Sunday, April 29, 2012

Let's just go with it.

Well I assume the typical reaction would be discouragement.  But I am not discouraged.  Not even slightly.  The deal on the house fell through and I felt... well nothing to be honest.  We only just found out for sure but we have had the chance to tell one or two people who had asked us how our plans were coming along.  The reactions were shocking to me.  Almost every person I have told has been really angry.  Even without any details - their chests puff up and they are ready to defend us.  The loyalty is lovely but the reaction is quite unnecessary.  It was just a week - a week in time where we thought we sold the house.  Now we know we haven’t and arrangements need to be made.  Had we put this house up for sale a year ago (I know we just bought it a year ago, but just go with me here) I believe my feelings would be entirely different.  I used to be plagued by anxiety and worried over every little problem that popped up.  I would not have slept a wink for weeks due to tossing and turning and playing over a million and one scenarios in my mind.  That just is not so anymore.  I choose not to let anything get me down and it simply doesn’t.  I know, like I know, like I know that this trip and this new way of life is meant to be for us.  There is just no doubt.  So this sale didn’t go through - well another will.  And if no new buyer comes along?  Well then we rent it out, sell it on land contract, save up money and go for multiple shorter excursions... the point is, who cares?  If the point of this trip is to truly live a different life, one that is free from all of the bonds of ‘normal’ - then shouldn’t we begin that now?  Of course we should.
So what does that mean exactly? Everything is now like a puzzle and we have to work it all out.  We obviously have to go back to showing the house.  Not that our house is huge by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still a lot of work to set up and make show ready.  I do not exactly enjoy the whole thing, so we are determined to make it a bit easier on ourselves this round.  My version of easy and yours are likely to be quite different, but here goes our wacky idea anyhow:  We figure that the plan was to move into a small space all together once we closed on the house, so why not still do that? Annnnd, let's start right now.  We need to get used to the routine of all being around each other all of the time.  We will soon be living in a very small space with no personal boundaries.  I think it is a great idea to have some time to ease into it.  Troy agrees.  With this in mind, we cleaned both of the kid’s rooms and moved them out.  They each have the three items they are taking with them on our trip, an e-reader for books and their art supplies and are happily squatting in our bedroom with us.  And the dog.  Most of the house is now closed off.  We are solely using our room, the kitchen/dining room and one bathroom on a constant basis. The kids were really excited about moving out of the house and into a small space with us for the summer.  This was our solution to stop the disappointment they were expressing and feeling when they found out it was not going to go quite as planned.  Extreme?  Sure.  But we all think it’s kind of fun.  Like summer camp.  So far it’s working.  If it stops working, well we will either go back to the old way or come up with something new. 
The sale.  We have tossed this around a bit.  Not sure if we should cancel it or hold it as planned.  We decided that indeed we are going through with it.  The sale of this dwelling does not control our desire to rid ourselves of all our material possessions.  We do not want them.  So the sale is a go.  We have decided however that some of the larger items  (furniture) that aid in the showing of the home are needed to remain until there are new owners.  A furnished house has a much better chance of selling than an empty one.  We will attempt to sell off everything else though and sell those few items at a later date.  I cannot even express the thrill I feel arise within me when I contemplate this sale.  I want to watch it all go.  We at first thought it would be a great idea to hold an auction.  That would have been awesome.  We changed our minds however when we realized the auction companies take half your money.  Not awesome.  Not awesome at all.
The last detail I have had to tweak this week is what the heck to do with my car?  The plan was to sell it now.  Going down to one car not only saves us cash, but not having one would encourage the kids and I to walk to more places.  This train of thought arose when we were planning on moving into town.  Walking is quite easy there.  A mile to the beach at most.  This is of course no longer the situation.  We will now remain in Williamsburg - possibly for the entire summer.  After thinking long and hard, we once again decided to just go ahead and do it.  And so I did.  It’s up for sale.  And in honor of that bold move, the kids and I today decided to trek to the nearest beach access to see what our summer holds for us.  Five miles we walked.  Each way.  They were troopers.  Marnie exclaimed how amazing she was for completing the ten mile hike and of course she is now going to be ready for the planned four day hike in a portion of the Appalachian Trail this fall.  Word.

