Here I am! Three weeks post arrival and still finding my way. I showed up fully loaded with the things I thought I wanted and/or needed. I am living about 6000 feet higher than I was, with temperatures that are significantly lower than what I left. I traveled nearly 700 miles over two days with only one mishap. I am so glad to finally be getting settled.
No bullshit, this has been hard. Much harder than I thought. I did not expect this change to be so difficult emotionally or financially. I thought it would be easier because this is what I wanted. I chose this place, this job, and this part of my adventure. I am calling the shots here and sought this out. None of that made it easier.
The biggest change was moving from my duplex into an RV. I had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room, spare bedroom, and a pantry. I had a backyard, driveway and a garage. I moved into an RV and am using the extra bunks for storage, donated more personal items, and have an outdoor shed to build today. I have put back boxes and boxes of items I wanted but have no room for. I spent two weeks tripping over my stuff, putting things away and moving them again, not being able to find anything and then learning how to live in this sardine can. This transition was not easy.
Apparently, I am not good at changing my living situation. Apparently, I like living a certain way and not living that way is upsetting on many levels. So noted. To answer the next question, yes, I can request other housing. However, now that I am settled, I am not interested in moving again or trying to figure out anything else new right now. It is too soon. It is exhausting and draining and emotionally taxing. In time, but first I must rest and recoup and resettle.
On the flip side, I have a great view into a valley where animals hang out. I will never have a roommate. I can open the bathroom door and have a view to the outside. I can hear the rain and feel the temperature changes. I am living closer to nature from the safety and security of a structure. I can cook and care for myself in the larger sense, but with limitations and nuances. The buffalo have meandered through, I watch deer eat and coyote play. I hear the elk as they call for a mate. The silence is deafening and the skies littered with stars. It is an amazing setting.
The job is shaping up to be exactly what I wanted. I will get autonomy, independence and authority. I will have the ability to make decisions and guide my part of the operation. The people I work with and around are supportive and welcoming. Of course there is bullshit, as no workplace is without it. Overall, I am fitting in and continuing to learn.
Outside of the actual living space, I am well taken care of. I eat provided meals at no cost, live here at no cost, do laundry at no cost. The RV is only two years old, the provided laundry facilities modern and fully functional. I cut my distances to services in half, which cuts my cost of living, too. I did have to change my cell phone plan but now I have full on phone service with a wifi hotspot. I went two weeks without and did not like that one little bit. Being so out of touch was hard and not how I want to live. Making that change has been worth it.
I feel this company, what it stands for and advocates for, is a mission I can embrace and get behind. It has become important to me to work for and with people who are happy, content, believe in what they do, have a sense of pride. You know, the whole greater purpose thing. It matters.
During this change I tried to listen to my body as I adjusted to the environment and new surroundings. I did not hike or walk around much, being mindful of my energy and the altitude. I did not eat great, more what was on hand or provided that what I wanted. I also knew that my other emotions were close to the surface so I wanted to be sure I was giving myself space to feel all the stresses or sadness or happiness or confusion or whatever else was on deck for the moment.
Now that I am three weeks here I feel better and more settled. I am embracing and enjoying this new situation. I am walking and hiking and starting to explore. I have purchased some items, like a wagon for laundry and to move boxes around, that will make my life here easier. I am paying attention to what stresses me out and seeking a solution. I am starting to eat better and not just what is on hand. I am getting back into a routine and better self-care. I am reconnecting. Things have improved.
I do, however, miss my people and my community. I miss the space I lived in and the feeling of security. I have embraced cooler temperatures, rain and more rain, trees and flowers. I have taken steps to protect those things I do have and live efficiently and minimally. I am making this work.
I now know this sort of drastic life change, even if desired or sought out, is much bigger and more impactful than I thought. Once again I am learning about possessions and belongings and what is or is not worth the hassle to transport or store or fuss over. It is also confirmed that I have an amazing and vast network of supporters who are there for me when I need a boost or an ear or a place to vent. My tribe is with me no matter where I go. That means the world.
I am learning what it means to be happy and content, to be in control and empowered, to be fully and completely responsible for all my choices. Nobody is steering this ship but me. Nobody makes these decisions but me. I follow my heart and my soul. That feels pretty darned good.
Cheers to empowered choices. Cheers to autonomy. Cheers to a consistent and supportive network of loved ones. Cheers to the adventures and graces of our lives.
Living la vida loca!