Whenever I sit down to write – I always want there to be a purpose or a story. Something that will evoke meaningful feelings, comments, or warrant the kind of laughter that makes your sides hurt. In practicing the ever-gentle art of letting go, I am trying more to come to my seat sometimes with nothing at all, and be okay with that. It’s a work in progress. It’s a silly fucking thought in the first place, because I am constantly sucked into other people’s words when they are telling mundane stories about their lives. I read the blogs of strangers of whom I will never meet and get enraptured in them telling a story about the conversation they had with the person bagging their goddamn groceries. I bury myself in Instagram searching #scamptrailers for inspiration and become completely involved with the journeys of people who have also chosen to fuck off and live amongst the squirrels.
When Bridie and I met, I think there was this initial sense of relief around our relationship. She was a twenty-something living in what can best be described as a Park City ski-brothel for the winter, and I was a laid-back thirty-something who was comfortable being alone or enjoying the company of another without needing serious commitment. At my age I found there were two types of people: 1.) The kind that went on Tinder dates and then immediately started Pintresting wedding ideas, and 2.) The kind like myself who are genuinely okay with the idea of not having a partner. There’s such a stigma that the aforementioned is depressing, isolating, or that we must be such garbage people we can’t find anyone. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve spent most of my life discovering how to truly love myself, and while I liked the idea of sharing life’s adventures with a similar soul – I didn’t feel I needed it.
However, it didn’t take long for our casual fling to turn love story (17 days to be exact), and we found ourselves sat at the end of our time together wondering what was next. From the start, it was of uttermost importance for me that Bridie not compromise her plan on account of what had transpired between us. She was a River Guide, and she was to do that very thing from the months of May though November. Her entire self glows when she recounts any stories related to a river and I always want her to know, experience, and tangibly have that joy. She gets to do what she truly loves and that’s not something a lot of people, myself included, can say. I want her to run rivers until her muscles are simply too sore to stand it, and we spend the rest of our lives rubbing Vick’s VapoRub on one other in our trailer.
So we endured the time apart the best we could. We talked once or twice a week between trips, and saw each other sparingly. I wrote postcards I always forgot to send, and we bought matching Mala beads and picked times to meditate together like a couple of new-aged dykes. It was undeniably hard, but it wasn’t impossible. We emerged at the end strengthened and proud of the fact we’d made it through mostly unscathed. While we knew we could do it, we also made the mutual decision that we just didn’t want to. That’s when we started workshopping our future, and what the potential solution would look like. Enter, the Scamp.
Oh the Scamp and it’s luxurious 13-feet of absolute perfection. From the second I laid eyes on it, I knew it was the missing piece of our story. I saw beauty in it’s simplicity, and plenty of space for all my things. I don’t have a lot of “stuff,” and I never have. There was a brief period where I thought I liked having nice things – I did one big haul where I bought macrame plant holders, cacti-themed tapestries, and the light bulbs that change colors to fit your mood. Turns out, that wasn’t me. I’ve now minimized my belongings down to bare essentials, and am currently only concerned with what I’m going to do with the amount of crystals I’ve accrued. If anyone out there has some chakras that are wildly out of line, hit your girl up. I’ll send you some rocks and I only ask you pay for shipping and bathe them in the light of every New Moon (do you expect them to recharge themselves?)
If everything falls into place, we will spend a few weeks or months traveling prior to Bridie starting her season. When it’s time for her to run the gauntlet again (she very much “appreciates” the fact all my river knowledge is based on watching ‘The River Wild’ with Meryl Streep) I will follow her up to Idaho. There we will be able to spend the limited time off she has together – exploring the surrounding wilderness, eating copious amounts of potatoes, and doing whatever else people in Idaho do. Her company’s home base is in a town called Lewiston, which is about a ten-hour drive from Salt Lake City. That is why it was hard to see one another this summer, it wasn’t as simple as hopping in the car and spending a weekend together. Most of her days off were midweek (when I work) and she often wouldn’t know if she had one day off or five until she returned from a trip.
What am I going to do for employment? That’s a great question and I’ll let you know when I get there. Ideally I’ll find a way to get paid to write remotely, but I’ve realized recently that I probably need to put in a little leg work to make that happen. There’s no editor dressed in a trench-coat that’s going to accost me on a street corner and say: “You look like a woman with a lot of words! Can I pay you to write?!” I also don’t know why in this hypothetical situation, I went straight to getting attacked by a Carmen Sandiego looking character from a publishing company.
For now I sit and I trust in the very same universe that has already blessed me so much thus far. It’s never been four walls and a door that have made a place home for me – it’s the people, the place, and the feeling. This is something that can be created anywhere and I’m choosing to create it whenever and wherever I go. Some days it feels like it’s too far away – like the winter will never pass and we won’t ever get to move into our dream home and disappear into the wild. But we will. This is what I remind my partner and I of constantly. The days it feels especially hard are the days I wake up and go out to the Scamp. I imagine what the ever-changing scenery outside the window will be and who I will become. I sip my coffee and cuddle Nora and I wait. Home isn’t where I came from, and it’s probably not where I am. It’s somewhere I’ve never been and it’s parked in my driveway for another couple of months. To say I can’t wait? Well, that’s the understatement of the century.