Why do we feel so stressed when we get older? I remember a friend telling me that I was her role model because I didn’t have a care in the world. I was free. That was my freshman year of high school. A lot has changed. I try to be that girl, but if you know me, you know that I am not me without a little stress.
In December, Cody and I packed it up and moved. But, we didn’t moved into a larger house or even a house at all. We moved into a RV. One thing I have said since we got married is that I will never down size. It only goes up from here. I couldn’t fathom how people go from a large house to a small house. “Where do they put all their stuff?”, I thought. I never thought that would be me. I actually spoke against it for years and am now eating my own words.
So, moving is stressful and down sizing is stressful, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of why I was so stressed after we got the camper.
I thought getting the camper and new truck would be the most stressful parts of this process, but it turns out that those things weren’t really that hard. Still, I found myself irritable and slightly depressed during the month of Decmeber. I actually had no clue why because I had too many things on my plate to stop and evaluate my feelings. I started taking it out on Cody and in the midst of an arguement it hit me. Why I had been so stressed: We were moving.
We weren’t just moving into a new house or hopping over to a new town. We were about to uproot our entire lives and leave everything that we have ever known behind in the dust. We were going to be on our own for the first time in our entire lives. Sounds freeing doesn’t it? When you first think about it sure, but as it sits and stews inside you, you really start to get emotional about it.
Could you do it? Could you leave behind your family, friends, job, home town, church, etc..? We did and I had to come to terms with it. I just had to sit back and relax and let the stress go. I am 100% okay with it now, but that took time and some major things happening in our lives. We all have to move on sometimes. The people that care will always be just a phone call away. We can always visit and see our town and church again. We don’t have to leave for good. We can come back. Change is a beautiful thing and I am creating the life I can tell stories about one day.
So, here are the 5 most stressful things about this move. I am not saying that everyone doing this would face these challenges. Some people can get up and go with no second thought, but if you were considering this lifestyle or even just moving to another state or country, this could be helpful to consider.
This is a given. This is the first thing that our friends and family asked about when we told them our plan. “What are you going to do for money?” This is a legitimate thing to stress about, because if you don’t consider it at all, you can end up in a pretty bad place. Cody already has a stable and reliable job which gave us the confidence that we could do this. Sure, we will have to make some lifestyle changes for a little while, but over all it is giving us some financial stability. I highly recommend at least one person in the household have a reliable source of income locked down.
Currently, I am working (for free) on planting seeds that will benefit me in the future. I have many different things that I am working on and have businesses that I plan to open and run while living on the road. As much as I would love to open a business and make money immediately, I know that these things take time, so my soul focus for this year is to plant all of the correct seeds to build those potential businesses up. In the mean time, I am working by helping Cody run his business more effectively so we don’t have to sacrifice too much comfort.
2.FRIENDS AND FAMILY
I had a really hard time with this at first. I thought, “What is something happens? How will I get to them?” I thought about all of my younger sibling’s mile stones that I would miss. Homecomings, proms, my nieces and nephews birthdays, new boyfriends and girl friends, and their sports games. I 100% had this thought: “What if they forget about me?” That was the big heart crusher. I seriously thought that my family would forget me or wouldn’t care about me as much if I wasn’t right there all the time. How crazy is that?!
I also recently made a bunch of new friends and am in the process of building those friendships. I thought that leaving would cause me to not have friends again. I thought about that dark place that I was in a few years before. I didn’t want to go back there. I thought that my friends would move on and forget about me after I left.
What I never took a chance to consider is that I am not dying. My friends and family can still visit/call/text/facetime me whenever they want and when they do get to see me, it will be special and not just a normal boring day. Once I figured that part out, I calmed down a good bit, but that still doesn’t mean I won’t have the occasional break down and miss seeing everyone.
I also realized that I am going to make a ton of new friends. I will always have my friends and family in my home town, but because we are going to be traveling everywhere, I am going to have friends all over the world.
3. DOWN SIZING
OOF! I already voiced my concerns on this one. This was tough. I came to terms that everything we were getting rid of was just stuff and stuff is replaceable, but it makes it hard when this is all of the “stuff” that got you on your feet when you got your first home. I know that when we eventually settle down we are going to want nicer furniture than the stuff we had, so we agreed to sell or throw out nearly everything we owned. I watched friends and strangers leave my house (in a span of 48 hours) each carrying out a piece of my home with them. The table that Cody built, that my brother helped pick out wood for…gone! Our first couch… gone! It was tough seeing our lamps, dresser, and random kitchen stuff sitting on the side of the road as we left. We did keep a good bit, but we left behind a lot. (Honestly, this was probably a really good thing for us because we really didn’t need or use the majority of this stuff, but it was still slightly heart breaking to see the things that used to make up our home sitting on the side of the road…trash.)
Down sizing your house makes you really think about the important things. What sentimental value does this item have? Can I picture it sitting in my forever home? Basically, if it wasn’t practical or sentimental in some way, we left it behind. That’s the way you have to look at everything when you are downsizing. There is no room for crap you can’t use.
It can be stressful at first, but what calmed me down was seeing the amount of stuff we kept and seeing that we were making room for new memories. We weren’t stuck in the old ones.
Our lifestyle has changed tremendously. We are still getting the hang of living in a camper. We can’t just do whatever we want whenever anymore. We have to pay attention to how long we shower (or we will run out of hot water), I wash clothes in a sink or laundromat now, and we can only cook with one small pan in our oven. The camper came with tons of good changes too. We get to sleep in a different bed almost every night, we hangout more often, and the house cleans SO MUCH quicker than it used to.
Not all of the changes are bad (and the ones that you would think are bad, aren’t really that bad.), but the initial getting used to them can be stressful. (Example: I had to learn that I can’t wash dishes while Cody showers because it takes all of his hot water and decreases both of our water pressure.) Getting used to camper life is a work in progress, but eventually the lifestyle changes come naturally.
5.CHANGE IN GENERAL
Change can be hard for anyone and with as many changes that we had to face at once. It is no wonder I got so stressed. I panicked about quitting my job, not only about the money, but because I couldn’t imagine a life where I wasn’t working. I am getting used to cleaning the house and pretty much doing desk work every day, but it’s weird. I have been working hourly jobs with set schedules since I was 17. Life looks so different now, and while things are still strange sometimes, I know it is going to be worth it once we start to see all the beautiful places America has to offer.
If you were considering moving into an RV or just moving in general, I hope this helped. For most of my high stressors during this move, all I needed to do was take a step back to assess my situation. Don’t waste the time you do have being stressed and causing yourself anxiety. You need to keep your mental health in tact during a major change like this. So, just take a deep breath and enjoy the season you are in. Thanks for reading along!
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