The camper is coming along… but not without a few scattered moments of self-doubt. This consists of me sitting down in the middle of a project:
- exhausted: “I feel like I am trying to reinvent a wheel!”
- scared: “Have I made this worse than it needed to be?”
- alone: “I wish there was someone here to brainstorm with or at the least hold up this piece of lumber!”
I sit there with my eyes covered hiding from the feeling of defeat that is starting to creep its way past my fleeting morale.
Most times when I feel the defeat getting too close I get up, shake off and reassess. Other times I just take a nap.
“Maybe the solution will come to me in a dream!”
I go over all the things I have accomplished, all the options I have given myself to fix the problem on hand and try and come up with a couple more ideas for solving it.
As an artist, as a creative thinker and as a risk taker it is my social responsibility to problem solve as such. I know that without the risks taken by those who inspired me I wouldn’t have the ground laid out for me. Although, when the ground is still dirt and I can’t find my predecessors tale I have to take my own risks in hopes that I can help pave a path for the rest of my community.
This can get exhausting.
When I was 14 I started working at a hardware store in Pasadena, CA. I was the first female to be hired at this 75 year old establishment. My wonderful boss may have let me slide on coming in hungover and not letting the assholes get away with disrespecting me (I was born with the mouth of a sailor) but it was expected that I be able to answer every customers question, being young and a girl was never an excuse. It was this first job that gave me the courage to deconstruct and put things back together again.
However, just because I solved building problems every weekend/summer through high school doesn’t mean I know what I am doing all the time in my current construction. It just means I am not scared to try and tackle projects out of my comfort zone. From this job I learned that in building and construction every problem has a solution… Its just a matter of not fucking it up too much before you figure out how.
It can get scary when you realize you got yourself a mile out in the water and you still have to swim back.
I wonder if its my inexperience that makes rebuilding and designing the camper so difficult at times. Maybe its my desire to design a Vintage Camper Tiny Home that I have yet to see fit all my personal needs and everything I want is unique to its original design. It could also be that projects are always going to be bigger than you plan for.
I am a person that needs to toss ideas back and forth with a person. My mind is too busy to focus my thoughts (hence the afore mentioned nap). When I am ramblin’ with someone else it makes brainstorming a hell of a lot easier. I don’t have that in this process. It is just me working on this life changing development. This makes the process both physically and mentally overwhelming.
The other day I pulled out a 3/4″ x 4′ x 7′ piece of plywood by prying it from the foam insulation, lifting it over my head and pulling it out of the camper. I can barely lift the thing across the yard now, but at the moment I was determined. Another point in the same project I used a latter to hold one side of a 1/2″ x 2′ x 7′ piece of plywood in place while I screwed it in over my head all to realize I needed to remove it and reinstall it. Once all this shit was done I realized I had barely scratched the surface of putting back together everything I had just undone.
I feel for the folks at the hardware store. They are providing me an ear as I try to describe my dilemma hoping they have enough information to smile and nod while looking genuine when I ask them “Do you think that will work?”.
I prowl #vintagetrailer #vintagecamper #vintagetrailerrestoration #tinyhouse on Instagram trying to find other (single lady) Vintage Camper Tiny House builders to share the process with. At the least scrounge their photos for ideas and solidarity.
I will say… there are not many of us.
Despite all of this fear and frustration let us give credit where credit is due. I am doing a great job. The process might be slow… but it is mine. It might not look pretty under the surface (or on the outside for that matter) but gosh damn it will be functional. And again it will all be my doing.
I managed to get this front part sealed up enough through the May showers that have pushed the process back. Unfortunately in that time I found a leak in the back that I had the privilege of catching early on!
Just so you know:
I am open for dialogue to those going through this exciting process. Please feel free to contact me regarding any information share.