I’m getting a roommate!
Yesterday I woke up by myself, ate breakfast by myself, worked on my laptop most of the day in bed by myself, read to myself and then fell asleep to the sound of myself and rain falling on the bus. I didn't leave the bus once, and loved every moment of it. I chose exactly what I want to do, and who I want to interact with and when.
Time is precious and finite, it is extremely limited and in high demand. I am purposefully, intently choosing how I spend it. I am not alone, single, anti-social. I enjoy solitude, peace of mind, filling my love tank doing things I love. I choose to love myself in all those moments. That allows me to be more aware and conscious of others when we do come together. I've become aware of other people's vibes, and it has helped me become a better listener, both for what people say and what they don't. Through figuring out exactly what I like, I feel that I have become more in tune with what others feel and like. I fully appreciate their time, because I appreciate mine. If I did not take that quiet time to myself every couple of days, I become someone other than myself. I lose myself in the vastness of the greater social machine.
For the last two years, I have been living in and traveling in an 189 square foot Tiny Bus Home by myself, and have taken a lot of time to figure out who I am and what I want my life to be like. For the longest time I was scared to NOT be alone, to share so much of myself with others. Yet in a couple days, my fiance will be moving onto the bus with me.
Rainy City Girl (RCG, my fiance) and I first met in Seattle in August of 2012. We started our relationship shortly after, and stayed together until February of 2015. We broke up, she moved out, I ran out the lease on the apartment, and donated most of my belongings.
While I was packing up what was left in the apartment, I realized that I needed to get away, follow a new direction in life. I was day-dreaming of traveling long term. With plenty of savings and the ability to make things happen, I told my parents that I am buying a school bus, and asked them if they would be willing to help me renovate it into a Tiny Home on wheels. “Of course! Bring it!” Was their response.
So I quit my job and moved to Vegas, where my parents lived. Rainy City Girl stayed in the Rainy City.
On March 18, 2015 I bought an already painted blue bus from a Church in Long Beach, California. The drive from Long Beach to Vegas was the first time I drove a Bus, or any vehicle of that size. It was exhilarating! Such a large vehicle, and it drove like butter. Incredibly smooth. It's so easy to see other cars and the road with all the windows. I loved the feeling of sitting on that bouncing leather seat, holding that big steering wheel, knowing that the future is so bright. Adventure awaits!
After parking the bus in Vegas, my dad and I got started on custom building an interior into this 1990 Church Bus. It took us roughly 3.5 months to convert. I was on the road on August 15, 2015. I went from living in an expensive rented apartment, in a rocky adult-relationship and soul-sucking full time job in Seattle to living and traveling by myself in a bus. All in a matter of 6 months. I didn't like the way I was living, so I changed it. It's that simple.
Towards the end of the bus build, getting ready and anxious to live my new life on the road, Rainy City Girl and I picked up contact again. Both of us needed the distance and time between us, in order to process everything that we learned from our broken relationship. We decided to take it easy and work on becoming friends again. We sent each other text messages here and there, funny pictures, and kept it light and fun.
Leaving Vegas, I drove my new Tiny Home over to California, and up the entire West Coast to Seattle. Being back in the PNW was bitter-sweet, having had my life there just a few months earlier. RCG and I met up, and spent a few days together. It was the first time she saw the bus in person, and we had an amazing time traveling around neighboring cities. Hanging out felt like it always had, fun and comfortable. It was like we had never been apart.
"Do you have to leave? This is a huge trip that you have planned. You could just stay." RCG told me with a sad expression in her eyes.
"Yeah. I have to go. It's what I do best." It was the truth. My mind was set on Bus Life and figuring out who I was and why I had done things that I never thought I could do. I had to find myself, and I had to do that alone. I was not ready to commit to more than working on myself.
As quick as I arrived, I was just as quick to leave.
