It’s funny how things change.
I was getting ready to go somewhere in my van today from my neighborhood when I noticed a guy that seemed to be loitering in his car. He was parked behind my van. Who knows why he was sitting there in his car. Maybe he was waiting for someone.
I looked pointedly at his license plate and I wrote it down. I wanted him to know that I was watching him. That I had noticed him.
I didn’t even think until later that maybe he was just a a free sleeper like I used to be (around 3 and a half months ago!). Maybe he just needed a cool place to park so he could nap or read or whatever. Poor guy. I hope I didn’t make him feel bad.
I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve adapted to living in a house and how protective I am of my safe space. I feel a little ashamed that I have forgotten so quickly what it is like to just need a safe spot to park and rest.
Ryu asked if I miss living in my van. I don’t. I do plan to always have a van though, just in case I need to again.
Every situation has its pros and cons. Living where I do, I have more privacy than I used to and I’m sure I’m safer but sometimes NO frequently I worry about what my roommate thinks about me and my lifestyle. It’s probably all in my head. Imagine that! Still, if my landlady decided suddenly that she wanted to sell her place, I’d have to find something as cheap or end up on the street. And this place is pretty cheap. She could raise my rent too.
It doesn’t do any good to whine about these things though. I learned a few years ago that the middle class is disappearing and I have had to decide whether I’m going to be upper class or lower class. I’ve decided I want to end up in the upper class. I like being able to decide where I live, what I eat, what I wear for clothing etc.
I may not make it to the upper class. Something bad could happen before I get there. I’m going to try though. I have nothing better to do.
Here’an article about how hundreds of (poor?) people are being force evicted from their rent controlled apartments. I get motivated to reach for more when I read articles like this:
So I’m sitting in the little sitting room at my house. I rent a room but I can use other parts of the house. D is here with me. He is listening to music and I’m surfing the net. There’s a cool breeze coming in the slider and the overhead fan is blowing too. It’s pretty much a perfect night.
I’m glad I got to live in my van so I could appreciate moments like this.
I’m a little sad sometimes. I see young people starting out in their careers. They have energy and their whole life in front of them. They have so much hope. They hope they have the “golden ticket” that will make them a success if they just work hard enough.
Some of them will “make it”. They will work very hard and be considered “management material” work hard…deal with constant stress and at the end of it, they will own a home and have a nice retirement. But how many people get to enjoy their retirement? Home many are unhealthy or even DEAD within a few years of retiring?
And some will NOT make it. They will be in dead end jobs their whole lives, slaving away for low pay, eating crap food, having poor or no medical care, etc.
I know young people who believe in themselves. They are on their way UP, they think and they’re even a little cocky. I hope I don’t have to watch them be disillusioned and ground down into what I almost became (a bitter Old Lady).
I hope that somehow this country will right itself and people can have work they enjoy that pays them enough to have nice lives and even to be able to afford a family. I think that’s something worth working toward.
I was talking to someone today about confidence. One needs confidence in this day and age because most people don’t know how to be encouraging. It seems those close to us are the worst at this, I guess because they are afraid if you try something new, you might fail and they don’t want you to fail. It could be even worse though…they could feel envious. Or maybe it’s a little of both.
I’ve always walked my own path. I don’t regret it but my family and some friends don’t understand my choices and if you don’t make a lot of money at your job/business, you are not considered a success. Well, so be it. I can’t change people. What I CAN change is how I respond in my mind. Living in my van and creating a tiny business WHILE living in my van (AKA being homeless) has shown me that I can do a LOT. And I can do these things somewhat on my own terms. That’s a good feeling.
Now I’m going to transfer my skills into something else and I probably will eventually make more money. I feel it’s important to make more money now while I’m “young” so that I have something to fall back on if I get sick or too old to work (I’d have to be sick in some way for that to happen right?) I don’t want to be a burden to anyone, I would love to be a blessing. I’d like to be able to give some money away to family and friends in need but I can’t do that when I’m poor can I?
Money gives you more choices. Being in the right career or business can give you more choices. I for one don’t like being stuck to one location. Perhaps one day I will be able to take my work anywhere I can get an internet connection. We’ll see!
I have confidence that I can be in charge of my life and not make a mess of it. I have the confidence to work through problems and challenges (I have plenty…some of which I will try to share in the coming weeks).
