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Protestant, Catholic, Agnostic, or Atheist?

Minnesotan, Texan, Californian or Michigander?

Dad, Husband, Father, or Son?

Doctor, Writer, Chef, or Builder?

Rubiks Cube

Our identities are a Rubik’s Cube - we spin and turn until coming up with just the right combination.

And just when we think we finally have it right, life grabs the cube and mixes it all up again.

Kids grow up. Jobs change. We move. Parents age. Businesses fold.

Identity Changes

I’ve noticed people facing identity changes:

  • My in-laws are dealing with an aging parent, dementia redefining the relationship between son and mother.
  • A neighboring RVer talked about his battles with throat cancer. One surgery removed almost all of his ability to taste. He was a professional chef.
  • My parents recently sold their retirement cottage, bringing nearly 8 decades of being Michiganders to an end.

What Are We?

We talked with an Italian Ethnographer, who asked if we self-identified as “location independent”. I struggled for a moment. That one label is not necessarily a flag we fly under.

We use phrases like digital nomads, fulltime RVers, suburbia-ditchers, and travelers - but we don’t really have one go-to way of describing ourselves.


We often return to our home of Michigan. While there we run into ghosts of our former selves - old photos, old news clippings, old awards, and old memories from families and friends.

I want to put on a Ghostbuster suit, “cross the streams” and turn those old versions of us into so much melted marshmallow.

But I don’t have a solid vision for:

  • What’s next for Miranda
  • What being empty-nesters looks like for MsBoyink and I
  • How we’ll react when grandchildren enter the picture

Without something to replace the ghosts, I’m scared to fire up the ambulance sirens.

We’re also afraid of losing the history of who we were. We purged 5 crates of old memories, but one crate with scrapbook photo albums went back into storage.

We’re stuck.

Stuck between who we used to be and who we are becoming.

Stuck = Story

As an old Jeeper I’m familiar with being stuck.

Being stuck is stressful. Sometimes things break. Sometimes you need outside help.

But you know what always comes from being stuck?

A good story.

I’m choosing to embrace the stress of being stuck.

And waiting to see what story of freedom comes from it.

7 Comments Stuck

  1. Picture of Wheelingit Wheelingit March 06, 2017

    Stuck is always the feeling that precedes change. I like to think of it as an enabler of change since you really have to go through it in order to know that you’re “ready” for the next step. It’s the last piece of glue to your old life, but also the release point for your new life. The transition is tough, but good things lie ahead.


  2. Picture of Reuben Reuben March 21, 2017

    Just wanted to say appreciated this post. Def intrigued to see how things unfold for y’all. Best wishes to you and your Fam man!

  3. Picture of The Tepid Tamale The Tepid Tamale March 23, 2017


    Wow, did the title of this resonate with me!

    Hello again!  We met in Fremont at your RV, I didn’t look like a Tamale then, more like a guy with his family.  You fed us, and we appreciated that!  (We hope you received the card, I would hate to be the mailman catching up with you guys!)  More important than the food, was meeting someone who had really done it, had really ditched.  I have been stuck since then, I can’t see the way out, and too scared with the family depending on me to jump blindly.  So I finally started blogging about it.  I don’t know where it will take me, but it’s already helping just to ‘talk’ about it.

    Thanks again, and good luck with your search for a new vehicle!  I hope we can meetup again!

    - The Tepid Tamale

  4. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink March 23, 2017

    Ah yes - we remember! And yes, we got the card - thanks!

    One of our options for the summer is a seasonal site in Ludington (we loved Fremont, but couldn’t do a 3rd summer there..;).

    If that happens we’d be happy to meet up again.

    I just read this post - and it feels appropriate to mention here:

    We’ve been challenged to think bigger about our process for getting the next rig…and that post helped my mental state as well.

  5. Picture of The Tepid Tamale The Tepid Tamale March 23, 2017

    Perfect, I’ll keep an eye out (not sure what that means, but it sounds painful) for if to hit Ludington (or email if it’s not on the blog).  As for that post.  Wow, is all I can say.  Thanks for sharing it.  Thanks a ton.

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