There is one change we have decided to implement now that has me a little apprehensive.  I believe it absolutely necessary though as it is something we are definitely going to have to deal with on the road - we are canceling our internet.  I know.  It is hard for me to think back to a time in which the internet did not exist.  I know I lived it, but how?  We must do this however.  I need to learn to be more creative about getting out of the house to work.  I need to make sure that with only one car, the kids and I get into town and actually do some things.  The promise of wifi may just be the driving force to make me do that.

And so, there it is.  Perhaps not all is going according to plan. That is okay.  We can change our plans.  We’re cool with that.  Perhaps there is something even better in store for us this summer that could not have possibly happened had the house sold this May.  I look forward to discovering what that may be.  For the time being, I am going to enjoy my little nightly slumber party, the anticipation of soon being without stuff and the sweet ache of well worked muscles.  Life is really, really good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Great White North.

The Roadtrek factory is located in the town of Kitchener right outside of Toronto and was our final destination.  We had sent the kids off to school for a half of a day while we packed and discussed exactly what were hoping to get out of this trip.  Kitchener is about 7 hours from where we live so activities for Marnie and Ethan were a definite must.  Charging all of our electronics took a few hours and gave us some time dream.  We knew that we wanted to tour the Roadtrek factory and see how our future home was constructed.  Our family has a huge passion for the little guy when it comes to business.  We shop local as much as we possibly can and always try to support family run businesses vs. large corporations.  Roadtrek advertises themselves as such a company.  Less than 200 employees and an 8 acre building that was first owned by father and now son. It sounds great on paper.  We also were curious why not more people are traveling around in these bad boys.  We have been very discouraged from our choice in vehicles by RV dealers - even the dealers who sell Roadtreks.  This strikes us as odd since Roadtreks would provide them with a larger profit. Everyone has tried to steer us in the direction of a larger RV.  As soon as we mention what type of trip we are taking, the dealer immediately tells us that in no way do we want a Roadtrek.  Why?  It’s size I suppose.  It is so common that the idea that bigger is always better is the one conveyed.  I do not want bigger.  I want ease.  I want quality.  I want a small footprint.  When you are considering what a long road we have to haul - our impact matters. We do not want to spend endless hours hanging out in the RV watching tv.  We could stay right where we are for that.  We want a comfortable ride and a place to sleep at night.  We want to be able to gain entrance at any National Park with no regard to the size of our transportation.  Period. I do not need a castle on wheels.  We just had to go see for ourselves.  Going to Kitchener had an added bonus of being located only about an hour and a half from Niagara Falls.  
Apparently I forgot to call the school and let them in on our plans.  Any other school would probably be bothered by parents showing up in the middle of the day and taking off with their kids for half a week.  Mill Creek is a different kind of school however.  The support we have received since announcing our plans for next school year has been overwhelmingly positive.  The principal (who has the amazing ability of remembering every child’s name as well as their parent’s) came to shake our hands an congratulate us on seizing the day and spending the next year educating the children ourselves.  They are so excited about education at that school - regardless of where one gets it. Everyone had already heard that we were off to Canada as well.  Our kids have big mouths and were more than a little excited.  It was like a preview of what is to come.  They bounced from their classrooms, gathered their belongings and we were off.
All was pretty uneventful until we were about an hour from the boarder.  Troy looks at me and asks ‘You think we need anything in order to get Rocco across the boarder?’  Um.  The thought never crossed my mind that we could not just take our dog with us into Canada.  I haven’t been to Canada since I was something like 8 and we didn't have a pup with us.  I usually think of Canada as just a greater UP.  I did think to bring the passports but records for the dog?  Nope.  Didn’t think of that one.  It was 5:05 and despite calling our vet 7 times, I never got a pick up.  Our minds reeled.  Troy suggested that perhaps we could have someone head to the house, find the records and email them to us.  Only problem was that we had both keys and it was locked up tight.  The stars were aligned my friend.  Canada would not deny this family.  We were on a mission and they were going to let us in.  We quickly called our realtor and were able to find out the code to get into the lock box that is attached to the door.  I then placed a semi-frantic call to my sister-in-law Bree who must have ran from her house and speedily drove to mine.  As luck had it, we had just taken Rocco to the vet the day before and his records were right beside Troy’s bed.  Any other day and they would have been locked away in a filing cabinet in the basement.  She was able to find them, take them home, scan and email them to me just as we reached the town of Port Huron.  There was no office supply store to be found but I had the idea that perhaps we could convince a librarian to let us print a page.  One temporary library card later  -  the papers were in hand.  We crossed the boarder with ease.
The hotel was not one of luxury.  Smoking is still a fancy in the land of Canada and thanks to some giant home show that was being held in town, we were stuck with a smoke filled room.  I am not sure how it is in the majority of our country, but smoking is not popular in Traverse City.  Every summer I find myself surprised by my shock (I am a successful quitter) when I see a tourist smoking.  It is just not the norm.  This cannot be said for Canada.  We had no choice but to sleep and try not to inhale.  
The next day proved to be pretty big.  It started with Troy doing a great radio interview on 106 KHQ - a local station in Traverse City.  If you are interested in a listen, you can do so here:

