Well, my birthday is almost here again. It’s my 5th without you. It’s one of the hardest days of the year, honestly it’s tougher than your birthday. There’s so many things I wish I could ask you about that day 28 years ago, and about all the birthdays afterwards that I was too young to remember.
“The best way to live a miserable life is to pay attention to what other people are saying about you.” -Paulo Coelho
Staying positive about life and goals when negativity from you or others is trying to bring you down… It’s NOT an easy task. I never want to sound like I have it all figured out because I very clearly do not, and am still very open to hearing suggestions from others and learning new methods. These are just some of the things that I have found help me to stay motivated when it seems like the world doesn’t want me to be.
First of all, it always helps when you actually WANT to keep a positive attitude. Seems obvious, but it’s actually sometimes the hardest part. It’s so easy when people are feeding you bad thoughts or aren’t being supportive to just fall into that black hole of negativity. Being upset at life and circumstances is effortless, while happiness and optimism can be really hard work. You gotta want that shit!
Zach’s been working pretty hard on the van, even though we’ve had some RIDICULOUS setbacks (I’m looking at you Florence). It may not look like much, but it’s pretty important to get all this little stuff right before we start really building. Having a house that leaks or is rusty would be pretty…uhh not pretty. Also he’s not bad to look at. Check it out!
Here’s some links to the stuff we used or showed in this video. We love buying from Amazon because when we’re ready to start on something we can usually get the supplies we need before the weekend. Just a quick disclaimer that if you purchase something through these links it can actually help us build our van by earning us a small commission, but don’t worry – it won’t cost you anything extra!
This is the Maxxair Fan we went with. We did the deluxe because it has a rain shield, which means you don’t have to freak out if your fan’s open and it starts to come down. It also comes with a sweet remote. Which is actually kind of silly since we will be able to reach the actual fan from the bed, but hey A REMOTE, GUYS!
For installing the fan, you’ll need the following supplies: Butyl Seal Tape and Sealant which we definitely recommend learning from our mistakes and just buying it online. We were all like, nah we’ll just find it at Home Depot. Not.
You can find the Rattletrap here. This stuff is legit. It made our van go from sounding like a filing cabinet on wheels to basically not sounding like much of anything. If you watched the video you’ll see that it comes with a little roller that’s pretty helpful for installation as well.
Thursday was Zach’s 22nd birthday. Thursday was also the day I had a massive, all-day anxiety attack. I don’t know why things happen this way sometimes, but they do. Not really a huge fan of talking about things like this because it makes me feel like I’m just complaining. I know that everyone has their own struggles and life isn’t easy for anyone, but this is just my slice of the pie. As many of you know my Mom struggled with her mental health and her issues within herself eventually led to her death. Two big things that I know helped her were going to yoga or being active in some way, and talking to people. I am already pretty active so I have that going,
First of all, pretty sure I don’t know anyone named Florence but just in case I do I want to make it clear that I don’t have anything against people named Flo, just asshole hurricanes.
September was an eventful month, to say the least. The verrry end of August we bought the van, Zach stripped it of all the random crap the previous owners had inside of it, and then 10 days later we started realizing that there was a pretty extreme storm heading directly towards Wilmington, and that there was a good possibility it was going to hit us hard. It’s pretty unusual for a hurricane to come directly at us, as they normally come up the coast and mess with Florida and South Carolina before us, but obviously 2018 has been insane so of course it would do this.
But, like, why do you wanna live in a van?
Most of my friends and family are well aware that I’ve been on a mission to live in the mountains for quite some time now. Every time I take a snow trip I start planning a way to be there full time for winter. As a matter of fact, when I met Zach in April I was in the process of cleaning my house out and getting it ready to rent out for the winter – the plan was to move to Colorado in September of 2018. After a few months of spending time with him, I decided to put that plan on hold to see where things went. Obviously it’s going pretty dang good. One random weekday, Zach picked me up from work for lunch and I just randomly showed him a picture of this couple that I follow on instagram that live full-time in a converted van. We talked about it kind of casually during lunch, but then both thought about it for the rest of the afternoon at work (in other words I spent the entire day on pinterest looking at van pics…duh). By the time I got home and it was brought up again I think we both knew that it was something we were both suuuper into.