I can’t sleep. I wouldn’t even say it’s that late (10:45pm as I type), but it’s the latest I’ve been awake in weeks. Since moving into our temporary housing, I’ve managed to fall asleep by ten every night and be up by six-thirty every morning. It’s been a wonderful routine, but something’s just off tonight, and I can’t quite seem to make it work. Maybe it’s something in the air. Maybe it’s the Beltane sabbat energy. Maybe it’s just poor luck. I don’t know.
As I was lying in bed, occasionally turning from my left to my right side and back, I went back to a thought I shared with my mom and a friend earlier this week, and it got me to doing a little not-quite-daydreaming.
Sometimes I think that if my current self didn’t have Dan–and now Finn–then I would live in a van, traveling the country with a dog (probably a hound), freelance writing, practicing photography, and being a nomadic witch. Or else I would live in a hut in the forest with a dog, and this time also a cat, and be a spooky witch of the woods. Mostly, though, it’s that van idea that’s stuck with me these past few days; when I was a teenager I loved the style of the old Volkswagen Buses, and over the past few years I’ve grown fascinated by the #vanlife. I’ve still only investigated it in passing–the occasional blog post read or scroll through the Instagram tag, but it’s intriguing, exciting to think about the possibility of that kind of freedom.
Instagram is, of course, the highlight reel of the lifestyle. There are certainly those who share the gritty behind-the-scenes realities of living a traveling life, the vehicle breakdowns and repair costs, the less frequent bathing opportunities, the dirt and cold and loneliness that can come with it all. But it’s still got an appeal to it. There’s an adventurous nature to it all and, like I said, a freedom that it conveys to see someone on the road or in a desert or a vast field with nothing but the things they can carry with them. Imagine that level of simplicity. It’s captivating.
In my dreams, these scenes are full of shades of orange and green and yellow and brown. There are scraped knees and dirty fingernails beside a campfire, a dog curled up at my feet. A camera or two sit beside me and a journal is open across my lap, page after page scribbled with stories and observations. This version of myself has a rawness to her that I can see deep in myself now but don’t know how to get out. I wish I knew how.
I can’t wait to move into our new home. The other half of my time spent daydreaming revolves around renovations—paint colors, furniture styles, and shelves upon shelves of books. But sometimes it’s fun—if a little sad—to think about what might have been if I were a different person. I’m much too dependent on other people to keep me company, to keep me functioning to a certain degree, to ever actually believe I could do something like live a van lifestyle. Still, it gives me a thrill to let my imagination run wild.