Riding Out the Storm

3/21/18 Wednesday

Here I sit, on a pullout north of Westport, the rain coming down in sheets and the wind rocking the van back and forth, contemplating the last couple of days.  I arrived back in Ukiah on Monday midday after enjoyable evening and morning in San Francisco.  I hunkered down at Black Oak to do some work for a bit, then walked around town running errands and making a few photos.  Joined the Capoeira class in town, which I do infrequently since my Lyme disease and other maladies forced me to stop training four years ago.  It’s still emotionally difficult that I can’t fully participate in something I so love and enjoy, but I can play the drum and sing the songs and see my friends, and sometimes that’s good enough. 

After working in town all Tuesday morning, I took a reconnaissance drive out towards Potter Valley to see if there were any places I would consider parking for the night.  Once I arrived, I realized I’d be that proverbial ‘guy in the van down by the river’, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It probably didn’t help that for the 13 years I lived in Potter Valley, I drove past all those other people parked down by the river and leveled some kind of subconscious judgment on them for it.  Came back into town for a walk and a bit more work, then as the rain came down I did some laundry and parked myself near downtown for the night.  I’m realizing I don’t like parking in town, mostly because I feel so exposed, potentially the subject of a Neighborhood Watch phone call to the cops, but also because at this point I have no kitchen, so tooth brushing and dish washing has to be done partially outside.  Awkward.  Plus it doesn’t feel very adventurous.

Today I opted to head out to the Mendocino coast in the hopes of taking a walk and exploring before cruising up to the top of Hwy 1 and finding a place to park for the night.  The torrential rain put a damper on the walk idea, but made for a beautiful if sometimes sketchy drive.  I got to the spot where the 1 starts winding inland away from the ocean and decided to turn around, though my instincts were to just keep going… to drive up in to Humboldt, then Trinity, then… just keep going.  But there’s work to do in Ukiah tomorrow, so I’ll have to save that for another time.

Forced inside by the weather, I have to confront my need to be “doing” something all the time.  I also have to confront my slight anxiety around what the fuck I’m doing with my life right now.  I knew that the fantasies I concocted about what van life would be like weren’t representative of reality and tried to leave space for that, but dang.  It’s easy to start feeling adrift and aimless. And lonely.  However, I am very fortunate to be in a position to at least give this life a try and see where it takes me, and also remember that my van is far from finished inside, and once that’s done it’ll feel more like a home.