Well, it’s official.
We are now home-free.
On Friday we said goodbye to our home of the last half-decade and welcomed the beginning of a new era in our lives. An era that embraces change, uncertainty, and inconvenience. An era brimming with potential and unknown possibility, upon whose edge we are standing, squinting at a future that’s still blurry and just a little shaky.
Truth be told, we are still a little shaky.
Friends keep asking us if we are excited, if life in the camper is what we expected. We are excited, and life in the camper is good, but honestly, we are just a bit shell-shocked and still getting our bearings. The last week or so before our closing was an utterly exhausting whirlwind of decision-making, disposing of our belongings, problem-solving in the camper, and cleaning. The days were long and left little time for rest or reflection. Suddenly we found ourselves sitting on our front deck in bleary-eyed stunned silence waiting for the final walkthrough, the moment of farewell upon us. We walked through our home for one final time, smiled through our closing (we were blessed with absolutely wonderful buyers who made the whole experience as close to lovely as selling a house can be), and that was that. We were now homeless, or, as we’ve decided instead, home-free.
It’s just the tiniest bit disconcerting to find ourselves in our late thirties, well educated and gainfully employed, and living in a structure that moves and rattles when our dog scratches her ears with any vigor. We are currently parked in our neighbor’s back yard, so there is the surreal experience of driving down our same street each day but turning into a different driveway, of walking our confused dog around the same block we’ve walked her for years only to pass our old home and cross the street.
But even as we muddle through this transition, forgetting occasionally that we no longer have a shower or an oven (or, you know, a flushing toilet that we’re willing to use), there is, indeed, the glimmer of freedom dancing around the edges of our new life, just waiting to be welcomed in. Or perhaps freedom isn’t exactly the right word…we’re still obligated to do and be all of the things we were obligated to do or be a week ago, after all. Maybe the word I’m looking for is attention, or, really intention.
Our new life is deeply intentional. From how/where we’ll use the bathroom or take a shower, to which appliances can run at what time (fan + tea kettle + microwave = breaker trips), to grinding our coffee by hand, to not having television (or wifi for that matter), nothing can really be done on auto-pilot. There isn’t space to leave dirty dishes in the sink. There isn’t enough water in the tank to let the faucet run while brushing teeth. To access one thing, we must usually move something else. Most of our day-to-day life “stuff” is shockingly inconvenient.
Which is surprisingly delightful.
I don’t feel like life is any less busy than it’s ever been, but since things must be done with care and attention, life has begun to feel slower. And that was part of the point to this whole exercise in the first place. To begin to “let that which does not matter truly slide” (one of my favorite quotes from the movie Fight Club) and to make more intentional choices about how we spend our time and our resources. So, we are still in the midst of transitioning, but as my friend Lauren pointed out in a blog post recently, isn’t life always in transition?
What does it really mean to be home free anyway? I’m beginning to suspect that it has as much to do with being free to be at home anywhere, to carry our sense of home with us, as it does to be home-less...
**I wanted to share some current images of the camper with you guys…do you remember the before photos? Our humble little home has come a long way, eh? Oh…and we’ve almost settled on the name Falkor…do any of you get the reference?