There was an article in the SF Gate about tiny living spaces in the Bay Area, shining a light on the benefits and challenges of such a lifestyle. Since my boyfriend and I have converted and lived on a short school bus for just about a year in the bay area, we qualified to apart of the expose. I was excited to get a chance to share my perspective and possibly philosophical theories about the complications and compromise of living with someone in a small space that I had yet to vocalize.
The mindfulness, organic, sustainable living, #vanlife/skoolie #blessed life is big on the interwebs. You kind find Vlogs of those who have taken the leap to live the lives that they want. People who are ok with not living in the norms of society, and heading on wheels is the new hip fad. This idea that has been around in some form since… well forever. found a new generation with a twist; recycled wood and plaid. Basically, my stance is us humans can acclimate to anything and I wanted to see if I myself, could in fact step out of my comfort zone. Plus I’m broke and wanted to try to cheat the system. Could this spoiled brat learn what it means to live minimally? Well, the answer is yes and no, and after a year I thought I could shine light on the lessons I learned, which is why I was stoked to be in this article.
I rushed to click our link. I quickly realized that I didn’t feel well represented in what I think has been a fully dual effort in maintaining this lifestyle. I couldn’t decide for days if I was being a brat and letting my self-worth get the best of me. “I want to be noticed” my ego screamed. My expectation was that both parties gave insights of the hardships of bus living, we share the hardships together, we should have share our story together. But this wasn’t the case when the said article popped up on my news feed.
I’ve never felt the patriarchy more when I was quoted with one thing by saying “we have a chemical toilet but it’s better for both parties if we use it for number one situations” which only leaves the reader to imagine where I take my morning dump. The real answer is at yoga, Safeway, Starbucks and my ever supporting friends who I jokingly call my “friendshits” After sending what I thought was a good insight into the reliability in to our lives, the only real thing they wanted from me was the nitty-gritty, down to it potty talk. It was almost as if No a women admitted to taking a dump?! Alert the press and print that shit instead: “This woman could be defecating in your neighborhood Starbucks!”
Then the internet had a chance to tell us when they thought. Oh Dear LORD! I have never experienced trolling. I was totally affected by the haters and the supports passing their judgments on one another’s comments. It was disheartening. “you’re never supposed to read the comments!” my boyfriend said. I hate it when he’s right.
This isn’t me striving to quite the haters or even change their minds, this is the only thing I can do to attempt to be heard in this loud world. I thought I’d add my real answer to this; add more photos and the article of our little life.
What is the hardest part is about living on the bus?
I think that life is hard, plain and simple. Isn’t supposed to be? The things that you struggle with are the things that make you stronger. Or so I have been told. I have just simply decided that I wanted to struggle in a way that made me grow in a completely different way, no better, no worse, just different. That being said, I started living on the bus a year ago and it seems as if the difficulties are almost the same. Yes, of course, my home could possibly get a parking ticket, the bus can break down (and has multiple times) or there it is a possibility that a fellow street dweller disturbing the peace. But as I see it everyone has some sort of those problems, they just manifest in different ways. I almost see it as my rent; dealing with breakdowns and my “neighbors” is my monthly bills if you will. I think there are 2 things that I would say are the most difficult part about living on the bus is 1. The laws that make it hard for us to do so. Its hard to get insurance, you cant park in neighborhoods, and cops are always trying to find ways to give us tickets. & 2. Having to be aware of where public bathrooms are.
The maintenance and cleanliness of my bus is very much needed because god forbid I start actually start feeling like a homeless person. Oh, wait I am. When we let our chores go by the wayside, is when it starts to feel like a little more of a situation that I have to be in and not a lifestyle that I wanted. Which brings me to my second issue I deal with is when people ask where do you live. Sometimes you don’t want to go in to the ideals and struggles of bus living with complete strangers and or friends, but when you say you live on wheels there is almost also more questions.
As for living in such close quarters with my boyfriend has been a learning experience for sure. I had to learn about his morning bowel movement routine, just as he has had to learn about my menstrual cycle. Couples get in fights, but having to maintain such a close distance only makes us work though our issues that much faster. There is no telling him to sleep on the couch. Only making me learn once again that doing the hard thing usually wins in the end.