feminism Mental Health vanlife

Forging friendships on the road

June 15, 2021

When we first moved into the van nearly four years ago we wanted to get away from everyone and everything for a while, just to reset ourselves and maybe recalibrate our place in the world.

As much as I needed those long months of solitude, I’ve emerged from that cave happier, and feeling more confident around people. I’m not sure this is something that’s evident from the outside because I was so good at masking, but now I’m building a good relationship with my body I’m aware of how clenched my stomach is when having even simple conversations – and I realise why I always ‘needed’ a drink in social situations.

I’m in that strange liminal space at the moment where I’m feeling happier socially but also don’t have that alcohol crutch and so can’t seem to shift an excruciating awareness of silly things like eye contact so that I still find myself speaking to people’s shoulder or a point in the distance ?

What’s changed? Maybe I’m just being kinder to myself, less judgy, more accepting, more comfortable in my own skin so that meeting up with an online friend for the first time becomes a quite joyful experience (my stomach is still clenched tho – any tips on how to work with that would be gratefully received!).

Anyway – this inspiring woman-in-a-van is as lovely in real life as she is online. Such easy and interesting conversations – and I realise that I’m slowly finding my community again. I’m also looking forward to trying out Camille’s silent retreats when she opens them up in the future. ? @camilleslowingdown ?

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