Monday, 13 October 2014

Living the irrational dream

Today I've decided to share a few of my musings with you. Although, undoubtedly, this story belongs on another website, I have decided to share it here as a writing exercise in journaling my thoughts. 
The journey of a thousand miles...

Have you ever wanted something very deeply, despite knowing full well the unpleasantness of reality? Have you ever dreamed of something that is so far out of your grasp that only the eyes of faith can see it? Perhaps you, like me, have reached out towards something which, in the corner of your mind is a ill-considered idea- destined not to work, and designed only to frustrate and vex,  and yet the seed of the dream is there and you can’t shake it, like some errant irritating splinter unshakable from your mind. My thoughts are like that lately, please allow me to explain...

When we lived in Queensland we had four children- Sophie, Faith, Elijah and Lily. We had lived in Queensland, in what turned out  to be a working holiday adventure that lasted for about two years.  We lived on the Gold Coast which was great for the children for a time- the beaches, the theme parks  and the glorious sunshine; and while it was hard to make friends, it was certainly a new experience, one which we eagerly lapped up together. We left, feeling that we longed for home in Launceston- to the familiar parks and people that we loved. It had been hard to find work on the Gold Coast, and I had worked a few jobs before staying as a receptionist for a Christian school for 8 months. Sadly because of the terribly stressful nature of that job (which I don’t want to go into here)   I felt I needed to resign. Not long after I did, we began the arduous task of packing up our family, buying a trailer, loading it up, and returning home to Tasmania.
On the way home we travelled down the coast of Queensland, with every few hours stopping at a toilet break or a free wifi break at McDonalds. We were travelling at the time of the Global Financial Crisis and at that time, thankfully our government had helped finance our trip in the form of a stimulus package for all families. With our budget such as it was, we had enough money to get to Tasmania, and we surmised with not terribly much to spare after various motels, food, fuel and tickets on board the Spirit of Tasmania (a cruise going from mainland Melbourne  to Tasmania). When we finally arrived in Tasmania, we had a total of $46 in the bank, but at least somewhere to stay. We planned a short holiday afterwards  in Launceston, where we enjoyed the hospitality there, and the adventure of camping. Because my wife was heavily pregnant at the time, we had to find some more permanent accommodation, which we thankfully did in the form of a rental in Launceston.

Fast forward 5 years, and I have never forgot the adventure of that trip. The open road, the camping spots, learning more of the geography of my incredible country, and most importantly, the beautiful people in the motels we met. I also remember arguing about money, being annoyed at the constant requests for food from the children and the infighting that commonly happens in all families, but especially in ones where there is friction caused by the uncertainty of moving and irregular routines! We now have 7 children, raging from 11 to 1 year old. They are smart, beautiful, inquisitive little children and are reasonably settled in their routine. Our last baby was a miracle, with mum being on life support having her, so to put it mildly, we’ve had quite a few massive changes in our family over the years.  So why am I telling you this?

Because of my deluded dream. I want to buy a school bus, strip it and convert it into a Camper van and go all across Australia- this time for a very long holiday. There are several reasons I  know this dream is insane, and I’ll tell you why:

Firstly the money- Just to buy the camper itself will cost $5000 at least, without even paying for the things we need to put in it, money we don’t have, failing some kind of financial miracle! Secondly, my own failings.  I struggle with any technical skills required to do anything practical... Heck, it takes me ten minutes to figure out how to unfold a pram, let alone anything plumbing or mechanical, or electrical related! Thirdly, what do we do with our house? This imaginary holiday only works if we have somewhere to return to! I really want a long holiday, but my children will need some stability after a time to return to. In addition to this, the Fourth problem will be personalities -   I have two children at least, who long for the wide open spaces! Activities WILL be planned on each step of the way, but we will need lots to do to keep these little ones from being bored. Fifthly, money again. If we choose to occasionally stay at a motel or go to a zoo or a museum here or there, we will need money on the way! I currently don’t have a job, and that is something even harder to find on the road, between places, and finally, I have no licence, let alone a Bus licence, so the driving would be up to Christina, placing an enormous amount of energy on her.

These are pretty big obstacles, so why do I find myself looking on websites for buses? I don’t even know. Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but I can’t shake the dream. Maybe I’m stuck in a rut and need a change? I don’t know, but I look at buses like some kind of a freak still wanting to find some way of doing it! Some way of making a change.  As I look at the latest 1985 Volvo , let me ask you?

Am I completely insane to want something I can’t have? And If I can have it, will it be anything like the way I imagined it? And how is it that a dream can deny me of sleep? Does anyone else know how I feel or am I living the irrational dream on my own?

begins with a single step?
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