“Risk everything for love. Lifes too short to be a slave to anything other than one’s own heart.”
This was sent to me in a message this week. I was so excited to be the first person Sweet Peebus contacted (after her mother) to tell me she is taking the plunge… She is going to live in a Van/RV on the road!
“This will be the most important and most fulfilling decision you will have made to date.”
My response was subtle, right?
Sweet Peebus is an artist living in Portland, OR. Her lease at a friends home is up. The meaningless job she had been a manager at for the last 3 years is over. The prices of rent are high and raising in our favorite town. The feeling of being a slave to a system we don’t believe in is weighing on her. She knows this is culminating to a life changing decision and that is never easy.
After receiving a few scattered Craigslist van posts from Sweet Peebus, the reality was beginning to set in. Then I got a more honest message from my future road partner:
Urg. Im having an existential dilemma.
What in life will give me a sense of purpose?
What will give me a sense of pride?
Can I dare greatly?
I want to impress my family, my friends, every ex and most of all myself. Im stuck in routine and feeling quite lost without work to drag me out of my comfort zone. Scared of the future, of leaving this house, leaving Portland. I don’t want to live the average life. I want to live outloud. I want to do something different, something brave and wonderful… (that is.. full of wonder) im in a bit of a panic. Im afraid to sink into adulthood. I feel the crunch of time. Each moment more important than the last. More necessary to actually be building upon my life. Every second feels wasted and more than ever I need some sort of epiphany. Too much misdirected desire. I know you can understand. I miss you and can wait to put our heads together. I want to lean on you. My friend, my beautiful friend you give me strength. I love you
I felt for Sweet Peebus. Just a year ago I made the same bold decision to leave the first place that felt like home, Portland, OR. I too felt the weight of the system. Go to work, pay your rent, try and find time to create. My landlord raised my rent and the cost of living was exceeding the quality of life. It was time for me to go. This was my response:
My Sweet Peebus. This was so beautiful and honest it brought me to tears. I want to start with reminding you that you could never live an average life and it is moments such as this (seeking a van life adventure) that will keep you from sinking.
You have ridden a bike around the country, you have left men that held you from truth and you are an artist always seeking that wonder you crave so much.
We are not women that settle. That does not not mean we are not women that fear we might.
I can only answer your questions from my own experiences as of late. My answers have surely developed exponentially over the last year, which will be similar to the year you are about to experience.
My sense of purpose has strengthened since I left the “system”. My purpose is that I want to secure a life that is mine. I want it to be genuine. I want it to be hard and rewarding. I want to make art and love and fuck and travel, but most importantly I want to love myself and find a way to always be learning who I am.
The more I exit the traditions and habits of society… Like paying rent, going to a daily job, meeting the same people day in and day out that both remind me and distract me from the monotony… The more I feel alive.
The bravery to break away from this has given me pride. I know that as a creative individual brave enough to explore an alternative lifestyle it is inherently my social responsibility to dive deep into and inform others of its secrets.
I have pride knowing that I will not regret making a mistake, I have pride knowing that I am willing to fall, I have pride knowing that the fall will never be so far that I can’t get back up because it was never far from my truth.
I dare. I dare to design an alternative life. I dare to create art that hurts. I dare to fail. I dare with every choice I make. As I lose the burden of what I have to do I become more daring as I discover what I want to do.
I am unburdened when I do not have to pay rent, I am challenged to figure out alternative options. If I did not dare to leave all of societies expectations behind you would not have me as reference.
I dare to set precedent. The more I overcome the challenges set forth from daring to do something different the more I impress myself. Having put myself in such compromising situations over the last year and still thriving in reflection only reinforces to myself that I am incredible and capable of things I can’t yet imagine. The more I impress myself the less I look to impress others.
Choosing to leave Portland (knowing it will always be there due to the work I put forth) has reminded me of how small I am in the larger scheme of things. This has given me the freedom to do whatever I want knowing that I will die… and it won’t matter.
Upon leaving I also realized how small the world is and that when I die I will have mattered when I was living. Because of my freedom from one city I am able to connect to many cities and the friends that inhabit them. I have fostered relationships with people I have known for 10 years that I otherwise would have lost if I wasn’t able to traveled to them.
The value I have for life is higher the less I spend. This has given me a deeper appreciation for friendships, family, and my time alone traveling the world.
Sweet Peebus is incredible at everything she sets her heart to. Following your heart though comes at a high price no matter who you are. Seeking adventure takes work and daring a new lifestyle that most wouldn’t even dream to do takes courage. However, with great risk we know that there is usually great reward to be found on the other side.
We will be sharing updates about our travels together on both of our sites.
Stay tuned for our Mexican Winter Road Trip 2015/2016 where we make our way down to Oaxaca for a drink with my mother in Sweet Peebus’ new home.