Leaving Washington, I drove around America for the next few weeks. I saw Mount Rushmore, drove on the moon through Badlands National Park, "did not inhale" legal Cannabis in Colorado, tailgated for a weekend at a Buffalo Bills Game in New York, got a tattoo in Connecticut of Wilson from Cast Away. After driving to the east coast and making my way south, I decided to drive to Florida and park on my friend's property for a few months.
During the road trip, I kept in touch with RCG through texts and phone calls, and decided before heading to Florida, I would take a little detour to visit her in Arkansas, the worst state in America. (Trust me, I’ve been to them all). She flew to Arkansas to attend a wedding, so time wise it worked out perfectly for us to meet and spend time together.
We had such an amazing time (even though it was in Arkansas) and then I had to drop her off at the airport. Separated again! We both cried, unsure of when we would see each other next. I was headed down to park and live in Florida for the next few months, and she was headed back to Seattle. So it goes.
As I drove and drove I felt more sad and more alone than ever. I say alone, and not in solitude, because I truly did feel alone. I really missed her. Since our breakup, we have learned a tremendous amount about ourselves and what we need and want in a partner. The times that she had recently come back into my life, I clearly saw how much she brightens my day and that as soon as she left the bus I missed her more and more.
Once in Florida, I parked in my friend's driveway, and was glad to not be driving so much. Here I would have some time to myself to figure out what was happening with my "friendship" with Rainy City Girl. I was excited to see my friends, who I've known for over 12 years, and to figure out how to proceed with life.
RCG living in the Rainy City while I was parked in Florida became incredibly difficult to deal with. The long distance and 3-hour time change made it impossible to keep up any sort of meaningful relationship. We spoke less and less on the phone, and were not getting any closer to a relationship or moving forward on living together. The months passed, Christmas and New Years came and went. January 2016 flew by, as did February and March. I had been living in the bus for nearly 6 months.
When I couldn't figure out what to do, how to be with her, my depression got the better of me and I broke off all contact with her. In my mind I thought that I was not man enough, that I would never be able to fully provide for her. So I tried as hard as I could to forget her and move on. She did the same (what choice did I give her..)
A month later, in April of 2016, I decided I had enough of Florida and drove back to Vegas to spend time with my parents, who I had not seen in months. I packed the bus up, and took the road trip West. When I got there, I parked the bus in the same spot where we started converting it nearly a year earlier. As much as I tried to forget about RCG, I could not get her out of my mind. I was constantly thinking about her. Was she thinking about me?!
After being back in Vegas for a month, my mom and I took a trip to Long Beach, California to visit the Church that I bought the bus from. We had such a wonderful meet and greet, everyone was excited to see how the bus renovation turned out. THEY LOVED IT!
Afterward my mom and I drove to Santa Monica Beach. Right there on the pier is where I met Jesus. He forever changed my life.
Sure, it was "only" Rock n’ Roll Jesus, but he sang his beautiful songs of love and compassion and I listened. I had such an incredible experience that day. I wrote a blog about a few days afterward. (Post about Meeting Jesus and more on Rainy City Girl)
My life would never be the same after that day.
Making a long story long, Rainy City Girl and I have been in touch ever since I posted that blog about her. She reached out to me after reading it, telling me she tried as hard as she could to forget about me. She was set on never speaking to me again, and only did so because of my blog post. It let her know how I was feeling and that I was still thinking about her. After all the months of not talking, it let her know that I still cared and had positive memories of our time together.
Only when I completely lost her, did I realize how much I truly love her. Writing has brought the greatest love back into my life.
The Big Blue Bus is getting a roommate!
For the past year we have been in touch on a near daily basis and are figuring out how to come together and make life work for the both of us. She will be moving into the bus in 5 days and we are going to see where life takes us this time around!! All we know is that we don't want to be apart any longer. We have figured out what we want in life, and it's each other. We are ready to come together and learn how to be together.
Stay tuned for more adventures with Rainy City Girl!