August 22, 2020

Giving Up My Freedom

Our current home is our ATC toy hauler

Owning a home is the American Dream, right? Most people would be thrilled with the opportunity to pick a piece of land with a pretty house on it, get a mortgage and a tax break, and start making the place their own. This is what society does, right? But not us. We don't own land or a home, not yet. 

"Don't you want a home base?" 

I'm often asked this by well-meaning friends and strangers. 

"No. Because owning something means that something owns me."

My response usually evokes silence and blank stares.

But late in 2019, I went to Steve with my latest idea.

"I think we should buy some property in Oklahoma at the end of the summer. We can get a place big enough for our friends to bring their RVs to visit! We can have a little house, with a fireplace and a big porch. I can learn more about my heritage and maybe learn the Choctaw language and how to make pottery. It will be a great investment too!"

Lucinda Hampton was my Choctaw Great Great Grandmother 

For the next  9 months, I rattled off more reasons, shared ideas, and showed him probably 50 different houses on Zillow. 

"Dang! That one house I really like sold already! I wish we could just go buy one now!" 

We had a plan to pay some things off and wait until September. So as patiently as I could, I waited. Now as we are nearing the end of August, at a time when I should be at my most excited, fear has gripped me. Uncertainty has me in a bind. 

If we buy land in Oklahoma, what will the unintended consequences be? 

Since we first got on the road in 2013, I've become more of a drifter than I realized. When I'm uncomfortable somewhere, I leave. When I'm bored, I leave. When I feel pinned down, I leave. And I sometimes leave without knowing why I'm leaving. I just know I need to go. So I do. Once I see that road disappearing behind me, I feel relief. I turn the stereo up and sing as loud as I can. 

I'm free. 

I don't answer to anyone. I've created a life in which I'm not accountable to anyone unless I choose to be. Both Steve and I want each other to be free to live our individual lives, to make choices for ourselves, the kind of choices a person makes from their gut. Steve doesn't expect anything from me but love and kindness. If I tell him I want to do something, he asks how he can help. He hasn't ever tried to discourage me from doing anything. He sees a person who has the ability to reason and make choices for herself. Since he loves me and wants nothing for me but my own happiness, he sees his role as one to support any choices I make. 

So, I suggested we buy a house and after considering all of my reasons, he agreed. He thinks it's a great idea! We make a plan, get everything in order, and now we're ready to commit. 

Commit. Oh dear God, that sounds so final.

I don't think I can do it. I don't want to be stuck somewhere, held down, obligated, COMMITTED! 

This is starting to sound like prison. I can't breathe. My chest feels heavy. 

I'm not ready to give up my freedom. 

"We will still travel, but if we're going to buy land, we have to be willing to spend some time there. If something needs to be done when we're traveling, we might have to go back home to take care of it. But that's okay Sash, really. We're in this together! And we're buying this for all of the right reasons." 

Steve has such a wonderful way of helping me see things more clearly. I hope he still feels this way after a year. I hope he doesn't resent me for ruining our vagabond life with my big idea. 

I called my friend Laura to talk about it. She's rational, smart and has a wonderful sense of humor. After spilling my guts and telling her all of my fears, she was silent for what seemed like an eternity.

"Well . . . can't you see this as another adventure? You're always talking about getting out of your comfort zone, so isn't this getting you out of your comfort zone? You don't sound very comfortable to me." 

We had to laugh. She's right. I'm terribly uncomfortable. So, the adventure begins. I'm always open to adventure!

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