I’m 30 years old and I’m living in my car.
Why does this feel like a confession?
In March 2013, I made a conscious choice: I wanted to be able to create more abundance in my life, more freedom, more opportunity, more mobility, more connection. I have a big dream I am journeying to make real. And I needed to eliminate the language of scarcity from my thinking. The ‘there is not enough’ rhetoric that is a constant part of the subliminal somatics of our culture. I wanted to smash this way of thinking wide open, to drive it (like a cowboy pushing a herd of wild horses) into abundance. I could see the richness and texture and depth that my life contained. I wanted to dwell there in that beautiful complexity instead of a place where I couldn’t cover my living expenses. I was tired of it costing so much to exist. Something had to move, change, and it had to be big.
Let’s be clear: my car is tiny. It’s a Suzuki Swift. It was selected for fuel economy and no-frills features, not living potential. But then I discovered that the back passenger seats came out. So then I had a mini-mini-van, and 6 hours in which to sleep and be completely moved out of my apartment before I had to be at work, and then off on a 15 hour drive North to see a friend on what I called my ‘gypsy living kick-off tour’. Things got thrown in the back: mattress.
Guitar. Bells. Sheepskin. Duvet. Cooler. A large abalone shell, for burning sage. Rubbermaids. A cane clothes basket my mother made in art school. Laundry bag. Running shoes. Camp stove. A few large river stones. (Perfectly smooth, for moments of homesickness and loneliness) Mason jars of granola, chia seeds, sesame oil, green tea, hot chocolate, brown rice, anchovies, arame, turmeric, salt.
And for the past three weeks I’ve been sorting through the PILE, learning what I need and what I don’t. Trading the two burner stove for a tiny backpacker one, the 5 gallon water jug for a 2 gallon one. Figuring out what kind of plywood furniture I want to build into the back to make the pile somewhat tamer. (And enable me to stop snuggling with the guitar’s hardshell case.) And folding things. And putting them away. And folding things. And putting them away. And taking things out. And putting them away. And taking things out. And putting them away.*
There have been moments of the expanse of space I have been looking for. The black winged freedom. And there have been difficulties to lean into: how to balance the energy of being in public space all the time. How to eat. How to eat. How to eat. Navigating rec centres. The balance of intimacy and anonymity that is possible in every moment.