The first night in my van was... awkward.

Ah, beginnings. A fresh start. The big change you've been looking forward to for days, or years. Exciting stuff. I'm all about celebrating starting lines, but let's be real here. Rarely have I ever experienced a beginning without an accompanying phase of awkwardness.

It can be awkward when you're wandering around a new city, not sure where to rest your gaze, looking down at Google Maps and turning around in the middle of a crowded sidewalk because you were going the wrong way.

Or when you're moving into a new apartment, with foreign scents and sounds, figuring out the sticky lock, finding all the right switches and cables.

Or when you're starting a new job and have to ask your boss a question every 10 minutes.

Or maybe it's just me.


I absolutely loved the first night in my van, but it was SUPER awkward. 

I kept bumping my head, knocking things over, and misplacing every item just when I needed it. I clumsily tacked up curtains with magnets (which was a HUGE pain, lesson learned) and stumbled outside at midnight to pee with a new bottle of pepper spray in hand.

Change means things aren't where they "should" be. There's no system in place. You have no established routine. You're kind of reborn in a way, scrambling around like an infant in the dark.

You must know that the awkward phase will pass. You'll grow into your lanky arms and legs and develop new muscle memory and cat-like reflexes. You'll find a new morning routine that'll be the perfect way to start your days. You're gonna get your groove back.

In the middle of allllll the awkwardness, find one quiet moment to reaffirm you are on the right path. [tweet]

For me that quiet moment was lying down on the van floor with a lantern illuminating the wood-paneled walls I'd cut and installed with my mom. After weeks of intense labor and stress I laid there, still, proudly looking around at what we had created.

I listened to music against the backdrop of crickets and wispy Spanish moss hanging off giant old oaks. And then, a quiet sense of peace — this is where I am meant to be. This is home.

And then I knocked over a bag of chia seeds and they will probably be in the nooks and crannies of my van until the end of time.