Current Location: Fairview, OR
Yesterday, we drove out to Hood River during a warm and sunny afternoon. We didn't really have any agenda in mind, but just wanted to check out a new town. We knew that there were several micro breweries located here and had planned to have lunch at one of them. We chose Full Sail Brewery for no particular reason. They have a couple of limited edition beers on the menu, aptly named 'LTD', which are subtitled Live The Dream. Of course that immediately caught our eyes.
So what does 'living the dream' really mean? That has been a question on the forefront of our mind lately. As many of you have noticed, I've been absent for the last few weeks. Thank you to those who have worried about us. We are safe and healthy.
But I've been in a bit of a funk and guess I just haven't been motivated to write. I would like to blame it on the weather. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is an actual affliction and I have no doubt that it occurs frequently out here. So maybe that is partly to blame. But I think it is a combination of things.
It started with our California gig falling through. I think that affected us more than we care to admit. I know things happen, many times for reasons unknown, and you just have to accept them and move on. We've done that (or are still trying to) but it doesn't mean we can't still be disappointed. From there, we made the decision to stay in Portland through the summer. We had many reasons for this decision and all are still viable, but we find ourselves doubting that we made the right choice.
Our feelings about the area haven't changed, but we feel like we've fallen off course. This wasn't the life we envisioned when we dreamed of fulltiming. We're living in a park that we don't really care for. We're working jobs that are providing financially but are not all that fulfilling. Isn't that what we wanted to get away from when we started fulltiming?
Don't get me wrong. The park is ok. It's clean and safe. It's rated a 5W in Woodalls rating (not that that means that much). Our jobs are ok. We both like the people we work with. But it's all just ok. We don't want ok anymore. If we're really living the dream, then shouldn't we be achieving more?
One of our biggest challenges, as I see it, is that we need to find the balance between making a living and living our dream. I know there's a reason that there's not many pre-retirees fulltiming. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But I have to believe it is possible. I also know that it will require sacrifices, such as the sacrifices we feel we are making this summer. What I find myself questioning is how many sacrifices will need to be made to make it successful and will it be worth it?
I guess what we're really struggling with is figuring out what our dream really looks like. We have the idealistic view, but what about the realistic view? I don't want to be someone who simply lives in an RV. I want to be an RVer. And believe me, I've seen firsthand that there is a difference!
We are unsure what our goal is or even if we need to have one. Are we looking to have as many different experiences as possible? Yes. Are we wanting to explore different areas of the country to find a new place to settle down? Possibly. Are we looking to become rich? No, but we need to be able to sustain ourselves and prepare ourselves for the future. Do we want to continue careers in our current professional careers? Not really, but we know that those jobs are lucrative and for that we feel like we shouldn't dismiss them.
I find it ironic that so many of the doubts I had fought off while making the decision to fulltime are resurfacing. Things like 'you need to work high paying jobs to save as much money for that elusive retirement period', 'you are a college educated person, why would you want to work a minimally-paying, non-challenging job when you have the skills to get a real job', 'if you're out of the workplace for too long, you won't be marketable any longer and it will be much harder to get a job', 'you're just going through a phase, snap out of it and come back to the mainstream!'. Why are these thoughts all coming back? Is this all telling me something?
Do all of you have continuous doubts? Do you find yourselves reevaluating your decisions constantly? I wish I were the type of person that could just relax and go with the flow, but I fear the planner and analyzer in me won't allow that. Does that mean that I'm not cut out for this lifestyle? Am I fooling myself in believing that we can live this lifestyle and be financially stable at the same time?
Thanks for allowing me to blabber, gripe and think out loud. I know our current situation is short-term. One of these days, the rain will stop and the sun will stay out for more than a day at a time. In 5 months, our work will be done here and we'll really be rolling down the road this time, hopefully with some extra money in our pocket. I realize that no one can give us all the answers and none of us has a crystal ball. I just appreciate you listening and am grateful for any advice, life experiences, suggestions, comments or rants you want to offer.
And I want to assure you that we will work ourselves out of this. Often when I find myself confused and wandering aimlessly, I tend to 'disappear'. I stop writing because I feel like I just talk in circles. Sometimes I stop reading because I'm jealous that you're all finding ways to make it work while I seemingly can't. But I will return. So again, thank you for your concern and thank you for your support.
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