My favorite number is seven.

Seven seventeen seventeen. I realized yesterday’s date this morning upon waking from the first night of living in the van. While I’ve been house and pet sitting at various places for the past few weeks, last night was the first evening spent in the van. It marks the start of what will be a year of communing more with nature, writing, and working on projects I feel compelled to continue — and projects I must begin.

I’ve been contemplating this move too long. Since youth I’ve been enamored with the roving cowboy, the gypsy, the wanderer. Not embracing my repeated musing is likely why I can’t shake the urge to roam despite lifelong attempts to do so. I get the itch to hit the road and live a nomadic life frequently, but fear of the unknown has kept me from releasing the emergency brake and allowing life to roll in the direction which it is compelled. Small trips through the western states and a few scattered weeks and months across the pond temporarily abate the impulse to keep moving, but eventually the desire to move returns.

Slowly I’ve been working toward this day, often not fully aware this is what I’ve been working toward. I bought a van a couple years back with the intention of living the #vanlife and being the recluse I believed myself to be. I realize now what I’m truly moving toward is engagement, not disconnection. I am seeking a more meaningful — dare I say authentic — connection with nature, with self, and with others who feel and think similarly as I.

The past eighteen months seemed stagnant, though I’ve been working a few jobs saving money while becoming more educated on nutrition, vital living, and mental wellness. The courses I’ve enrolled in are completed, now I must resist the temptation to simply keep learning. Rather I must put what I’ve learned into practice — on myself and others. I know what I must do. I know where there is a need. Comfort and ease have stood in my way. Forcing myself to be uncomfortable is the only way I make progress. The commitment to the van is a commitment to an essential life. It is a step toward removing the ease and the distractions that keep me from focusing on what’s most vital. It is another milestone toward my becoming.

Perhaps it means nothing, the sevens, or maybe I need to pursue this project until eight eighteen eighteen.