On Saturday March 31, I got everything stuffed into Serenity, hitched her up, and pulled out onto the highway.
I've been on the family land since December working hard to get Serenity road-worthy. Living with one's parents for a few months as a 31 year old was an amazing opportunity that not many people get in today's world, and has been a special time for me... but it is not an emotionally straightforward thing to do. As Ram Dass said, "If you think you're enlightened, go spend a weekend with your family." (And I don't think I'm enlightened.)
It felt a bit like going off to college for the first time, as I tucked two tins of mom's cookies into my kitchen crate and assured them that yes, I knew how to find water on the road and had a solid plan all figured out for how to shower semi-regularly.
Part of the why of this whole endeavor is to seek out, play with, and expand the edges of my comfort zone in multiple dimensions. The simplest way to tell if you are close to your comfort zone, of course, is to pay attention to fear clutching at your gut. If you aren't afraid, you aren't close to your edge.
As I pulled out onto the highway, I was surprised to notice myself in the neighborhood of my edge. I was afraid that I'd done my weight calcs wrong and I was actually pulling a 6000lb Death Machine. I was afraid an electrical connection would overheat and Serenity would burn up in a ball of flame behind me. I was afraid I'd hate trailer life and had made a huge mistake. I was afraid my super solid shower plan would fall through and I'd be a smelly mess the rest of my life.
I put on Amon Amarth, because nothing bolsters your courage like those guys. The fear eased as the miles rolled by. That process, of embracing your fear, dancing with it, moving with it, and then feeling it melt into the fabric of your life, is the process of comfort zone expansion. This is what I'm here for.
The process is, then:
- Pick something kind of nuts to do.
- Feel the fear clutching at your gut as you are about to do it. It's not a bad thing, don't try to avoid it or clamp it down - just notice it and let it wash over you. The more you resist and reject the fear, the worse it becomes.
- Do the thing.
- Repeat steps 1-3 as frequently as possible until you die.
After three days of driving through the back highways of the Southwest I arrived in Albuquerque. First stop: Prismatic Coffee, the best damn beans I've found anywhere.
Then I bounced my way up a jeep road into the National Forest, found a perfect little spot nestled on the north ridge overlooking a canyon, and settled down into my new home for two weeks.