2011 was an interesting year for me, and don't get me started on how interesting is a terrible descriptor. I know, I know, I know. Moving on, 2011 was definitely interesting. When I was in Arizona last year I found a Winnebago. For those of you new here, I've been a performer on the Renaissance festival circuit for several years, but I went closer to being full time on the road last year. Being on the road this year was eye opening. I worked new shows, met a lot of wonderful people, and had some incredible experiences. In 2011 my daughter and I traveled to Arizona, Virginia, California, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. In 2012 I'm looking to expand our travels to Carolina, Texas, Maryland and Wisconsin.
Going back to the Winnebago, or as I call her, the 'Bagel. Living in a 23 foot RV is a very different experience, especially when you're a pack rat. Oh, and living with a 2 year old and a cat. Space is, in a word, limited.
Most of my friends who live on the road have reached a point where stuff is just stuff, and they really don't need a lot of stuff. I'm not there. Don't get me wrong, I want to be there, I'm just not there yet. I have stuff. I have a LOT of stuff. I did a huge purge of stuff when I moved from Groton to Ithaca last September, but there's still so much left. I've been pretty good about not replacing the stuff I got rid of with new stuff, but the stuff I still have just seems to have increased in size. Stuff that isn't necessarily important or necessary, but it has an emotional attachment. The stuff I need to get rid of doesn't need emotional attachment.
I need to get over this sense of emotional attachment to stuff. Some things are important, like my grandmother's sewing box. Some things are less-so, like the board games I never play. Looking around my house, I see stuff. I see stuff EVERYWHERE! Stuff in crates, tubs/totes and boxes. Part of me wants to take everything that's in boxes or tubs/totes and just bring them to Salvo. Not open them, just bring them. The problem with that is I'd wonder what was in there. Then I'd fret. Then I'd obsess. Then the ADD would really kick in and I'd be forever wondering what it was that I'd gotten rid of. I'd probably go back down to Salvo and try to find my stuff. That leaves the next option of sorting through each tub/tote and box. This option is not fabulous as I get lost in the minutia. Seriously, I can look through 1 tote and hours will by and I still won't be done. Just thinking about this is making me twitchy. Bottom line, whether or not I go full time on the road, the sheer amount of stuff in my life needs to decrease.
One of the folks I met this year was Anika. She is a sweet wonderful person with a ready smile. She's relatively new to life on the road, and she's loving it. She's adapted to it quickly and I think she really gets what it's about. To quote her,and this is from her blog, "When I made the decision to leave, I packed everything I owned into my Jeep. I got rid of all my nick-nacks, which really serve no purpose but to remind you of fond memories, donated most of my books and clothes to the library and goodwill, and drove to Pennsylvania. While living there for three months, Kurt and I basically reconstructed my house (a small pop-up trailer) from scratch. I lived in this new house for 7 weeks in Louisiana, and now it travels with me everywhere I go. After living in Oklahoma for a few weeks, I will then be traveling to Arizona and next, Texas.
It sounds too corny to say that the "home is where the heart is", so how about "home is where my Jeep is"? Every day I am amazed by all the wonderful people I have met and things I have seen that I would not have gotten to otherwise."
Being on the road is amazing. Every place we go we make new friends, new family. There's community. There are things I get to see and show my daughter, that we wouldn't see if we didn't travel. And each time I've gotten rid of things, of clutter, it's been incredibly freeing. It felt good. It definitely soothed some of my ADD triggers. It made life easier.
The next question, what do I really need vs. what do I think I need. As of January 17, I have 10 days to figure it out.