After a bit of breakfast we were off to tour the Roadtrek factory.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  We were met by the nicest guide, an elder gentleman named Tupper.  I do not think I have ever met anyone who was so passionate about the company they worked for.  He went over all the details of the different models that are offered as well as information as to how the factory is run.  The kids were stoked because we all were required to wear safety glasses.  Danger must be in store, no?  Not so much.  The factory floor was extremely quite.  All of the employees wear earphones filled with music.  If in need of help, all they must do is turn up the volume of their music and a supervisor will be on the way.  The entire factory is managed in this way.  Each vehicle that we saw on the floor was in varying degrees of assembly and are already owned by an individual.  They only make to order.  It was extremely interesting to see the process.  Roadtrek purchases vans from either Chevy or Mercedes and then pulls them apart.  They completely cut them into pieces.  They then add all of the cool features that the brand is known for and put it all back together.  It takes all 200 people (40 % women!) to make one van into a camper.  The finished product is perfect looking and you would have no idea what disarray it was previously in.  Somehow they manage to complete the process without destroying the factory warranty that comes when you purchase a new Chevy.  Crazy.  Tupper answered all of my questions and made a whole lot of corny jokes that were probably funnier if you were Canadian.  Maybe not.  I wanted to take photos for this blog but they made me put my camera in the car before allowing us in.  I will however include a picture of my shoes.

These were a huge hit in Canada.  Apparently Vibrams have not yet made there way to the great white north.  It was as if we were aliens who just landed our craft in the middle of their country.  Everywhere we went we got crazy stares.  All four of us wear VFFs 99% of the time and honestly I forget that they are weird.  They have gained some popularity in the States and especially in Traverse City.  I rarely get a comment on my choice of footwear unless it is someone asking where I purchased them.  I think we may have converted good ole’ Tupper though.  By the end of the tour he was joking of adding the toe shoes to his games & comic store.  The servers at the sushi place we dined at for dinner that night were a completely different story.  I think it is safe to say they were disgusted.  The shoes were like a car wreck - horrified by the monstrosity but they couldn’t look away.

We drove an hour and a half to Niagara Falls after the conclusion of our tour.  It was really freaking cold.  The sleet kept us from doing much walking but made me feel quite justified in my decision to bring my ski jacket.  The falls were amazing of course.  The kids were like ‘Eh.  Where is the gift shop?‘  Postcards were really all they cared about.  We might have spent twenty minutes in total at Niagara before heading back.  That is the great thing about having a completely open future - you can always revisit.  We capped the night off by enjoying a delicious sushi dinner.  All you can eat sushi joints are everywhere in Canada.  This makes me want to move to Canada.  Seriously.  I would eat sushi every single day until the end of my existence.  This is how much I love sushi.  No joke.  Okay, moving on.

