Everything you want is on the other side of fear. -- Jack Canfield
If you know me, you know it's no secret that I've struggled going back to work after Avery was born. When I look back on the last few months, I realize I was a complete crazy person most of the time. In retrospect, I probably should have sought out some help for postpartum anxiety. I would look around at all of these moms going to work, with their tiny babies at home, and wonder how they did it. Weren't they exhausted? Weren't they also up from 3am to 5:30am trying to convince a baby to go back to sleep? What was their secret?
At first, I thought it was my job. I was frustrated with my "transition" back from maternity leave. I struggled to get into a rhythm, and thought starting over would help. It didn't. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was not right. Yes, I was incredibly grateful for having a wonderful job, an amazing apartment with fantastic city views, a beautiful daughter and loving husband. But spending 2 hours a day during the week with this gorgeous little new person in my life just wasn't enough. Each minute with her felt like I was uncovering a new piece of her personality. I had a sinking feeling that this just wasn't the life I wanted.
In December, after a particularly frustrating day at work for both me and my husband, I blurted out, "I dunno maybe we should just quit our jobs, pack up our stuff, and travel the country in an RV." (Side note: before Avery was born, Sean would playfully ask me "When are we going to quit our jobs and travel?" So, not exactly a revolutionary idea in our house.)
With that, a seed was planted. We tended it on occasion, dreaming of discovering new cities to raise our family in, looking at schools and houses in different parts of the country. "But really, what better way to see if we really like a different place than to just take some time and live there for a little while?" I asked Sean.
As the methodical, rational one in our relationship, Sean took some time to come to his decision. After a day spent visiting open houses in San Francisco (following a weekend of visiting open house on the Peninsula), I was depressed. "I can't get excited about getting locked into a $1 million+ mortgage on these places," I bemoaned.
The next day, Sean woke up and said "I want to do the RV thing. Let's do it." Every cell in my body tingled, and in typical Gillian fashion - I tried to bail. I got nervous. Scared. But we started planning, staying up night after night until after 11 (you new parents out there know this is beyond unreasonably late when your child wakes up at 5:30am). We broke the news to our parents, who were extremely supportive and pretty excited at the prospect of spending an extended amount of time with their first grandchild. This weekend we will start to tell our friends, and I plan on telling work this week. Since we've started taking a few steps toward making "our RV thing" happen, I've felt peace. I feel like I'm finally breaking through my fear and am already getting started on a path to finding and becoming my best self.
We've given ourselves 6 weeks: find a trailer (and a new tow vehicle), tie up loose ends, plan our route, pack & move our things, and hit the road. We will chronicle our adventures and share our memories here.