What happens when two Black queer women sell all their possessions, quit their cozy careers, and decide to drive across the country in an RV?! Find out in ELIXHER’s new column, QTWoC Chronicles, where Tabia and Mimie Lisenbee-Parker of Purpose.Driven.Love. document their physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Get an intimate look into their lives and lessons around love and intentionality.
By Mimie Lisenbee-Parker
Waking up everyday in a capitalist, “can’t-stop-won’t-stop,” first-world society can entice you to habitually want more. More money. More stuff. More money so you can buy more stuff. I have often wished for more time in the day so that I can accomplish more tasks because I have been convinced that I need…well, more. But it’s a trick, isn’t it? Because as we’re all racing around, checking off our never-ending to-do lists, collecting stuff, and moving as fast as we can, we often miss the things that have the real value.
Underneath this myth of productivity, my wife and I have always been the type of folks who couldn’t completely buy in. It is part of what has drawn us to each other, that little whisper inside of our heads that says: “There has to be more than this.” More than more.
Our journey started with a deep longing to get off the hamster wheel and out into the world. Together we devised a plan to aacquire more of less. This trip has been our way of letting that voice lead us. We’re unplugging from the human “race” to experience humanity, unadorned with all the mandates of the daily grind.
My partner, Tabia, is a hard-working photographer based in the Atlanta area, and I am a public school teacher devoted to students with high potential and low visibility. Our calendars were jam-packed with obligations and commitments to our careers, activism, families, fitness, and multiple social circles. We were moving at a lightning-fast pace and both dreaming of pulling the plug. So we did.
After Tabia proposed to me in the spring of 2012, we began planning to radically change our lives. At first it meant being even busier, as we were working to pay for a wedding and a great escape from the day to day grind. It was hectic to say the least, but well worth the extra hustle. Following our gorgeous Savannah, GA wedding in May of 2013, we were ready. We participated in community yard sales, sold stuff online, turned our home into a thrift store, gave things away…we did anything we could to lighten our load and make room for the life we wanted.
I must admit I was a little skeptical at first about the next step, but we decided to buy a modest travel trailer. “Skylar” is a 1974 Skylark, who came fully equipped with the design of that decade…so when we weren’t working, we were in the backyard bringing her back to life. Finally, after spending the entire summer renovating it, we were off!
At this point we have been on the road for over 11 months, and I am still in awe of the incredible and rapid growth we have experienced both individually and as a couple. The world around us grew larger, and the distance between Tabia and I grew lesser and lesser with each mile. Even inside of an 18’ camper! Just as we imagined, disconnecting from the pressure to perform and shaking off excess has cleared the space in our minds and hearts to hone our focus on the things that matter: our marriage, our art, our passions, our spirits, our health. This trip has presented us with plenty of new challenges and has given us time to work on and work through old habits. We are excited to share what we are doing and what we have learned in hopes of inspiring others to take full agency in writing the story of their lives…on purpose. More silence, less noise. More rest, less work. More peace, less worry. More time for joy; less cause for stress.
Purpose.Driven.Love. is a personal movement designed around living ON purpose and loving intentionally. Follow Tabia and Mimie as they embark on an epic adventure across North America to discover a life filled with more of less. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PurposeDrvnLv and on Twitter @PurposeDrvnLv.
*Photos Courtesy of Tabia Lisenbee-Parker