An offer from Papa Bear

Last night I got the most interesting call from my father. Actually I expected this, but wasn’t sure when he’d jump in with this idea. Ever since I told my mom I wasn’t parking in a spot with a hook up, I’d been waiting to see if he’d call and tell me how he was worried and try to talk me out of vanlife. That’s just how my dad is and I don’t find it annoying anymore, I listen to what he has to say and make my own decision.

Anyway, last night the call came. My dad asked about how I was doing and I told him things were good now that my heater was fixed and I have been self-sufficient for a few weeks now. Then came the offer and his grand plan. He has this idea that I should get a parcel of land (a mile away from them no doubt) and park my van there because it’s safer and better than living on the street. Or, I could stay with them this summer and commute to work. This was his grand plan.

Of course, it comes from love and he’s worried about big, bad Ithaca and the possibility that something could happen. I get it and so I’m going to do my diligence and think about it. Of course I don’t have any plan to change my situation, unless the unthinkable happens.

I really like vanlife. I chose this path because I wanted it, not because I was forced into it. I like solving problems, figuring things out and the feeling that I can live anywhere and move at any time. As soon as I pay off my last two loans, I’ll be scot free to do whatever I want. I enjoy the problem solving, the struggle and the sense of accomplishment when things go correctly. I like sleeping in my own bed before races or big events. I like the way I’ve changed.

There is also the fact that commuting would be another hour of my day, more gas mileage and that not only do I work for CTB but I also work for the gym and Agava, both of whom are here in Ithaca. It’s a lot of wasted time spent driving. Running takes at least 2 hours of the day with the drills and mobility work I do for it. Parking here is free where I do it but that’s because I have time to walk a bit to get where I need to go.

His offer is very kind. But I don’t see how it would work, and I also don’t really want to live in Interlaken nor do I want to drive to work. I like living a walking distance away. I like living small and not spending time taking care of stuff I don’t use. I chose this life to live simply, but also to get a sense of what it means to take care of myself. No landlord, learn how to get heat, use fire and gas without help, just become a more useful person. I get a huge sense of fulfillment doing it.

So for now, I will think about what he offered, and maybe throw him a bone and do it for a week as a vacation sometime this summer, but I don’t see myself doing it very long. Honestly, I would only be doing it for his peace of mind. Is that worth it? Does he deserve that? Maybe he does, so that’s why I’ll consider it. Because it would make my dad happy and I can do that.

Breakfast: sunflower butter and plum jelly on sourdough and an apple

Running: REST

One thought on “An offer from Papa Bear”

  1. Your thoughts of wanting to make your dad happy are great, and they show the warmth of your heart, but you HAVE to do what makes YOU happy first. For too long I lived my life based on what would make my parents happy, and in turn it made me miserable. Not to say you would be the same, but like you said, you chose this life for a reason. Parents are meant to worry, so perhaps a different set up. Perhaps you can check in daily, or every other day, or send daily text messages letting him know you’re OK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *