Coffee Fueled Ramble

I’m almost going to free associate for a while to maybe get to what’s REALLY on my mind…hopefully it won’t be too much of a ramble.

It’s been colder at night here lately but I’m really loaded up with blankets so I haven’t suffered. This is the time of year that I feel really, really sorry for the homeless who don’t have even a vehicle to sleep in.  Even the homeless people who irritate me have my sympathy right now.  I can’t imagine sleeping outside in this cold.  I know I feel dreary myself when it’s a cold night and all the coffeeshops and libraries are closing down for the night and I have to go to my cold lonely bed.  It must be even worse when you don’t even have a bed or a roof over your head. It’s been going good having two vehicles.  The car is the daily transportation and the van is for sleeping.  There’s pretty much nothing but blankets in the van.  The trunk of the car is my closet, more or less.  The front of the car is clean and pretty clutter free.  It’s no more cluttery than a housed person’s car.  I have found that even with my storage unit being closer, I don’t like going there too often as I had planned.  It’s just one more “thing to do” that I don’t want to do. That said, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, in this world, if you want to have a good life, there’s really no getting around having to do a bunch of things you don’t want to do.  I guess I thought living in a van would be a lot easier because I wouldn’t have to keep a house clean and worry about rent.  BUT it hasn’t always been easy keeping the van clean because of privacy issues and I still have certain things I have to pay for.  This means I still have to work.  And if I have to work, I have to look presentable.  And looking presentable isn’t always easy if you can’t afford dry cleaning and you can’t iron your clothes.  I haven’t figured out a cheap way (that works) to hang my clothes in the storage.  The racks I’ve devised always fall down.  So I have to worry about wrinkles.  I’m getting better at buying clothes that don’t wrinkly too easily though.

Anyway…if I didn’t work, I’d have to run around all day just to get fed for free and where  would I get money to keep my car street legal and gassed etc? So you see, we all pretty much have to work, in one way or another, just to get our daily bread.  Might as well do my BEST work and actually try to “get ahead” a little, as they say. So, I am advancing with my business.  It makes me a little nervous because I don’t feel like I know what I am doing all the time but I compensate by giving 110% to my clients in terms of my time and information.  And whatever I don’t know, I look up.  That’s something I’ve done my whole life…become an expert on whatever my current obsession is.  I just need to make it PROFITABLE for a change.   I also try to behave very professionally, responding quickly to phone calls and texts etc.

I still don’t have a strong desire to live in a sticks and mortar home.  At least not in the daytime.  Sometimes at night I do, when I just want to hang out somewhere without having to spend money.  Especially when it’s cold outside.  Now I have the car at least and it has a good heater.  The van hasn’t had a heater since I’ve owned it. So if I have a lot of money someday, instead of getting into a home, I will probably just continue to keep the vehicles running etc.  I will also store canned food and such, in case of emergency.  The big news recently is that the Chinese aren’t going to be propping up the US Dollar much longer.  This may have disasterous consequences for the US so it won’t hurt to have some extra stores of food in case suddenly food is very, very costly. BUT if it appears they are running homeless people out of my town or worse, rounding them up and putting them somewhere(!) as I mentioned in my last blog post, I will have to find SOME sort of housing.  I love my freedom and I’m not a drug addict or mentally ill or I wouldn’t be able to do some of the things I’ve done so I don’t need to be rounded up.  I wonder if the woman a while back who offered my housing in another city was unwittingly a part of this effort to get people off the street.  I’m aware though that one person’s “FEMA Camp” is another person’s salvation, getting them off the street and fed.  It’s just not for me, at this point.

Sometimes I wonder what my life will look like in 5 years.  Assuming the US hasn’t DRASTICALLY changed, (and it might) will I still be a bit financially challenged and living in a van?  Will I still be in this state or will I follow my daughter to wherever she ends up after she graduates?  OR will I be so successful with my business that I rent a nice place in a nice neighborhood and live like a normal person?  It feels like a bit of a stretch.  I would have to make a LOT more money than I’m making now.  I would have to pay for advertising…which takes money in order to get enough clients to make it work.  I will have to be much more expert at what I do, so I can charge more. For now though, it’s enough to advertise for free and get a little business and make my little money and learn my trade.  People who do well at my trade can make $50-$100 an hour (although you probably won’t work 40 hours a week due to travel between clients) so this is like school for me…although I am not paying cash for it-per se…I’m paying with my time and perhaps “lost opportunity costs” as they say.  The nice thing is, because I don’t have to worry about housing costs, I can go at my own pace.  And my pace is pretty slow!

Sometimes when I’m having a hard day, I remind myself that my life before was harder mentally for me.  I was in office environments, often with people who were not very nice!  I can see why the work world is often called a rat race because a lot of people DO act like rats and it IS a race or competition on a daily basis. I’m still in competition with the other people in my field who do what I do but I don’t have to deal with nastiness very often.  I had a little bit recently but it was just some stranger on the internet and I learned from it and moved on.  I didn’t even respond to the person who delivered the nastiness/message.  When I worked with other people, I had to deal with it everyday with no end in sight. So I still have no regrets about the life I have chosen.  I just will push myself a little harder because having more money is very useful for storing food, keeping vehicles going and any other things I want to do.  So far I have been moderately successful with my business so there’s no reason to hang back. Well if you are still reading, I thank you and I hope my coffee fueled ramble made sense.  I just wanted to update you all on my current situation and frame of mind.  Frame of mind is everything.  Mind over matter is crucial sometimes!

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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4 Responses to Coffee Fueled Ramble

  1. Ryu says:

    Things should slowly get worse. There must be some little tricks you could use. Maybe buy one of those store chickens then put it under the blankets. That’d warm them up.

    You’ll be doing alright in 5 years. Just keep expanding your client list to account for people moving or leaving you.

  2. Maureen says:

    Oh my gosh, that’s funny! So use the hot chicken to warm up my blankets then eat it in the morning?!?!?!

    Probably not a bad idea!

  3. Erin says:

    Have you ever seen Chico’s Travelers clothing in thrift shops? I have a dress, couple pair of pants, shirts, and a skirt that I bought at Goodwill that are Chico’s Travelers and they are designed not to hold wrinkles. I don’t do dry cleaning or ironing and I think I look nice at work. You might try that if you come across one.

    To stay warmer, you could try sleeping in a stocking cap. That’s what my husband and I do. We live in a house but don’t want to waste money by keeping the heat up high. Good luck, wishing you the best in your adventure.

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