a third. I have made repairs myself. I have arranged for one piece of furniture to be consigned. I [finally!] sold my beast of a couch. I have read countless books and articles on how to sell a house, how to stage a house, how to choose a realtor, how to make repairs of various kinds. I have researched vintage travel trailers. I even went to look at one for sale in the area. I have shopped online for possible used vehicles with towing capacities large enough for the trailer I will eventually have. I have cleaned my house ... and cleaned my house ... and cleaned my house some more. I have rearranged furniture and organized everything in several successions. My lawnmower has died. And my lawnmower has magically revived. (Thank goodness!) I have made time for exercise. I have blown off time for exercise. I have completed one list of tasks only to discover a new list of tasks that need to be tackled. I have mourned for the loss of my beloved Charlie. I have tried to make time for my bunny and chickens. I have had moments of great inspiration and motivation and progress. I have had days where the mere thought of doing anything left me frozen like a deer trapped in the blinding glow of fast approaching headlights. I have made lists - dozens and dozens of lists. I have soared with excitement. I have cried with fear, exhaustion, and uncertainty.

But, through all of this, I still believe I am on the right road.

It is exhausting, to be sure. And it’s scary, too. There are still so many questions I can’t answer. So many logistical aspects for which I cannot yet plan. I am forced to work in the moment and to trust that what lies ahead will unfold in such a way that all those loose ends will magically weave themselves together into a cohesive whole. This is a difficult practice for the planner in me.

It’s also really difficult for me to be spending this time in my house - when I most want to be enjoying it before leaving it - constantly having to seek out its flaws and failures. Having no real furniture left in the living room, a spare bedroom full of castoffs ready to sell or donate, sleeping in a bedroom cramped with papers, books, and sundry trinkets to be sorted and boxed or discarded: there is very little space in which to live. The entire house is now made up of opposing camps: the too-empty spaces, and the too full. Nowhere in my home do I feel really at home anymore.

To add the icing to the cake of this current chaos, I have been having the most exquisitely terrifying nightmares. As far as I can remember, I’ve never had real nightmares. I have always been a vivid dreamer, but they’ve never been so bone-chillingly scary before now. They've been waking me up in the middle of the night - paralyzed with fear - in a bedroom that feels claustrophobic and a house that seems much too quiet.

So, this is where I am. I am exhausted. - physically, mentally, emotionally. But I’m still plugging on toward my goal. My dad and I will be spending the rest of the week/end doing more repairs. And I will be spending each night thinking the happiest thoughts I can conjure before bed. Here’s to happy dreaming ...

07 May, 2010

New Discovery

I've been in a holding pattern with the house these past couple of weeks. I had a handyman come out to look at the repairs I need doing, and have just been waiting around for his estimate. Admittedly, there are things I could be doing, but I've been pretty tired ... especially following the trip to Merlefest and the hiking on the Appalachian Trail with my dad last weekend. I've also been working out pretty regularly with my girlfriend, Chris, which has me pretty knackered. (It's good, though, getting more 'in' my body, and feeling it taking shape.)

So, after that last post, I was having some premature seller's remorse. I was really starting to feel a strong attachment to the house, and most especially, to the yard. I've planted so much love in those gardens, and they are all doing so well this year! I was beginning to wonder if I was going to talk myself out of my plan. But, alas, inspiration came to me which once again ignited my excitement and determination to do what it is I'm doing. This inspiration came to me in the form of a realization, really. I realized that in order for me to be really happy in a new home on wheels, I have to really find a home on wheels that will make me happy every time I came home to it. I need to find a home that is dreamy and that has design features that are beautiful as well as functional. I decided I needed a vintage travel trailer!

Early on in my decision to make this leap into living in an RV, I decided my preference was to live in an enclosed rig. I had narrowed it down to a Class C so I could get the smallest self-contained unit available (that wasn't a van conversion). I was excited about the possibilities, but even the old Class C rigs are relatively unattractive.

Now I've decided that a trailer pulled behind my vehicle is both a convenient AND pretty option. I would love a trailer from the 1940s, but they are nearly impossible to find. I'm looking primarily at models from the 1950s and 1960s. They still have the same general aesthetic as the 1940s models. Most of these trailers have gorgeous birch interiors with original ovens and iceboxes. There are almost always some beautiful little decorative details strewn about the place that you just don't see in the more modern models. One might say that the older travel trailers were crafted, while the new rigs are simply manufactured.

Okay, well, I've altered my plan a bit. But I'm so terribly excited about it. I can't believe I didn't realize this earlier! But I'm so glad I realized it now rather than later. I've been hunting down trailers just to see what's out there, and it's really not too difficult to find any number of models available. Now I have to decide if I want one that has already been restored, or if I want to do the restoring myself to my own specifications. What features do I consider absolute necessities, and what am I willing to forgo? Plus, I'm also going to have to start looking for towing vehicles too. My little car isn't strong enough to pull even these lightweight vintage trailers, so I'll have to get something with a little muscle. I'm thinking about a Jeep, but we'll see what is available when I need it.

I'm so excited ... once again! And that makes me even more excited! Now if I can only get that handyman to make me an estimate ... and one that I can afford ... I'll be on my way!