This morning we made one last stop at a local RV dealer.  The one thing we were unable to do at the factory that we wanted to was to actually get into a Roadtrek.  Even the Canadian dealer tried to talk us out of buying a Roadtrek.  Seriously?  I just don’t get it.  I love them.  I love them enough that I am excited to spend more than a year in one.
And now we are on our way home.  A few hours to go.  I will include one more picture for good measure - obviously taken by and altered from the backseat by the girl. Oh!  And I just got a call from the realtor who informed me that the deal on the house may be falling through...  But I think that will have to wait for later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Yesterday we had the opportunity to walk the walk and talk the talk.  Except in our case it was drive the drive and head over the bridge into Canada.  Let me explain.  It began, as most of my crazy ideas do - over a pot of chewable french press coffee and a meeting of the minds with Troy.  We were discussing the next step.  You see,  we have had many plans laid out before us to follow as we move towards September but have purposely limited many.  There are so many things to consider when you are trying to change everything about everything and they can easily become quite overwhelming.  If there is too much on my plate, my brain goes fuzzy and I just want to crawl back into bed.  Seeing as it will be very soon that I no longer own a bed - I have to be careful about how many tasks I give myself at one time.  Some time ago we sat together and came up with a list of everything we need to take care of before we leave Traverse City.  We attempted to put them in order and we periodically have to rearrange a few.  The big ones that everyone asks us about,  have been the house, the cars, the camper van, the schools and our jobs.  When people first began questioning us about these things, it would cause me to panic.  I don’t know! - I would scream that in my head a little bit.  I apologize if my inside head scream was directed at you.  All I could do was focus on one thing at a time.  First it was telling everyone about our plans.  It may not come as much of a surprise  when I relay that not everyone is as excited about this nomadic journey as we are.  It wasn’t too bad though - there was no blood.  Next came putting the house up.  This was a big one of course and it was a lot of work.  We are really fortunate because our house is lovely, we invested over 30K in improvements (I added them all up today!) and it is in a really nice neighborhood.  Everyone takes care of their homes here and the previous owners really took pride in the gardens that frame our yard and little yellow house.  Beyond spending loads of money on improving the house  - we also managed not to screw anything up in the year we owned it.  The only thing we needed to do was prepare the house for showing and the rest should speak for itself.  And show we did.  This made for many hours of cleaning and primping as I am somewhat of a perfectionist and want everyone to see it at its very best.  All was worth it in the end however as it took a mere 4 weeks to get an agreeable offer. Everything is moving along well and I have no doubt we will manage to close as planned in May.  After a day or two of doubt, I put my big girl panties on and got back into ‘let’s do this!’ mode.  I am thrilled to have sold the house and cross that task off my list.  Of course this now means that I  have to face other tasks and this time there is a bit more of a time crunch.  The stuff has to go.  We have given a lot away.  A lot.  I would venture to say that at one point a few months ago, we had at least double the possessions that we have now.  We still have so much.  We are each taking about three items with us in the van and are storing a tote each at my Mom’s. That leaves a lot of items left over to find new homes for.  A sale is a must  and we are looking forward to holding it over Mother’s Day weekend  (if you want to come you can find all of the details on our Facebook page).  The next obvious thing we needed to think about was finding a place to stay for the summer.  The original plan was to get the van and live in it over the summer.  We had absolutely no expectation of selling our house as quickly as we did and we were not yet at the van buying check point.   We needed another option so my brain would not explode.  We were asking for a lot.  The place needed to be small and not cost much - we would like to stock up some cash over the summer months.  We were thinking of a studio apartment if possible.  We won’t be there much due to summer being on it’s way.  The hard part is finding a place that will allow us to only rent for 4 months during peak season for no additional funds and keep our giant dog, Rocco. It would also be nice to not have to put down a deposit to boot. Thankyouverymuch.  A friend that Troy works with stepped up and offered us a room for rent in his house. We took him up on his very generous offer and that detail is one I no longer need to think of.  Now I cannot put it off any longer... we need to start looking for a van.  
We have done a lot of research on what type of vehicle we want to do our cross country voyage in.  There are so many options available.  Class A, B, or C?  Pull behind or an RV?  We have thought about all of the pros and cons of each and simultaneously tried to avoid all advice from probably well meaning people. We came up with the following criteria that were complete must haves for our family:
  • Small enough that we can easily maneuver in any city setting and park in a normal parking space.
  • Sleeps 4
  • Has an onboard toilet.
  • Has cooking capabilities.
  • Has a generator so we can take advantage of boon-docking.
  • Is one unit that can be used for both traveling and sleeping without needing to connect/disconnect.
  • Is reasonable on gas.
  • Is more comfortable than a car.
After looking at many different models and types of RV’s we came across a clear winner  - a Roadtrek Simplicity 190.  It is perfect for our needs and desires.  The problem is that they are really hard to come by.  We have done many searches across the states and haven’t had much luck.  Roadtreks are produced in Canada and are most popular with the retirement community.  Many of the models only sleep 2 and these are the most commonly found in the US.  This is unfortunate because the Simplicity’s are awesome.  I did not know they even existed prior to needing one.  Even if I was not embarking on this great adventure I would want one.  I do not need to think about that however because I am about to take this leap and I do want one.
So we are having coffee and talking as we do... and it hits me - let’s just go to Canada.  Troy happened to have 2.5 days off work and I didn’t really have much going on.  We are always talking about being spontaneous and doing whatever we feel like just because we can.  Here was a great opportunity.  It took about 2.5 seconds to talk ourselves into it.  Within 10 minutes we were booking hotel rooms and packing the few things we would need.  Then we were off - boarder bound.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A great space.

