Wait, what? Me? Living outside? What the actual fuck?? Really?? Outside?? Like not in a house or a building? Right now, that and that alone is blowing my mind. I live outside. Holy fucking hell. I LIVE OUTSIDE!!
Like our ancestors, like a cave man, like a drug addict, like a vagabond, like tribal folks, like settlers, like black bears and deer, I fucking live outside. Seriously, this is blowing my brain to bits right now.
I guess I do not consider myself living outside. I mean, outside is where you go when you are not inside. Well, I am inside. Inside my tent, that is. Sometimes in side my car, even. I am out of view, out of direct light, out of the elements. Well, some of them. I cannot get wet but I can feel the wind a little bit and I can see the walls of the tent move with the breeze. I can see light but I get no direct sun. I can hear all the sounds of outside and smell the smells of outside. When I went to the bathroom last night I saw all the stars of outside. When I am done with outside, I come in. Inside the tent, out of the other place. Am I now inside? Am I perhaps a little of both? My, oh my, oh my.
Like a brick to the head, like a lightening bolt to the brain, those words were never formulated together as a concept until right now. Me, Michelle, I actually made a choice and within that choice was the fact that I now live outside. Outside, as opposed to inside. Out of the doors, as opposed to behind the doors. Wow. Ain’t that a bitch. I LIVE OUTSIDE!
Logically, that makes sense. I mean, where the hell else do I live when I am living in a tent? Where did I think that tent was going? The tent is not inside someplace, the tent is and always shall be set up in the out of doors. Unless one is practicing the set up, then one is indoors. That is merely temporary and not for realsies. But, when I am in the tent, living, am I then not inside? Perhaps the protection of the tent from some of the elements gives me enough change so that I consider myself inside. Inside the tent, dumbshit, not out in the outside. What the Sam Hell was I thinking?? I LIVE OUTSIDE!
I was talking to a buddy of mine on the phone about cold remedies. Discussing some ways to address my little sickness, and how to work on prevention. He quipped, “Well, you do live outside.” That was the moment, that was the very second it occurred to me what I have actually done. Let’s review: I have chosen to forgo living in a house. OK, I knew that. I have chosen a life on the road. Yup, knew that, too. I quit my job and planned to be mobile, got it. I have chosen to live outside. Wait, what? I live in a tent. IN a tent, not outside of a tent. I am not exposed to all the elements. I have some protection and privacy and a space to move around in. True, but where is the tent? OUTSIDE! Holy shitballs, this never really occurred to me until this very moment. I live outside. Wow.
I know that camping is outside and in the elements. I know that it means I will hear, smell, feel the out-of-doors. That is part of the experience, that is why camping has an allure for some of us, that was part of the point of this journey. No longer did I want to see the world from behind a window, behind a desk. I wanted to be IN the world, seeing and feeling and hearing and smelling the world. Feel the sun on my face, its warmth tingling my bones. The rain as it pelts my skin, the creatures as they scurry about. I wanted to be OUT of the buildings, the homes, the cars. I wanted IN. In the weather, in the experience, first hand immersion into that which is happening around me. I wanted to be in the outside.
Goal achieved, So, now, I live outside. I live IN the OUTside.