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Ikea, The Stars, and a Dying Dream.

by Sarah Beattie 2 years ago in humanity
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The Story of my 1973 VW bus.

Let me preface this by saying when you get out of a bad breakup, have a huge job change and overall are in a bad place, DO NOT GO TO IKEA.

Well when summer ended in 2018, My sister and her boyfriend tried to cheer me up by taking me to King Richards Faire. We were talking about the future and my sister finally told me about their bus and the plans they made to turn it into a tiny home.

After the Faire, we decided to stop at Ikea on the way home and thats when it happened. My sister and her boyfriend wanted to look at cabinets and other storage solutions. When we got to Ikea, my sisters boyfriend Nick and I started talking about all the cool engineering related to tiny homes and I started getting really excited. The first time I had been truly excited in months. In fact I even started to wonder if I could even feel excitement and happiness again.

Then he asked the question that I have been dreading. “If you like tiny homes so much then why don’t you build one?” I responded with the fact that it costs money, I am not equip with the skills needed to build a tiny home and there was no way my parents would let me build a tiny home in their back yard. Yes I had all the answers pre-recorded. I thought about this a lot.

He told me I was just afraid and that I can learn anything given enough time and enough resources. I pondered that for a moment, then decided that I was going to create a tiny home on wheels, something that I can have the rest of my life. Something that I can take on road trips later in life and can always look at and remind myself that I am a talented and capable human who can do anything that they put their mind too. It was in these first few moments that I decided that I was going to build my tiny home in a box truck or a small school bus. I saw it as a symbol of my freedom, my Independence that I was no longer chained to my depression. I had a way out.

After Ikea, I was so excited to start designing my own tiny home that I couldn’t wait. When we arrived at the mall for dinner, I took a quick trip to Target bought a notebook and a pack of colored pens. The first drawings I made were done right there at the dinner table and for the first time in a long time, I was actually really excited about a project. I was brainstorming ideas and sketching all the way home.

So how did this lead to a VW Bus? That happened because when I came home I told my parents and I got a resounding “no, you will not park a school bus or a box truck in my yard.” I was super disappointed. I sat down at my computer and started looking at box trucks and school buses anyway. I had finally found a passion project and I was going to make it work. Then the idea hit me, I could get a VW Bus. I had always liked them and they had a lot of history. Granted that would mean I had to become way more confrotable driving stick because I wanted a classic looking bus, something from the 60s or 70s. When I ran this idea by my dad and I got a maybe.

Well, a maybe was just what I needed to get started. Everyday when I got home I looked through Craigslist ads and Ebay Auto. Nothing was matching my price range and did not have a lot of rust. I started to give up hope

Then I was at a Halloween Party and I knew like no one there and I got a notification that a new bus I had been posted. I saw it and I immediately replied and made plans to go see it for the next day.

I feel in love. I spent almost 4 hours looking at it. It was an amazing deal that I could not believe it. It was the maximum amount I was going to spend but it was the first of the automatics, it was a 1973, it had the majority of the interior, a surplus of parts and a moderate amount of rust.

For some reason I was still hesitant. Well I knew that reason. I have a lot of student loan debt buying a bus is not the best use of that money. My parents were very angry at me for even considering it. I decided that freedom and happiness were worth the cost that money can always be made back but my time cannot. It is my life and if I want to spend the time working on a bus then that is what I will do. I want to break the cycle and shine brightly in my own way.

So what does this have to do with the stars? Short version: I named my Bus Arcturus.

I am a big space nerd, so it made sense to name my bus after something celestial. However, space is infinitely large and there were a lot of choices. To narrow it down I decided that since I was born in the springtime, I should pick a celestial object present in the spring. Also, wanted to make sure that it was distinct and would stand out.

The spring night sky is rather dim and boring in comparison to the winter hexagon and the summer triangle. To find the constellations in the spring sky you use the tail in Ursa Major, otherwise known as the handle in the big dipper. You follow the tail and arc to Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Bootes and the third brightest star in the night sky.

Bootes is traditionally depicted as a herdsman. In one story Bootes is herding oxen and these oxen are tied to the polar axis that keeps the skies in motion.

From there I learned the backstory behind the constellation Bootes. Bootes was a lonely herdsman who is credited with causing the night sky to turn around the north star. There was nothing significant about a herdsman but he did something incredible. I want to be like that, shine bright like Arcturus and use my bus to see the world and all the people in it.

I know just a little clique but my bus brings adventure and freedom. It brings me so much joy to clean and work on it.

So how is the dream dying. It has been a year and a half since I brought my bus home. I still look at it the same way but financially things are not the same way. I made the choice this past November to do what was best for my mental and physical health and quit my job. (It was the job causing my problems not the working) All the money I have been tirelessly saving up has gone to paying on my student loans, my car payment and my living expenses while I have been out of work these last few months. I can't survive much longer on my savings and with the virus going around, before long it looks like I will have to sell the bus to keep going . It breaks my heart and I have been applying to jobs like crazy and doing everything possible to prevent that from happening but the deadline keeps coming closer.

I am starting to learn something about dreams, no matter how hard you work sometimes they do not come true. That part sucks.


About the author

Sarah Beattie

I am 27 and nothing is going according to plan. The last few years have had a lot of ups and downs as I navigate through a quarter life crisis.

Follow me on Instagram @Beattisa

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