Changes—big ones—are on the horizon. Today I’m driving back to my 2-bedroom condo in Glendale. I’ll spend the next three days packing up all my stuff—stuff that I want to keep, and stuff that I don’t—and then Jef and I will be driving it all up to Pinole, where it will sit in an overpriced storage unit for who knows how long.
I’ve known for a while that this day was coming, but I was really hoping I’d have more time to sort out all of my belongings, throw away this, sell that, instead of throwing everything in boxes willy nilly and hauling it off in one big jumble. Dementia waits for no one, and mothers can be very dependent on and demanding of their children for support. Sigh. Responsibilities.
I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed simply puttering around in my condo, making dinner on my stove, putting clothes away in my gigantic closet, or lounging on my huge sofa that might as well be a bed while watching a good movie—carefree, no worrying about Dad, Mom, or my own future. But I do know that whenever I last did it, it was for the last time. I do wish that I had cherished it when it was happening.
With a heavy heart, I have to acknowledge that it’s time to say goodbye to the ignorantly blissful life that I once had. That chapter has been over for quite some time, and I’ve been sitting here staring at blank pages hoping more will write itself. It’s time to close the book. I’m hoping that the next book won’t be as dreadful as I expect it to be, but even if it is I’ll try to put an upbeat spin on it.
Until Dad passes (which could be anywhere from 3 months to 3 years) I’ll be stuck half living at my parents’ house, and half living in a van. I’ll have to restrict my first foray into part-time van dwelling to a 60-mile radius (probably less) of Pinole, just in case Mom calls with an emergency.
I’m giving up my entire life to be available to help take care of Dad, and to tell you the truth, I’m not happy about it. The only thing I’m not giving up is Jef, and that’s only because he’s flexible enough to follow me wherever I need to be, which is pretty darn awesome of him. I already miss my friends in Los Angeles, my favorite dance class, and the UCLA gym. I miss the myriad of hiking trails, good restaurants, and the option of driving West for an hour and going to the beach or driving East for an hour and going snowboarding. I’ve missed several work opportunities. I miss freedom.
So it’s not exactly the van dwelling adventure I was hoping for when I embarked on the crazy van project almost a year ago, but I suppose on some level I knew it where all this was going. In fact, I think it was the primary reason why I decided to do it in the first place. While most people gain freedom when they start living in their vans, I feel like I’m losing it and that thought kind of bums me out.
Chin up, tiger. This isn’t the end of the world. Really, moving all my things into a storage unit and living part-time in a van is just a change in perspective. As it is, I’m spending most of my time at my parents’ house anyway, and the condo is just an overpriced storage unit. In fact, it’s much less secure than a storage unit. I haven’t seen it in two months, no one’s been looking after it, and I’m not even sure my stuff is still there. When I really think about it, it would actually be so much easier if someone had stolen all my stuff—I wouldn’t have to pack it all up, move it, or store it. Cheaper, too.
There we go, I’m feeling a little bit better about all of this. In a few hours it’ll be time to hit the road, and then I’ll have six whole hours of driving time to wallow in self-pity. That should be plenty.