Posted by Rebecca
I’m pretty sure there is no child alive who has ever uttered the words, “When I grow up I want to live in a trailer in the Nevada desert.” It’s just not done. I grew up in Canada with both my parents, in a regular house with a couple of pets. It was what I knew. But sometimes life takes unexpected paths, and you end up in a strange location with a life you had never imagined.
Of the many turns my life took in 2010, the move to the trailer was one of the big ones. I felt like such a loser to have ended up there. Funny thing was, though, I never viewed Tanille and her husband, James, that way. I was so proud of them for simplifying and making their life work. And I loved their place, and wished it was me there. However, when it really was me, I was a little horrified by my decision. In theory, a great idea, in reality, pretty hard to swallow.
I remember before I moved into the trailer, Tanille told me, “You have to be strong to do this.” I had no idea what she meant, and thought she was being completely mellow-dramatic. But after a few weeks of the trailer thing, I got it. I knew what she meant. How you had to force yourself to not cringe when you had to tell someone you lived in a trailer park. How you couldn’t (and still don’t really) understand why USPS insists on your address being Trlr 21 instead of #21. How you had to verify your mailing address several times (“yes, really, it’s Trlr 21”) to your brokerage firm before they believed you.
And I know that so many really great people live in trailers, and no disrespect to them. But I had never once, while I was growing up, been led to believe that anyone ever chose to live in a trailer. Especially an old, tiny one. It was more, where you ended up.
So one Saturday afternoon, during my hundreds of trips to Home Depot, I was schlepping around the store feeling especially sorry for myself. I was standing in the middle of one of the aisles, when it suddenly dawned on me that the distance between the merchandise shelves was precisely the width of my new home. 10 feet. A flood of emotion swept over me – I felt like a total failure. This was not what I wanted to be at 36. I had never once told myself, my mom, my teacher or my friends that when I grow up I want to be divorced twice, on the verge of bankruptcy and living in a single-wide trailer. What had gone so wrong??
And then, as I raised my head, my tear-stained cheeks burning, I noticed a large slobbering Golden Retriever dragging his owner towards me. He planted a dead stop in the aisle and released a mountain-sized steamy dump right there in the middle of the store. The reality of the moment snapped me out of my pitiful state. I smiled to myself and looked down at my Cassi, who wasn’t relieving herself. And as we walked hand in leash out of the store I thought to myself, “You know what? Things could be worse. We are going to be ok.”