Juicy Stuff

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Since summertime, I’ve been sharing tales of trailer life in Sonoma wine country via Grape Collective, an online wine magazine with quality, sometimes quirky content. I’m thrilled that my story is finding a wider audience. You’ll find those posts here. Meanwhile, I’ll keep adding updates here at Cavalier Career.

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Owning It

“You either walk inside your story and own it

or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

~Brene Brown

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“Applause, applause, applause.”

~Iona, Pretty in Pink

 In eighth grade, I strolled into the Laura Ashley boutique at Crabtree Valley Mall and plucked up a flat-brimmed straw sailor hat with a black band. I envisioned pairing it with a long pencil skirt and flea market jewelry, a la Andie in Pretty in Pink. Oh, yes I did.

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Instead of boldly rocking the bohemian chic look, I hung the hat on a hook above my bed until high school graduation. While I’d always been a hat person, when it came to the sailor hat, I simply couldn’t own it.

Cut to adulthood, spring 2012: When I moved into a 35-foot travel trailer, I didn’t own it–literally or metaphorically. The rig belonged to my aunt in Oregon, who’d generously loaned it while I surfed out life transition and met financial goals. I was very private about living in the trailer during this time.

Why so discreet? I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I’d finally realized my longtime fantasy of living alone in a tiny rural cabin, where I could write quietly for a few years. As a bonus, this cabin conveniently had wheels! Long before the Tiny House craze kicked in, my fellow gypsy friend and I had pored over plans for RVs and trailers. Now the dream was manifest, so why was I so afraid to share it? Why couldn’t I own it?

Turns out, it’s hard to own what’s borrowed. That loaned trailer just didn’t feel like mine to share. What’s more, it’s hard to be trailer trash in high-rent Sonoma, where glimmering chateaux sit like jewels in well-groomed vineyards. You may know money and material goods don’t matter, but other people are not always as enlightened: just ask much-maligned Andie.

What I’ve learned (the hard way, natch) is this: While I may never show those people the value of my unorthodox  lifestyle, I must live it no less fully. In modern parlance, haters gonna hate.  Continue reading