top of page
  • Writer's pictureKate Couch

In a Van Down by the River

Written By: Kate Couch

When I was little, my dad would use the famous Chris Farley joke, “Living in a van down by the river” when I would share some unrealistic pipe dream I had. He would frequently add on the classic “living off government cheese”. At 14, It didn’t sound appealing in the slightest. Being poor sounded like a death sentence. I wanted to live in a big New York City apartment as some hot-shot businesswoman whom people feared. I thought of it as the movie The Proposal in which Sandra Bullock walks up to the office building and people freak out, straightening their ties, working harder, and cleaning up. This idea of concurring men and women alike by being unemotional, distant, and powerful was all I wanted.

It might sound like a weird dream, at least, compared to other little girls it was. I have very few tangible memories of my childhood. I remember feeling happy and having fun, but actual things I did or said seemed to have slipped from my conciseness. However, I do remember in grade school I rode the bus pretty frequently. One day I was sitting with one of my friends, I don’t remember which one but I do remember what I said. I looked at her and asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She must have been no older than 8 and she looked at me, all blonde and girly with straight A’s and a sweet persona, and replied, “A mommy”. I had to ask her a second time because I had never thought of this option. I was by no means a tom-boy as a kid, I loved dolls and dress-up, but the thought of being a mom sounded like a waste. I want to experience life and relish in my money and success. In fact, I wanted that for a really long time until I met my best friend.

Anyone who knows me well knows my best friend changed my life. Not quite in a cheesy, “they taught me how to love” or “brings out a side of me I never knew I had” way. She was the first person who I had to work for our friendship. As a kid, friendships just come to you, you’re a kid, and that’s all you need. As you grow up, you fight with people, grow apart, and change. Naturally, some friends fall by the wayside. Having a relationship where I had to work on empathizing, change my schedule, and ultimately realize that everyone isn’t like you was one of the bigger learning curves of my short life so far. The biggest thing she taught me was how important love is. The best part is she didn’t do it intentionally.

My best friend has always been an “I won’t change for anyone” kind of person. When I met her, I agreed. Like I said, I wanted to be that girl who left her family and pursued her dreams. Our ideology lined up perfectly, I would genuinely choose money over love. Our friendship progressed and we went through some really tough stuff in our lives and with each other. She was always there for me though, sometimes not in the way that I wanted, but every time in the way I needed. As we have graduated high school and grown up a bit, we don’t see each other every day. I have people in my life who I am close with like I was her, but she’s still there in the way I need her, and I do. She taught me that it’s okay to love people like that and want to be around them. My friends are the most important people in my life at the moment and they truly, in the best way possible, affect my life.

So now I am nearly 19, I’m not divorced and I want to live in a van down by the river. I want to hop in a car and drive and see the world. I want to drop everything to see the birth of my friend’s child and spend way too long talking by starlight, even though I should be getting sleep. I want to get to know new people. It’s just so funny to me that I now hate the idea of big city life. I don’t want a 9-5 like I used to, and life without kids seems boring. When my dad told me the other day, “So what are you going to do?.. Live in a van down by the river?” I replied, “You know what, that doesn’t sound half bad”.

Visit the rest of my website if you want to read more about me and my professional portfolio

Thanks For Reading!

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page