I am in a great space today.  I am seeing clearly what exactly it is I want and the obvious path I must take to get there.  And lucky for me, it is the path I am already on.  Today is the day after the inspection of our home.  I have no idea how it went, but I am going to presume all went well seeing as we too just had it inspected a year ago when we bought it.  Our original plan was to lay in wait of the closing date and pay the new owners rent for a couple weeks after the signing before selling off all of our worldly possessions in case something were to fall through - but you know what?  I do not think anything is going to fall through.  This house is amazing and the new owners are getting an amazing deal.  We are making out just fine ourselves as we are able to shed this huge responsibility that has been holding us where we stand.  To me, that freedom is priceless.  We may be losing a few thousand dollars from our bank account but the gains we will be making elsewhere cannot be measured.

I have been doing a lot of reading and writing the past few days in an attempt to wrap my brain around the enormous step we are about to take.  Four months ago when Troy and I made the decision to take our dreams out of the clouds and plant them firmly on the ground, it was easy to produce excitement.  Everything was new and crazy.  The thought of freedom from all of the labels and standards we have put on ourselves was absolutely exhilarating.  The mere idea of giving everything up and heading for adventure would keep me up each night due to the unending cycles of giggles and pure glee my inner being would release.  It was magical and I was walking on air each day.  Unfortunately I did happen to float back down a bit when real life interrupted my happy fantasy of the future.  I lost a loved one,  many plans had to be altered do to obligations, house showings, jobs, unenthusiastic reactions to our overly optimistic view of our life... You know, normal stuff.  We have continued on - motivated mostly by our past enthusiasm and inner assurance that all this boring day to day stuff will soon be worth it.

