To achieve anything in life requires fight. In some societies you have to fight just to stay alive. In a “First World” society the fight is often against unseen, unnamed forces that don’t want you to succeed. Even more importantly though, one must fight one’s own mind. One must ignore the negative voices that say this or that can’t be done. One must fight laziness and sloppiness. One must fight to figure out what the highest priorities are and to work on them to completion even when the initial excitement of “the new” is gone.
These are the things I’m learning.
Just checking in. It's amazing how just 3-4 months ago much of my free time was
spent surfing the net. Now almost 100% of my time on the internet is spent
working on my (hopefully) money making projects.
I' have goals now. I probably still need to narrow them down to a smaller group
but I guess I'm hedging my bets. I"m throwing a lot of things on the wall and
the things that stick, I'll keep working on. I hope everyone understands that
spaghetti cooking reference.
One success I have had recently is I have been producing a monthly newsletter
for a few months and yesterday I brought on an advertiser! She will pay my
printing costs in exchange for my putting her ad in the newsletter. She also
insisted on paying me to deliver the newsletters door to door. So, this is a
way to get a lot more exposure for my business with no money out of pocket. I'm
excited about it. If this goes well, I might even make money on the next
So bad news...I'm still pretty broke. I had a little scare with Vinny (my van) thinking that the transmission was about to go out for good.....BUT I just needs some transmission fluid! YAY. Still, it put "the fear of God" in me so I'm SURE that I will save some money so when the time comes, I WILL have money to fix Vinny.
Good news....I used to be embarressed about taking showers at the gym as a
free-sleeper. Now I don't give a hoot about who's noticing and what they think
of me. Who has time for that nonsense?
More good news? I have hope. It is seasoned with realism, of course. I
probably won't make millions any time soon but I may make enough to put a roof
over my head by the end of 2015.
A friend of mine coerced me into making a housing goal. Into housing before the
end,of 2015, I've told him. Do you think I can do it?
I have been going to the “other gym” that I used to go to when I first got here. It’s a little further away from my “homebase” but it’s a lot more private. It’s hard to explain but the shower setup is different so I don’t feel as weird taking my shower there.
Who knows, maybe I’ll even start working out again.
I have really cut down on my eating. The first few days are always the hardest. Now that I’m over THAT hump, it gets easier to keep cutting. It’s amazing how much food I was putting away. Kinda disgusting.
Last night I got together with an old friend and I parked near his house to sleep. It was in a city around 20 minutes away. I was surprised at how easy it was to sleep there. I have gotten spoiled having the same sleep spot for a few months. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep anywhere else. It isn’t actually his house. He is staying there while he gets on his feet. He was unemployed for a while and I’m really glad they are helping him. He isn’t tough enough to sleep in a vehicle. Just kidding. It mostly would just hurt his pride too much, I think.
I’m not sure what has happened to me but I seem to be in a different mode when it comes to work. I feel an urgency that I’ve never felt before. I am trying to pack more into my day. I abhor wasting time.
I think I have a decent balance going. When I need to rest I take a short nap because I don’t get anything done when I’m fatigued. I’m very amazed at the amount of writing I’m doing. I’ve never claimed to be a good writer but I suppose at some point I will take a class or do more reading on the topic and improve myself. I have nothing better to do.
I’m also thinking about learning a programming language, perhaps Ruby. Being able to create websites and complex features to go with them is very powerful. I’m excited about the possibilities.
I probably sound like some kind of delusional nut. I’m living in a van while hob nobbing with wealthy people and learning to program websites. What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.
I’ve found myself saying “two steps forward, one step back” to myself a lot lately. I am working hard to improve my life but my faults and mistakes feel like a tidal wave, threatening to overtake me sometimes. I’m going to have to rob Peter to pay Paul to cover that bad check I wrote. If I don’t I’m sure I will no longer be allowed to participate in this club I’ve joined. Let’s call it a business networking club. I might be the only free-sleeper in the world to participate in a club like this but maybe not. The people in the club are from many different cultures and they do stuff rich people do like golfing and sailing. They are high achievers too. One runs a bank he helped start and another is a physicist. Although I’ll admit I do try to hide Vinny (my van) when I go to my meeting, I don’t feel particularly intimidated by these folks. Still, I’m aware that I may never be more than a club member to them. I like a challenge and I love to learn new things so I’m going to stick around. I will hone my speaking skills and hopefully pick up better communications skills. I live in an affluent area and if I want to make good money, I need to learn to cater to affluence. Some will say I’m a sellout but I say I’m a survivor. If there are dark days ahead for the U.S. I want to be able to insulate my family from them, if at all possible.
I’m still having money problems but hanging in there. It’s making me a little more scrappy. Perhaps I’ll even have to do some trash surfing for bottles and cans. I hope not though.
If there’s a god, he hates my guts.
Realizing that I have screwed up my bank account and accidentally written a bad check makes me feel bad. I have BIG dreams for the future but I’m still getting hung up on baby nonsense.
It would be so easy and comfortable to quit trying to improve. The problem is, when you quit trying, generally things don’t stay the same, they get worse. And I don’t want to go lower than I already am. What? Sleep outside? What next? Alcohol to get through the day? Will I have to start panhandling to get enough alcohol? Sure I’m thinking of the worst case scenario but it COULD happen. If I can’t keep my van going and keep working…I’m not going to make it. FACT.
I’m a little afraid that in refusing to work three jobs and living in my van so that I can work in a way that satisfies me that I may have dug myself into a hole that I can’t get out of. What if homelessness becomes less of a choice. What if I am never housed again? I want to be able to make the choice.
Thanks again for listening.
I’ve been trying new things lately. I’ve been paying for services to help me learn new things. Today I found out I bounced a check for one of those things and I have to figure out how to fix it.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet but I’m realizing lately that one of the MAIN reasons I am a free-sleeper is because of a fear of failure. Sure, as I mentioned before, I don’t want to work three jobs, just to keep a roof over my head. BUT I’ve been realizing lately that there is more to this than meets the eye.
Because of a past failure, I have been afraid to invest too much mentally, physically or emotionally into new venture for fear it will all be for naught. Now, to be fair, the world has become more difficult economically and if you have scruples it is not the easiest thing in the world to make money, be very honest in how you make your living AND be NOT be completely stressed out.
Still, there ARE people who have done well, some even quite well, using their brains and trying until they succeed. They are my heroes. I’m especially interested in people who have succeed financial on virtually NO capital.
Anyway…the check. Ugh. Not the first time I’ve come up short. Another of my faults is being a slacker and not the cool kind. And for a while now I’ve been on a cash basis but slipped into writing checks/using ATM card again. The problem is, I forget to write the debits in my check register and I lose track.
SO, I can either just quit writing checks/using ATM or I can finally grow up and take care of my business.
It’s embarrassing to write about this. I KNOW that I am not the only one my age that has trouble with finances but it’s cold comfort to me. I know better. I should be better.
It’s good that I’m writing about it though. I’ve avoided my painful feelings about many things…for a long time. Time to get real.
Thanks for reading.