Blank Slate

When people ask me what my book is about I tell them, “It’s about the first year of my life on the road in my RV by myself.” It sounds simple, but the steps it took to get in that RV and drive away were anything but!

Living the RV life was a dream of mine for decades. At times, long before I owned one, I would share it with others, “I can’t wait to get in my RV and drive away.”

They would laugh at me. I’m not sure if they were laughing at the fact that I was dreaming an impossible dream or that it was ridiculous to give up my very comfortable life to become what some call “trailer-trash”. But deep down I knew I’d be happy if my RV ever materialized. I stashed my dream in the back of my head and continued living my life.

And then it happened. A blank slate.

Have you ever had a blank slate experience? You know, that moment in time when some big change happens and life as you knew it ceases to exist?

It’s scary.

But it’s also a great time to hatch a dream.

I filled my blank slate with a monstrous motor home.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about buying a motorhome or driving one or living in one. All I knew was that if I didn’t make it happen then I probably never would.

I was terrified to take my vehicle for a test drive let alone drive it home through rush-hour traffic. As soon as I got behind the wheel I knew I was in way over my head. And when things went awry as I picked it up from the previous owner all I could think of was how people would laugh at me for making such a foolish and grand mistake.

But within days my decision turned into creating my new future.

Isn’t that the way it is with everything?  With the job you have? With the spouse/lover you have? With the children you have? If you had known before what you learned after you made your decision would you have made that same choice? Maybe not, depending on the day, or your mood.

With any change, any blank slate, be it large or small, there’s an opportunity to practice what it takes to live our dreams. It’s just facing the unknown with bravery and persistence. It’s what we all do every day of our lives.

Chapter 1 of my book is about how I lived through the first step in living my dream. I hope it gives you the courage to live yours.

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Pay it Forward!

After staying a night at the Microtel Motel in which I was over-charged and under-nourished, I continued down the road to Phoenix.      

Minutes from my final destination I heard a thumping metallic sound, one loud enough to investigate.  
Since I was stopped at the entrance to McDowell Mountain Resort & Casino I pulled in and slowly, carefully cruised into one of their large parking lots — the very same large parking lot where they were hosting a high-end collector’s car show.  
Oh look at that photo! I had no idea how to even begin to fix that! 
But several of the car dealers (and their crews) did, and quickly offered their help. Within minutes the rim was removed, and I was on the road in my car with instructions to return with 2 new rims and tires and a promise that the crew would get me back on the road. 
Now, I know that I have a God that takes care of all of my needs all of the time, but this was absolutely too good to be true.  Even a believer like me finds this one hard to acknowledge and accept.  
What appeared to me to be a monumental challenge was transformed into a common exercise for 2 strapping young lads and their 3 supervisors.  Within minutes the new tires were mounted, my car was loaded, and I was on my way with parting words from the team leader, “Pay it forward!”
A common practice to me, paying it forward always pay off! Try it yourself today!

Don’t worry, I’m just adjusting . . . and practicing honesty. :)

I can see how people become alcoholics.

This is my 6th day in my new location. New home. New job. New environment.

Barely a town to around worth exploring.

No friends.  No tv.

No shopping.

No new fiction to read.

No lover.

Just a cat.

Yep.  I can see how someone could turn to drinking. 

However, that’s not an option for me. My body just doesn’t tolerate alcohol. Never has.

So, I have to find some other way to bridge this gap.  The gap?  You know, that time between endings and new beginnings.

We all have them. The end of a relationship. The end of a job. The end of life for a loved one.

So many times I haven’t noticed the gap because it’s been so full of drama, or cleaning up from the end, or the distractions created from the freedoms of the end that I’m into the new beginning before I’ve had a chance to even recognize what existed past the end.

But this time I put myself in the gap on purpose.  Away from anything familiar so I could feel the ends and choose my beginnings, instead of falling into them as I am so capable of doing.

Right now it feels sad.  And lonely.  And, maybe a bit foolish. 

I chose this. I created this.  I could have chosen to be conveniently comfortable. I could be lunching with friends, or watching an old tv sitcom episode for the 60th time right now.

But instead, I’ve detached from every familiar and barely — or less than — satisfactory thing in my life. I’ve detached from every experience and memory that has made me what I think I am, but that I know that I’m not.

I’m not the divorced woman in church.  I’m not the corporate employee banking on my job to secure my future. I’m not so many other things that I’ve been labeled that I’ve had to keep secret.

I’m free.

I’m free to decide what I choose to be instead of living what I am or am not based on my past.

It’s a beginning. 

And it’s scary as hell.