Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Where in the World is Walden?

I'm back, baby.

Ever have that friend that disappeared the moment a girl entered his life? In my late teens I had a friend literally vanish after getting a girl pregnant - twelve years later - I still have no idea where he is. That example is on the extreme end of the spectrum, normally it's simply because their routine has shifted to center around said girl.
I've got a girl in my life once again. The ramifications of this on my vandwelling are large. It feels like a new chapter in Walden's and my saga has started - complete with new challenges and rewards.

The rewards are pretty obvious...I now have a co-pilot - someone to explore with.

How does one attract a girlfriend while being homeless? I once read about a guy who lived in a tree, who met and retained a girl (retention is key!) - so if he can do it, living out of a van should be relatively simplistic. Luckily for me, I skipped this step. We met in April (pre-Walden) while training for the Vancouver marathon. We parted ways for the summer and have now picked up where we left off. She wasn't always cool with the idea but reading this blog won her over.

I thought that getting approval to continue would be the difficult part...

So it's not a question of if I can continue to live in Walden but a question of how to balance it with a relationship. Ideally, she'd just hop in we'd just drive to wherever our hearts desired. Unfortunately, this is RL and she has school and a future career to think about...this means she's in Vancouver for the foreseeable future. Proximity plays a large role in relationships, so that means this is where I must be (for the majority of the time at least). No problem - I like Vancouver.

If you go on a hike or run - inevitably people's first question is how long it was and how long it took you - as if those are the most important factors. Perhaps this is because time vs distance is a metric easily conveyed - or perhaps it's because we are competitive on an innate level. Taking things slowly or stopping to enjoy the view/rest is often seen as 'cheating'. This attitude misses the point - life isn't a competition.

I'm no longer spending every night sleeping in Walden...deal with it. :-)

If I'm honest, it felt different - forced - the last couple of times I've stayed in Walden.

I am acutely conscious about becoming too 'at home' at her apartment - all the while - being unable to 'host' at mine. We've opened a discussion about this. How do we balance our time together and apart? A standard question but I feel my flexibility and homelessness pose some unique challenges.

In past relationships, I've found one home is usually preferred over the other - for whatever reason - however the inability to easily host at mine is a sticking point. What Walden does offer is mobility...

Juxtaposed to finding personal space, I now feel that she should be with me on my adventures - so it will feel weird going out on my own. Her school will get busy so I am planning a trip down the coast to keep me out of her hair.

What role does Walden now play?

Can I eat my cake and have it too?

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