Some people think, “Well I’d be confident if I was from a rich family”. It’s pointless to think this way if you don’t. How does that help you? AND I have seen successful, high earning people in stressful situations and a lot of them are VERY, VERY calm when they’re under the gun. I used to think, “What’s wrong with this guy/girl? Don’t they understand the urgency of this situation?” Well, they DID understand but they remained calm so they could think things through and make the best decisions. I want to be like that. CALM.
Ok, enough of my rambling. I’d like to hear you guys and gals ramble in the comments below if you feel like it.
I couldn’t get the photo to load on my mobile devise so it’s sideways!
I know White people supposedly run the world but in some neighborhoods, we are just homeless. I’m in a Starbucks now and everyone here is either Asian or (I think) Jewish and they look at D and I like we’re something stuck on their shoe. I look outside and see White homeless people walking by.
The United States has purposely dumbed down our population, aided and abetted drug lords to bring drugs into this country, then allowed smart Asian and Indian people to take the tech jobs and allowed Mexicans and South Americans to take the lower skilled jobs. It doesn’t leave much for White Americans does it?
We are like buggy whips. No longer needed. It sucks watching us be replaced.
PS. If you think I’m a “racist” for caring about this…don’t bother griping to me about it. I make no apologies for caring about my own people.
One of the hardest parts for me of being a free-sleeper (AKA homeless) was hiding the fact that I didn’t have a normal home. I knew that people would think bad things about me if they knew. Most would think I was a substance abuser, crazy, lazy or stupid. I didn’t want people to think badly of me. Maybe that’s stupid but I AM trying to work in this town!
Because of this I hid a lot. I jumped into the back of my van at night as soon as I arrived at my sleep spot so know one would notice me sleeping there. I was careful not to leave my van sliding door open too long where prying eyes might see my bedding. Things like that.
I got used to hiding and I’m finding that I’m hiding a little still even though I’m housed.
We don’t have enough room in our trash cans-they come from the city and you have to pay more if you want a bigger one or an extra one. Rather than talk to my landlady about it, I just take my trash out to a dumpster behind a building and upload it. This is illegal! But I’d rather sneak around and risk getting yelled at or even cited than deal with my landlady.
I also get afraid I’m doing too much laundry so I try to do it late at night or when no one is around.
Maybe I AM a little mentally ill. Oh well!
I’m in the house a lot. I worry that they’ll get tired of seeing me. Weird! Ya so I’m an odd duck but you guys knew that already.
Thanks for coming back!
I like my new place. I’m not really unpacked. When the burglars can and trashed my storage unit, all my stuff got jumbled up with my children’s things so I’ve go about 8 (?) boxes I need to go thru and get things organized. I’m not in a huge rush though.
I stay inside a lot working on my new side business. I’m on a learning curve so everything takes a long time but that’s okay. I’m not charging what the big guys do. I have one major client now and I can still do small jobs that are less involved. It’s so fun learning something new, even if it’s a little frustrating sometimes!
It’s REALLY quiet where I live. It’s off the street a good ways so I can’t hear traffic when I’m going to sleep. I usually play a documentary or something on Youtube to give me a little noise. I don’t have much trouble sleeping though.
I work pretty hard in the common areas to keep things clean. I like the accountability of that—no dishes in the sink, things like that. I also inherited a little garden on the balcony upstairs that I have to care for. Some of the plants were already dried up by the time I got there but what’s living is a few strawberry plants, rosemary, oh gosh I’ve mostly forgotten but I water them every couple of days. There are some great succulents…those are plants like cactus that don’t need much water and there is oleander. Or I THINK it’s oleander. All I have is buds right now so it’s going to be fun to see what they open up to be. I know they’re going to be pink though because the buds are pink.
D is going to be staying in my van. I have mixed feelings about this. I want to leave the free-sleeping thing behind me for a while. It will complicate things having to turn the van from a bedroom into a work van every morning again. BUT it’s hard for me to enjoy my home knowing someone I care very much about is out on the concrete and exposed to all the night creatures one encounters when sleeping rough. (I’m talking about people, mostly drug addicts , also cops).
He is trying to make his way back to a normal life again. I hope he makes it! It will break my heart if he doesn’t. I have a lot of hope though! Thanks for reading, My Friends.