Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Awakening of Swankie (being all I can be… to me)

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.  If you want to eliminate the suffering of the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.  Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. Lao-tzu


Left Monterey, CA yesterday morning arriving in Paso Robles, CA where I may stay a few days.  Away from anyone I know, away from doctors, just away. Last night I parked in a large parking lot not far from Walmart.  Used to be a Kohl’s store there but it is closed now.  One other camper in lot.  It was quiet and I rested and caught up on stuff.  Got the ladder out and cleaned off my solar panel, and took the plastic off the roof vent, as I doubt I will get any rain here and I need the air flow. I will fix the leak soon, when I get out to open spaces.

So, I woke this morning thinking, I’m nobody to no one – no one’s mother, daughter, sister, wife, lover, friend.  No one.  OK, then so I need to be all that to and for myself. 

The people I have loved the most, have hurt me the deepest.  In some cases so deep that I can not to bear to think of them or be with them anymore.  I could not be to them what I wanted to be to them or what they wanted me to be.  I CAN be all that to me and if I work hard and fast I will be able to leave the second-best legacy behind for them – the genealogy I have spent 1/2 a century working to collect.  Statistics say I have 15 years left, well, probably more as I’m a lot healthier than most living 73-year olds.

Feels good, fresh, starting over at will.  No obligations to others, just me!  Take the best care of me that I can.  Be the best I can be.  That felt hopeless before, but with the recent involuntary weight loss (caused by the removal of a hormone-secreting benign tumor in my right airway, blocking air flow to my right lung) I have hope that I can be all that – to me, for me.  Yes, it is time to be selfish and it is o.k. to be selfish.

So, I better get busy.  Today, I am working on genealogy notes laying around on my desk.  Be gone, notes, be gone.



  1. THAT is amazingly refreshing! Delightful! ...and even if you don't follow your heart, your thoughts have certainly already given strength to others who also feel that their efforts and abilities have been unrecognized!
    Personally, I feel it takes a strong woman/person to put the things that steal your happiness aside, and forge your way into a happier & creatively healthier *place*. We don't get any "do-overs", it's important to treat ourselves with love, satisfy some of our strongest desires, and live life in the *purest truth* of who we aspire to be!! I live this post! It's on target, from the heart, and is helpful to others seeking the same things!! Thank you! I'm so grateful you are going to blog again!! Blessings!!

    1. Becky, thank you so much for your kind words. Today I have been reviewing all my posts since I began in 2008, trying to see what I have posted about my van build, here, and what I have only posted on Facebook. I would like to create a blog post for each van-build topic, i.e. Solar, Tires, etc. - taking the information from my FB albums to do so. I am shocked at how little I have posted in the past year or so. I appreciate your continued support.

  2. My friend, Amada Gonzales send this comment, but could not post it here... so I am posting it for her:

    So happy to see you blogging again! I'm sad to think you feel so alone when you have friends that love you so much. I know how badly family can hurt you when you love them more than they love you. I am dealing with this myself. But my dear friend, we can create our own family with people who will love you like family. To me you are my road mom and I can't wait to be able to get another vehicle and head back out west and meet up with you again. You were there for me so many times when I was in Quartzsite and you help save my sanity so many times. Just saying thank you will never be enough. You are my friend and in my heart my family and even though the miles may separate us for now, the warmth of you friendship brings me comfort every day. We will meet again and and have fun together. I still have all the rocks we collected in Quartzsite....LOL!

  3. You are also my 'road mom'and my inspiration. I don't know how I found you first several years ago when I first started researching the nomadic lifestyle but am grateful I found you. I hope someday to meet you but if that never happens, know that you have affected my life. I am getting closer to being on the road. I'm hoping this spring. Thank you for sharing your life

    1. Nora, you are too kind... but I am glad you are working toward your dreams. Without dreams, we might as well be dead. Keep in touch and best wishes.


Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.