If you had asked me at age 20 if I’d be living in a camper at 25, I would’ve said absolutely fucking not.

I had my eyes on a dope land rover and big house. Everything I had dreamed of at age 10, sitting in our little house in rural AZ, watching movies in which the happy characters all had: a big green back yard, a staircase, and a huuge kitchen.

God, I wanted that big kitchen so bad. with an island and a pantry. I had a Pinterest board all about that dream kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to travel, but I was thinking more

“I’m popping bottles of champagne in first class beeches”

 and less

“hey baby, do you think it might be about time to deep clean the black tank?”

when I was 22, I married C.J., and he got a really good job that paid well, and we moved into a house with a kitchen just like the one I’d always wanted





I’ve held back from sharing this in the past because I don’t want to sound ungrateful.

I realize how it could come off that way.

I *felt* that way.

and I would berate myself daily.

In fact, a typical day with my inner monologue went something like this: “How self absorbed am I to feel so miserable when nothing is actually wrong. Some can’t even afford a roof over their head, and I’m sitting here in the second bathroom of this McMansion in a California suburb, having a panic attack because I don’t even know who I am anymore. Stupid. Ungrateful.”

So please, please do not misunderstand-

I fully realize how fortunate we were, and I am pouring over with gratitude that we were in that position.

Primarily because it showed me very early on that the “normal” luxurious marketed lifestyle was not for me.

Sure, it was dreamy but not *my* dream. it felt fake. insincere. like a doll house filled with toys I didn’t really love.

You see, authenticity is one of my strongest core values- one that I have not always honored,

but through trial and error, I have learned that my happiness is deeply rooted in being real.

So, here’s to real. And to gratitude. And to being brave enough to chase unusual new dreams.

Like America as a back yard

And tiny blue kitchens that honor every piece of who we are.

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