This morning, while checking our blog, I discovered a comment that brought Jim and me to tears (honestly – not dramatic here). It wasn’t just her kind words that got to us, it was the amazing timing of them that gave us a shiver up and down our spines.
You can see her comments (her name is Nixie) at the end of the post about losing my mom HERE. It is hearing from people like this that keeps us inspired to keep writing, sharing and researching to help those who have decided to change their lives. As stated before, we plan to do a whole segment of posts on affordable medical care/treatments and other obstacles that scare some away from taking the plunge (will take time, but we are getting there). To put that work into it, you do need inspiration – and her post was just that – inspiring.
When you read her words, it is evident why we were so touched. However, the timing is something we need to fill you in on. A few nights ago, we had a very relaxed, chatty nite. We do this sometimes…we just talk and talk about everything in the world, our lives, our family, our friends.
On this particular night, we hit a somber note. We were talking about my mom and missing her, then we started talking about close friends who disappeared over time, since changing our lives. People who were so important to us, who just simply evaporated. The holiday cards stopped, though we kept sending. The email replies ceased, though we kept writing. We weren’t angry or feeling any negative emotions toward them, we are simply disappointed and feel some sense of loss. Of course, you socialize and meet new people in the rving lifestyle, but why have some chosen to slowly disconnect?
Well there were many theories, but one point of interest came up. Even though we’ve chosen a different path, we love everyone unconditionally. We would be comfortable visiting our friends who have big homes, retirement plans, fancy vehicles – it wouldn’t bother us one bit. We would never feel “above them” or “below them” and we would love to actually get a break from talking about our lifestyle and just having fun while visiting. We’ve chosen this way of living, but we aren’t narrow minded and expecting everyone else to live the same way. We would never say “ah, you got a new SUV…cannot be your friend anymore…sorry!”
See, THAT is the problem. People in our society surround themselves with those in their comfort zones – same religious beliefs, same politics, same interests. We move to neighborhoods with those “just like us” and criticize those who aren’t like us – yes, we are becoming the United States of “Stepford” (Stepford Wives movie reference there). We stop learning and growing, certain we’ve got it all figured out. Anything that threatens those beliefs produces discomfort, so we push it away or ignore it and hope it eventually leaves on its own.
Now we could have joined one of the many communities of rvers like us, who are just living simply and disconnecting from modern times. But how would we grow anymore if we moved our rv into a “safety zone” where everyone thinks exactly like us – wouldn’t that, once again, be what we were trying to get away from? We like just being “us” and we don’t need a club to validate we are “ok” or “not ok.” Our blog is for those who want to do it – and we wouldn’t help many by hiding our beliefs and perceptions – but that doesn’t mean we don’t equally love those who don’t have any interest in changing their lives.
Sadly, some others we care for aren’t in that state of mind. Assumptions that, because we are outside of their comfort zone, we will either judge them or push our perceptions of the world on them aren’t realistic, but they exist. It is human nature to surround yourself with people who you can fit into boxes and categories you share like “Robin, middle class, BA degree, Lutheran, Republican..etc” – but it keeps you from meeting a world of really great people.
What can make things worse is those who are truly threatened by someone following their own path. This has never happened on our blog, but imagine someone posting a comment full of anger while criticizing our choices. Why would the need be so strong to validate one’s own life by publicly fighting against those outside of the box? Again, we have encountered no one like that, but those behaviors are out there.
Anyway – as we continued talking and reminiscing about some we’ve lost directly as a result of following our path, we got off of our pity pots and focused on the good things. Not only our own rewards in this style of living, but for those whose lives we’ve touched in a positive way. We talked about the show “Fringe” where you saw the changes in the world if you removed a person back in time, then looked at present day without him or her.
Before going to sleep, we uttered Nixie’s words almost 100% – we are making a difference in people’s lives. They don’t have to let us know by writing us or commenting, we just need to know inside that we are doing good while on this planet…that what we are doing on our blog matters. This wasn’t an ego trip, it is about living your life in a positive way, sharing your experience with others and, most important, continuing to love others unconditionally – we will still send an email or card to those in our past, because that is how we choose to live our life. It makes no difference if they are able to reciprocate.
Needless to say, only a few days later we received a heartfelt comment saying we were changing people’s lives – the irony of the timing is almost eerie…but so needed and appreciated. Thank you, Nixie!
This post is a warning to those embarking on this lifestyle. Friends who were amused at first – well some will begin to fade away. That is the price you pay for going against the flow – it makes people uncomfortable. Sort of how, when you lose a loved one, at first you are bombarded with cards and “thoughts are with you” and then they disappear. Don’t be offended and don’t stop loving those who just cannot be of support – set a good example by continuing to reach out once in awhile. Perhaps one day, they will be ready to welcome you into their world once more, or step out into yours.
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