Hello dreamers, my name is Ashley and I am currently living full time in my converted Ford Transit van with my husband, toddler and dog. We are on month six, which still blows my mind. What blows it even more is the fact that this is my first blog. As a journalism graduate, I’m pretty ashamed of myself. I could start with excuses, but instead I’ll just share what I've written. This post comes from our month in Seattle, which was at the beginning of month five in our van.
I am in Seattle in the SODO district. We found an area on the side of the street between an RV and a box truck to stay the night. Tonight, our view isn’t of a beach, mountain or valley, but of a bunch of warehouses. The Mariners game just ended, so though the streets sound busy, soon it will be quiet and I’ll fall asleep to the sounds of the distant highway and an occasional semi passing through looking for a stopping place.
When we began this journey, I often asked myself, “What is the purpose of this?” I need to have reason for my actions. I tend to overthink and overanalyze situations, but in this case, I validate the overthinking, and finding a definitive purpose is really important for not just myself, but also for my husband.
Yes, we are a family living in transit, in a transit, exploring the world, but I need more than a wandering adventure.
I don’t want to just explore the world, I want to explore myself. I know I speak for my husband as well when I say that we want to push the boundaries of our limited minds to find that there is no limit…or is there? If so, that’s ok. I just want to find the edge on my own. I don’t want to believe in limitations that were set for me by my parents, friends or society.
We’re ready to live differently. To create our version of the American dream. To live and learn the most that we can about ourselves and what we are capable of, to do more than just exist, but instead fill our lives with stories. We want to strip away everything our minds have subconsciously built and every “Brule”-bullshit rule-that society has constructed in order to create a life that is truly our own.
For myself, I’m on a search for happiness. I know happiness is something that we find within ourselves, and something that you don’t have to go searching for. However, the happiness most people know will fluctuate depending on circumstance. So I want to strip away all the stuff, all the clutter and really find joy-happiness in its purest form.
So often, without even realizing, we define ourselves by our things, our careers, our social groups. What are we when we don’t have those things to cling to? Already, I’ve found that I have attached my worth to so many things outside of just me. Becoming enough isn’t easy, but I’m on my way to accepting that I am.
Lastly, I want us to connect with and inspire others- to push the limits in their lives as well. I know that life has so much more, and it can go so much deeper. I just have to get out of the routine. We will break the “brules” and discover the layers that lie beneath all that we know.
We want to build stories upon stories, a great adventure where we will grow closer to God and ourselves. It’s a challenge, but it will be the greatest season of learning that we have had yet.