With the new year, and my birthday now through, it’s time for a little rambling about reflections and my plans for the future. The last year has been a crazy one, and the next year is promising to be interesting, if much slower than the last. I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and plans, and I haven’t really concisely put them down yet. So, here we go!
Fair Disclaimer: This is one of my rambling posts. It is an interesting entry in my thoughts about this lifestyle and myself. Not a whole lot to take out of it, aside from a little insight into the future, maybe. Enjoy, if you dare!
All of 2015 (and the start of 2016!) has been consumed by entering into this new lifestyle of mine. Through May, I was working tirelessly on building out the initial setup of my car. May 28th, I hit the road on this big, adventurous lifestyle of mine.
Everything started crazy, with heading over 3 days to the Midwest to visit with family. A lot happened while up there, and it was a crazy start to everything. Ultimately, it was a fun adventure, and I was able to take the next month to return to San Diego. The following months were spent traversing the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges, all the way up to northern Washington at Mt Baker, before heading back to San Diego once again via Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.
The last few months, I’ve finally been rather stable in San Diego County. Maybe I took slowing down a little too seriously, given that the majority of my time has been spent at only one spot! Nonetheless, I’ve been able to get more and more hiking done, including some that I have wanted to do for a long time!
Through all of this, the space in my car has been increasing, and my possessions decreasing! I started with everything barely squeezing in. Eventually everything was so loose, it was disadvantageous. I broke my original solar panels and had to get new ones, though, resulting in an extreme decrease in space, before I renovated some more and opened up more room than ever! Tivona is now more comfortable and roomier than ever, and I don’t feel that I’m missing anything significant as far as possessions I carry with me go!
That’s all practical mumbo-jumbo about what I’ve been doing, and emotionally, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster as well. It can be difficult to really express how this lifestyle enables such highs that I never thought possible, and on a regular basis no less. Even more difficult is the lows that come with it as well.
The year has been a learning exercise for me. I have found pieces of myself lying dormant for far too long. I have gotten comfortable and confident with myself in ways I never even thought to desire. I have also had to face the reality that is growing out of things once significantly more important to my life.
I faced a pretty deep depression early on my longest stretch alone of this adventure. As I headed into the Sierras, I found myself coming to face quite a lot of demons I had previously been able to ignore, along with all of the growing feelings of loneliness and questioning myself. I learned to embrace it, simply observing it through its time, and as I began to feel my way out of it, a lot of pieces of myself began to grow. I began to become comfortable and truly fall in love with this lifestyle.
By the time that I hit the southern Cascades, near Lassen Volcanic National Park, I had begun formulating My Rules. This would be a fun project of exploration that is still continuing today. The thoughts that I began exploring have helped me cozy up to this lifestyle, in all of its ups and downs, and also to help me feel comfortable with myself in whole new ways.
Perhaps the strangest thing is coming back to San Diego towards the end. I’ve not spent time with old friends as much as I might have thought I would. To be honest, when I do, I find myself often thinking that I would rather be somewhere else. It’s wonderful to see them, but it doesn’t take long to know that I just don’t feel “home” there like I once did. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all, but there’s been some painful moments of realizing I would have preferred to have opted to stick more to this new lifestyle and the opportunities it presents, rather than go back to that old life again and again.
This finally culminated in my saying “Screw it!” for my birthday. I spent some time with family the day before, and then headed out to hike, alone. I have no negative feelings about this whatsoever. A lot of people I know would feel alone and upset about this, but I felt right. This time, I made the decision that fit me best. I may have started 2016 on the wrong foot, but I started this new year of being 28 on the right foot, in my opinion!
Thoughts on The Next Year
With all of that run through, the next year is exciting for me! I’ve decided several things at this point. Almost all of them are susceptible to spontaneously changing, but they’re what I’m hanging on to for now!
First, and most importantly, is taking care of myself more this year. I want to work significantly harder on paying off my debts and do a lot of physical training (more on that later). I also am going to continue my blog series on my rules, having only really just begun those still! Meanwhile, I know now to apply things I learned over the last year, and be happy about the choices I make, even if it means hanging out with people I don’t even know or being totally alone for events usually reserved for spending with close friends and such.
All of that said, I have made the decision to spend most (if not all) of 2015 in primarily the San Diego region. The hope, if I am successful, is to spend less and do more local adventures.
Primarily, I have my eyes set on the San Diego chapter of Sierra Club’s 100 Peaks List. These are 100 peaks throughout San Diego county that are open to hiking to the summit of. Many of them have no trails, although several do. All are open to recreational climbing, with good planning and experience. Tentatively, I have a goal to achieve all 100 of these peaks this year, which will include some large, difficult hikes to achieve. It is not an easy goal, but it is one that sounds exciting, and fun.
Also, I will be continuing my series of blog posts about My Rules. There isn’t really any timeline on these, as I like to do a lot of reading and introspection on the topics before I write about them. Nonetheless, it would be wonderful to complete this whole series this year, as far as the rules I have, anyway. We shall see.
Beyond this, I’m also always looking at ways to improve my living space with Tivona. There’s plenty of things I would love to do but won’t be getting around to this year. However, I will most certainly be looking at doing several projects to increase my utilization of space and add things to increase my success at journeys in the future!
My Rule #12 is “Embrace the Unknown”.
There’s a few other rules that I could pull in on this as well, and I’ve had several of them run through my head while posting this. However, I’m going to leave this post with that one.
Really, I have no idea what the next year is going to bring. I have some goals, and some ideas of how to live my life for the next year. Ultimately, it is unknown. And I will embrace it!