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The Airstream That Could

I’m scared.

There. I said it.

I’m leaving Denver this week, and there is a deep part of my soul that is aching to stay in this place. Colorado is home. And, I spent almost a decade away from it, which was about eight years too many. But, I am constantly battling these feelings of staying and going.

There is a part of me that feels like my work is in the staying. As a perfectionist, I often want to leave when things become uncomfortable (you can read more about that here). But, I feel like staying is contradictory to the very reason that I bought the Airstream. The point was to live a mobile lifestyle, to constantly be transitioning to something new. I’ve spent a lot of time recently wondering about from what I keep running. Also, full moment of transparency, I’ve created an identity for myself that is characterized by transition and adventure, so when I am not in these states, I feel foreign. I create an unrealistic expectation in my mind that, in order to live up to my mantras via the social airwaves of Facebooking and Instagramming and blogging, I must constantly be embarking on yet another next thing (for the record, this pressure is completely self-inflicted, unsustainable, and altogether asinine).

So, yes, I’m scared.

There are technical aspects of the move that are intimidating. I have yet to dump my sewer. I have yet to cook on my stovetop. I have yet to wash my dishes in my sink. But, like anything, repetition breeds confidence. I was terrified to hitch the Airstream to my car. I was terrified to pull into a gas station while attached. I was terrified to back up. But, three months later and I’m hitching up like a boss, I’ll pull into any gas station, and I can back this baby up into even the tightest of parking spots. So, while I find some of these tasks overwhelming, I also know that the confidence will come in time.

I travelled alone a lot last year. Well, Nugget was in the passenger seat. Together, we put over 20k miles on my trusty Yukon Denali. From a logistical standpoint, I have no qualms with being alone. I can comfortably sit in silence with Being v running awaymyself and feel no rush to satisfy that space with a body or a voice that is simply filling a void. I have no interest in settling for settling’s sake. I am not afraid to travel alone.

But, this, this is bigger.

My fear lies in embarking on this alone. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I know that I don’t want to do it alone anymore. All those miles I logged over the course of twelve months were integral to my personal growth, they were necessary for me to gain the confidence to stand on my own two feet, but I’m tired of being the only one driving the car (metaphorically and literally). My stories are beautiful, but they’re third-person anecdotes. I don’t want just my eyes to experience this life. I want another set of eyes. Of ears. Of hands. I want that shared space with someone where you both can sit in silence and utter the single sentence, “Remember when [insert first-person plural pronoun and verb],” and no other words are needed to feel everything in that moment.

So, if I start, if I do this, I am creating these solo memories. And, hear me, there is no error in solo memories. This is not a pity party. I do not feel sad. I simply feel heavy. Because, I am scared. Scared that if I start alone that it is an indication that I will also end alone. And, I repeat, I’m not scared of alone. I have found comfort in my solidarity. I Being v running awayknow the deepest parts of my own being, which I believe is necessary in order to touch the deepest parts of someone else’s soul.

No, the fear is not being alone. The fear is in becoming too comfortable with my solidarity, too attached to my independence. Because, I don’t actually believe that life is best lived as a party of one. I do believe that one is a necessary part of growth, but it is not my end game. It is a season, one that I will intimately carry with me through the remainder of this life.

Nevertheless, today I begin. Alone. With Nugget. Because waiting for waiting’s sake does not allow me to live my best life. It does not permit the Universe to manifest my heart’s desires when I opt to stay safe. Yes, there is a place for patience. There is learning in the staying. But, if I cannot yet answer from what I am running, then maybe I am not running at all. Maybe I am just being.

So today, today I begin because I am ready.

Stephanie is a road warrior, adventure seeker, and brand builder. She grew up in the mountains of Colorado and after spending nearly a decade between the PNW and the east coast, she’s proud to once again be calling Colorado home. Well, home for now. Stephanie recently bought an Airstream with the intention of living a more minimalistic and nomadic lifestyle. After logging over 20k miles in her car last year, chasing rock faces in the summer and powder days in the winter, she realized that life could be a hell of a lot simpler if she could carry her house with her on these adventures. In 2017, she started her own marketing agency, Sleigh Creative, to take control of her freedom. As a freelance creative director and brand strategist, she spends a lot of days playing and even more nights working. In all things, be it work or play, she seeks to inspire people to the life of never settling. You can follow along with her journey on Instagram, @by.stephanieleigh, and through her self-titled personal blog.

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