This morning it occurred to me that I am now in my future.  I understand this is obvious, but it struck me as kind of a big deal.  I was standing in my dining room dividing up my belongings into three piles - saved mementos to store in Mom's attic (we each have one bin), trash and sell - it was here that I felt a rush of knowing that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.  Just months ago I was dreaming of this day and of all of my future days to come.  This is one of those moments where I made a big dent in the letting go.  I have been fighting this reality since the phone call telling me about the offer on the house.  Hostility and resentment have plagued my thoughts.  I was angry at the people who want my house and my things.  Upset by both realtors and the loss of money we will have to endure.  Mad at myself for buying the house in the first place and then selling it so stupid quick.  Tossing and turning at night and sobbing intermittently throughout the days.  Each day has been easier, but today I finally got it.  I asked for this.  This exact thing. And I got it.  This blows my mind.  As soon as the thought occurred, I realized that of course this is what I want.  I have spent years dreaming of a day in which I could spend every waking hour with my boy and our amazing babes in a fashion of freedom and adventure.  And here is that exact opportunity.  It has not been the house, the jobs, the school nor any other responsibility that has been standing in my way from making this happen before now - it has been me.  Similarly it is not the the new owners or the realtors who have been plaguing me with anxiety this week.  It is my own doubts and fears that are preventing my joy at this situation.  A self sabotaging jerk named Erin.

I want this and I am not going to be quiet about this desire or feel bad about wanting something different than what others want.  Everyone has their own path to follow and apparently ours has not been well tread.  That is okay.  I am fine with that.  It may scare some but I cannot help that. We can lead the way and maybe one day others too will choose something different than the obvious choice.  In addition to my choice of direction, I also choose to move forward without fear.  I want to live a life of excitement and fear has no place here to dwell.  I honestly believe that we make a choice in each thought we think and each feeling we allow to enter our being.  Fear is no longer welcome here.  I am moving on.  Out of this house and out of that state of mind.

There is one part of this journey that we are about to embark on that I have not yet mentioned to many people.  Not because I have not wanted to but because it has been a very hush hush process.  It is at the core of our motivation for leaving Traverse City and going on this tour.  It is true that Troy and I have always wanted an unconventional life and one that involves great amounts of travel and time with our babies.  It has been in our dreams and discussions for over a decade.  Never did it seem doable however.  Never was there a great enough reason to give us cause to destroy everything we now have in exchange for the trip.  Fortunate are we that this past December we were given the inspiration for an idea that fueled our passion to create and a good enough reason to roam.  The idea was so big and so real in our mind that we knew if it was not followed through with we could never forgive ourselves for our lack of trying.  We decided to risk everything that is our now in hopes that our idea will bring about a different future for ourselves and our family.  In a few weeks time our new website will be ready to go live.  We have been spending the last few months planning for its release and all the interesting changes that will bring about for us.  We continue to plan and search for the best possible ways to introduce our ideas to creative people everywhere.  Imaginative people.  People with dreams bigger than their reality.  People like us.  I enjoy thinking about all of the lovely folk out there that we may be fortunate enough impact in a small way.  I think we can be helpful.  Actually I know we can.  If you know something of use, I feel that there is an obligation to to share it with those who are seeking.

I look forward to this evening of rest.  No more tossing and no more turning.  I have the feeling that the insane giggles may find a way of return to my mind.  There are big things out there waiting for us.  Sights that my eyes have never seen.  People I have been meaning to meet.   I feel so lucky - so blessed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The house sold.

We sold our house.  It took exactly four weeks and five showings.  We are meant to take this trip.  I feel it - I know it.  I am grateful it happened this quickly and with such an obvious message of propelling us forward.  The longer things are dragged out, the longer you have to contemplate what exactly it is that you are doing... and just exactly how insane it is.

When we got the offer I sat on the floor of my bedroom and cried.  Not tears of excitement but the heavy, heaving, cannot quite breathe variety.  I ran my fingers over the plush chocolate carpeting that we only just installed last May and mourned its loss.  There is a misconception of sorts that has come with our plans - that we are above our material possessions or that we are too unintelligent to understand what is exactly that we are giving up.  That could not be further from the truth.  I know exactly what it is that I am giving up  and I am filled with sorrow over it.  I must move forward with it nonetheless for what I see on the horizon trumps the feelings I am allowing myself now.

I have been with Troy for 11 years.  From the very first night I knew we would be married and grow into a family.  I began to paint the picture of what my life would be like.  I envisioned what type of people we would become and what our children would be like.  We began to build on that foundation of thoughts and day by day my dreams grew into a reality.  It has been much messier and dragged out than pictured, but each struggle and triumph brought us closer to goal.  And here we are.  If I had the motivation to bore you with all of the details of my current life and how closely it resembles the dreams of my past 21 year old bride self - perhaps I could convince you that intention creates reality.  Perhaps.  I am not going to try however.   I will tell you that I love my house.  There is not a detail I would change.  I love my neighborhood.  I love the city in which I live.  I love my job - as does Troy.  I love the school my children attend.  I love everything about everything that is here, that is now.  So why are we leaving?  The simplest of answers that I can come up with is that I question how long can I continue to be happy in this current position in life?  Once the dream is accomplished, is it not natural to acquire a new one?  To evolve further?  I argue yes.

For this moment, life is perfect.  However I do not believe a person is meant to be still.  We are living beings and like all living beings on earth we have one true purpose that never waivers - to grow.  Try to stop a blade of grass from reaching for the sun and you will be disappointed in your efforts.  Cover it with concrete and over time you will discover cracks within its surface.  Drown it in life diminishing chemicals and although snuffed out it may seem - time will work for the blade and not only will the grass reappear but the soil will repair and come to its aid.  Growth may be stunted but not stopped.  And why do we fight it so hard?  Why do we bury those feelings and desires and even lie about having them in the first place?  I have had discussions with enough people since we first made our announcement to understand that we are not alone in our desires.  We do seem to be one of the few to take action and peruse it.

This action is not easy.  My feelings have been all over the place from the moment we put our desires out there.  We question everything of course.  How could we not?  Talking to those who oppose our plans is not only difficult but in the case of some family - heartbreaking.  Not only for us, but for them as well.  It is  hard to exclaim that this is not good enough.  That this life is not what we want.  That we want more.  Especially when it appears that we are throwing everything away to essentially become homeless.  It goes against everything we are taught.  It is scary.  If I allow myself to live in this place of thought for too long, my chest becomes tight and my brain swirls with confusion.  I get overwhelmed and panic.  I look at all of the belongings I have spent more than a decade acquiring and I doubt.  I see the markings on the door jam that place Marnie and Ethan's growth over the years and I yearn.  But in this place I must force myself out - for these things are not real.  The previously desired furnishings have done their job in completing my dream of the perfect home.  It has been acquired and now they only hold things or provide a place to rest my dumpa.  The markings by the door will not stop my babies from becoming adults.  They merely represent a second in time that has long ago past.  Never can we revisit.  There is no point in the aguish felt by it's loss.  And on the long days when Troy leaves for work in the morning and the school demands my children's attendance - leaving me with a mere three hours in the evening to spend with them.  Three hours that is still not mine as the have homework or activities and dinner must be rushed through and bedtimes observed.  In these moments I glimpse the future I want to focus my intention on. I have to let go of this house and this way of living.  I want to live a real life with my family.

And we will.  We will make ourselves follow through as difficult as it may be for us to do.  We will take each of the pictures off our walls.  We will sell or give away every item that occupies this house that we call home.  We will step out into the sunlight and shake off all of the labels that we now hide behind.  We will no longer be homeowners, restaurant managers, stay-at-home moms, students, hair stylists.  We will solely be Troy, Erin, Marnie and Ethan.  Is that not the scary part?  Exposing yourself as exactly who you are and what you are made of?  If you fall on your face there is no one else to blame.  If success is achieved... well that is an entirely different blog for a different day.   For now, the focus is to move past the loss and give up the grieving.  To remember that today is the journey and we are already moving along our new path.  A path to a future that has no end in sight, but one that can be continuously added to and improved as growth is achieved.  We will not allow anything or anyone to halt our forward progress - least of all ourselves. But today... today I am a little sad.