Tuesday, 16 August 2016


So after the perfect storm that was the cold med anxiety disaster, things didn't actually slow down for me but I feel way way better.

Rather than the stress and anxiety overwhelming me to the point of freezing, I feel more like it comes in waves and I pause and breathe through the wave until I can get back to doing whatever it is I need to do in that moment.

Which... right now is... a lot!

There is a vehicle... a van... that now exists for me to take down to Burning Man.  Which is good.

I say "good" because there really wasn't a way to get all my gear into my car.  I love my car but she doesn't have much of a trunk (she doesn't mind, but I do a little when I'm trying to take people to the airport or am thinking about traveling to Burning Man!)  So having a van will give me enough space to not worry about that.  But.. it gives me other things to worry about.  Like being able to see out of it comfortably enough to drive it.

People tell me this won't be an issue but hey, "people" aren't me and I don't know... but again, that brings up the wave of anxiety so I'll just wait and see how it feels once I'm in it.  (I've limited my driving to a few hours a day so even if they're stressful hours, I should still have down time each day to recover, worst case.)

The other thing though (well, I'm sure there are MANY possible other things, but this is the one I'm choosing to focus on right now) is that this is an empty cargo van.  As in, not a conversion or camper type van.

Which... wasn't what we'd hoped for when we asked the friend to help find a camper conversion van for me to take down to Burning Man. 

Bob, let's call him, as I mentioned the other day, thought he had more time, so Bob's first priority for me this whole time of looking (which has been since early Spring) was to find a really solid, reliable van that would get me there and back safely. Which I REALLY really appreciate.  To quote Bob... he didn't want to "have to come down there and tow me back."  No, me neither. 

So he found a good, solid, conversion van (just fold down seats and lots of windows, no fridge or anything) in March or May (you know I always get those months confused!) and while he was running tests on them (you know, car tests?!) he kept finding things that weren't .... good.  Car... wise.  (He and Jason talked about it and Jason talked to me about it but I don't remember.  Cracks in the... manifold?  Uh... engine?  Bad.)  So that ended up being a lemon.  And then life and then "thought I had five more weeks"... nope.  So what he's ended up finding is just a basic van.  But by "basic" I mean solid and reliable and well maintained (and not terribly old I don't think... mid 2000s?) but nothing inside at all.  A work truck in a former life.

Now, Jason and I, MONTHS ago, had mulled over the idea of building a camper van from scratch.  I did a lot of reading and while it seemed fun, I just couldn't wrap my head around how and where it would all happen (I live in an apartment, he shares a place with a roommate... neither of us have tools.. etc. etc.) and decided I would rather just get a pre-done conversion van and maybe add some A/C unit or solar power or something to it.

Except then Bob just kept not... saying he'd found a van.  And I didn't want to bug him and Jason would check in with him now and then and the further time ticketed along, the more anxious, stressed, and worried I got about it.  Until it hit July.  And then I started freaking out.  A lot.  And Jason kept asking what I wanted to do and I kept saying I didn't know, because I'd already sent Bob money for the first van he found and didn't want to ask for it back and buy a used craigslist vehicle I didn't know anything about and the strain of not knowing what to do just kept getting worse and worse because I wanted to trust Bob (and Jason by extension) but .... this was not the type of timeline I work by.

I'd wanted to have the van by Summer so I could give it some camping test runs.  See what I might need or want and practice driving (and sleeping!) in it before my long drive.  Be comfortable.

And then it was August.  And I called him.  And he said "uh oh" and then still nothing.  Until Friday.

Friday I messaged him and he said he had a van. 

He was going to pick it up and bring it back to the Island on Monday.

Which set off another gigantic panic.  Because Jason wants to camper-ize it as much as possible before I leave.

In a week.

Except we're not getting our hands on the van until MAYBE Monday but probably Tuesday (er, today... I'm writing this on Sunday night... that's just how I roll, yo!) and to me.. there is NO WAY anything was getting done to make it more than a shell of a van in... four working days!?

But Jason insists.  Is insisting.  So I'm trying to trust.

I've told him as long as it's one step up from sleeping in my tent, I should be fine.  It will carry all my gear and my bike and water and food and coolers and (ok, I have to take a breath... geez...) and hopefully I'll feel comfortable driving it with some practice.. oh wait, when am I practicing driving it if Jason's working on it during the week OH MY LORD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!

Because, really... I do not do last minute things.  I just don't.  Well, ok, maybe I have written an essay or two last minute but that's different.  Big things?  No.  I don't like the stress of last minute pressure.  I know some people don't mind it and some people thrive on it, but I don't.  Stress doesn't push me in that way.  No likey!

So that's where things stand at the moment.  I have a van.  I do not know what it looks like or what shape it's in or how it will be to drive or what it will look like inside by the time I leave or anything. 

I have given Jason a budget.  He says he can stick to it.  I don't see how.

I have told Jason I don't want a crappy looking thing.  He says he can do it in this short amount of time.  I don't see how.

Because I have my bottom line of "safe to drive, can take all my gear, is kind of like a tent but hopefully a bit better?" anything above that should be a bonus and that's what I'm going with.  I have also told Jason that while he gets to rest once I leave, I have to rest this week so that I'm healthy, well, and calm enough to do the driving I need to do safely.  I am not going to stress myself and then feel awful for the drive.

So.... this is a massive practice in staying calm in what is actually a very stressful situation way outside of my comfort (and knowledge) zone.

This weekend was busy but good.  Jason and I drove around and "priced" things.  (Imagine doing a kitchen reno or something... Jason's the contractor... I'm the... uh... I dunno... but I'm doing this with him as much as possible.)  I also brought out all my bins, had a minor disaster explosion (you know the one... the mid organize disaster mess?) and then tidied and sorted and started to pack.  I have lists on top of lists and still feel I'm missing things but I'm also trying really hard to eat and sleep.

So if I don't get an hour a day to sit and post, you can understand why.  I am trying to pack for Burning Man (which is a massive endeavor in and of itself) while helping my friend turn a cargo van into something a little bit more like a camper van in the space of a few days.

While maintaining the rest of my life.  Oh, right, that!

And staying sane.  And healthy.  And rested. 

Yeah... this is ... well, really, it should be documented.  I hope I can do so.  Might just not be as it happens.

You know?


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

Ah, so much happy emotion reading this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 10:06:00 am  
Blogger Jonathan said...

My family had a van for years while my brother was competing in motocross events. Tip no 1 - vans have walls you can pin netting to. You can stuff things behind netting. You can't do that in tents. Tip no 2 - you can unroll thermarests on the bed of the van, and tie them together to make a huge bed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 11:40:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Well good, Jason! That makes me happy! :)

OOoh good tips J, thanks! ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 12:07:00 am  

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