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After Quartzsite
Journal Update
February 5 , 2006


Journal Updates

INDEX

2007
Columbia, SC
Savannah
Blue Ridge Parkway
Computer Crash!

2005 - 2006
Happy New Year
Hawk's Message
I'm Published!
Sharing Spring
Ways of Writing
Goodbyes
Edmonds, WA
Degenerate Neck
Desert Depression
Post Quartzsite
Albuquerque
Grandma Malia

2003 - 2004
Oregon
Alaska Planning
Canada
Alaska 1
Alaska 2
Alaska 3
Alaska 4
Alaska 5
Alaska 6
Alaska 7
BC & Alberta
To Lower 48
2004 Recap
Giving Thanks

2001 - 2002
Inspiration's Off!
Maine
9-11-01
To Charleston
Charleston
N. Carolina
To Orlando
Florida Tour
Back in Austin
Albuq. to WA
Washington

 

 

I've seldom had such a response to an update as my last one from Yuma I called, "Depression in the Desert." In case anyone wondered, the messages of support and encouragement really had an impact and were appreciated more than you probably know.

From a friend met in Seattle contemplating fulltiming:

"My first reaction on reading this was 'Hey! Someone has finally said that fulltiming is not the cure-all for all of life's experiences! It's great to hear what I always suspected the reality was, but for some reason no one ever writes about it. I think you've got a classic here."

I've gotta say that while fulltiming is not the cure-all for everything, neither is anything else. But I still haven't found a lifestyle I like better or that is more rewarding in so many ways.

And maybe my Canadian friend had some doubts about my human-ness prior to this observation???

"I can see that you are definitely a human being with emotions, depression and illnesses."

Since I'm still so far behind in answering individual emails, I wanted to get this general update off to answer the question of where I am and what's going on with me now. It's always nice to get such support and understanding by email - and as much as I believe in the therapy of writing, there is nothing more healing than a warm hug. And I sincerely believe it was the abundance of them given me in Quartzsite that helped lift the bulk of the black cloud I had been under. And what better group to give me a shot in the arm or a kick in the butt than the "Graduating Class of 2005?" I have never been so warmly greeted by a group of people in my life. I swear they made me feel like some sort of celebrity!

One couple exclaimed "Malia - I can't believe we're finally meeting you - YOU'RE the reason we went to Alaska last year!" And another couple, "You're the reason my husband agreed to go to Alaska next year!" He said he read every page I wrote and figured "if that little lady can do that all by herself, we should be able to!" It still amazes me that people are actually strongly affected by what I have done and written about.

There were many people I was thrilled to meet that I had communicated with for years so they felt like old friends, even though I'd never seen their faces before. Some I knew through their postings on the forums as they shared the trials and challenges it took to actually get them on the road, or shared the disappointment when unforeseen obstacles kept them from actually "graduating" in 2005.

We had roaring campfires on chilly desert nights under unbelievably bright stars, shivering under blankets, but warmed by new friendships. There were class t-shirts, pins and even diplomas passed out amid laughter and shared meals.

Since many knew I was a little nervous about my "speaking" to the Graduating Class of 2005, I'll just say that I got through it and others said they enjoyed it, but a lot of it is just a blur to me now. I never had intended to give a formal memorized speech or anything, but I had a general idea of what I wanted to get across and now I'm not even exactly sure what I wound up saying or forgetting. I think I got a little flustered when the seminar before me ran overtime and Tab had to interrupt him for my scheduled time. I didn't recognize all the people in the audience and thought we probably should have taken a break first because they'd been sitting long enough, and maybe they were just there for the first seminar. But then there were other people who had come for my particular time, so I went ahead and think I made at least some of the points I wanted to share with the group. I had said at the beginning that I would answer questions at the end, but then I forgot to ask for any by the time I was finished talking. So it didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked and I was actually a little more nervous than I thought I would be, but I got through my first public speaking gig without falling down or anything more embarrassing, so that's something anyway. For I what I wanted to say, here's a link to Malia's Miles page about that.

A few other pages on Arizona and the rally start here on Malia's Miles.

Here are some links of others I had fun with who have written about it:

Check out Motorcycle Mama Malia via my friend Firedude's site - now that's the way to see the desert!

I was really happy to finally get to meet Ron Bunge from HitchItch.com. His was one of the sites I haunted to learn about fulltime RVing and Terry, a fellow rockhound who gifted me with one of the first turquoise necklaces he made. Their blog about Quartzsite begins here and he writes about our meetings starting on Jan. 29.

Tab, my bestest graduating buddy, the tireless coordinator of the class, and the main reason I made it to Quartzsite, writes about his and his sweet wife, Deanna's, experiences here on his blog.

Besides the unflagging support I got from Pat & Mel when I was so sick in Yuma, to the hug therapy I got from my great new friends in Quartzsite, I now have my big brother and his wife, who I call my sister-in-heart because sister-in-law sounds like a much more distant relationship than the closeness we share.

After enjoying a great homecooked meal during my first night at their house, I was telling them that I was definitely doing better than I was when I wrote "Depression in the Desert" but I still can't honestly say I feel 100% normal (whatever that is).

His question to me then was "What would it do for your psyche if you could still travel, have time for the writing you want to do and make as much or more money than you could as a paralegal?"

Thinking back on it, my first response was very telling about where my attitude had sunk. I said, "I'd be afraid to think about that, because that's too good to be true."

I had begun to find it hard to live with the level of insecurity I had come to feel about the fulltime RVing lifestyle. I then had to ask myself just where does my idea of security come from? Would I feel secure enough if I had enough money to live and travel on without so much anxiety? As much as I've said I'd like to have it proven by me, I know that it's not money that makes people happy and some of the most insecure people I've known had more money than I'd know what to do with.

Always a thought provoker, Pat sent a thought from a book called "Serenity:"

"I am convinced that,
as a child of God,
I am called to risk....
Without risk there
is no opportunity
for personal growth."

Could it be that you pretty much get in life what you are willing to pursue whole-heartedly, without reservation - not just what you sit back and hope and yearn for?

What I figure I need to at least get back to the me I was when I started fulltime RVing, is a renewed sense and conviction that things really do happen for a reason and bumps in the road do not mean the end of the trail. There's a saying I have taped to my makeup mirror that I apparently haven't reviewed enough: "Always know in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you." Somewhere I started to believe that the things that happened to me that I judged as "bad" meant that somehow the universe was not on my side anymore and that some nasty power lurked out there just to "get" me.

I had to start listening to my own advice to the class: Don't forget why you started RVing - don't lose your adventurous spirits - don't take the wonder of travel for granted. Don't forget that even the longest journey begins with but a single step.

So I'll be in Albuquerque for at least the next month to see if his idea will work out for both of us or not. I will also try to keep the faith if this particular avenue turns out to be a dead end.

Again, thank you all for the messages of support and encouragement. Once again, I stand by my statement that one of the very best things about RVing is the open hearts of the people I've met, both online and in person. Thank you for traveling with me. And yes, I AM gonna keep on truckin!

 
Next entry: On to Albuquerque
 
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