When I first started this adventure, I didn't really know what direction, precisely, it would take me in.
Oh… Almost forgot. The adventure I'm talking about is moving out of the house my girlfriend and I were living in and moving into an extended cargo van. Not an adventure for the faint of heart! 🙂
Let me backtrack a bit here.
Some Back Story
So, without going into a crazy amount of detail, I'll sum it up as best as I can. At 41, yes 41 years old, I've realized that life is simply too short to pursue anything else other than what it is I really want to be doing.
I've tried to work to just pay the bills and after years found myself completely miserable, depressed, and pretty much wanting to be anywhere else other than the jobs I worked, daily. I've ran a successful website and blog writing about a topic that I had an interest in for some time but then watched that interest fizzle out and the monthly income that website and blog was bringing in plummeted as well. You can click this blue underlined bunch of words to read about the lessons I learned from not blogging about your passion. Don't make the same mistake. 🙂
I went to college for years, might go back again; probably won't, just to find out that I really didn't want to complete the degree I was pursuing because, one, I eventually didn't want to get a job in the field I was studying (didn't know that in the beginning) and, two, it was going to end up costing much much more than it would be worth to finish.
Oh yea, I've got some nice student loan debt to pay back. Good times, great lessons… Seriously, though, don't go into college and borrow money unless you're sure that you're going to do something with your degree. Otherwise, get some books about the subjects you're interested in and learn about it on your own, for much less money! There's also plenty of amazing youtube videos, websites, and blogs out there that cover loads of topics. Unless you're looking to get that degree to get into a job, think twice!
Stressed and Unhealthy
So, after a whole lot of ups and downs in life that there's no way I can fit into a single blog post I found myself yet again slaving my ass off to just barely pay my rent and eat. On top of it, I was slaving my ass off in front of my computer which at least allows me to not have to show up somewhere every day to work and take abuse from ding dongs, but I was sitting in front of a computer all day long at 41 years old.
What I mean is that I was slowly gaining weight, again; something I've struggled with a lot in my life, and I imagine my overall health wasn't getting any better either. Now don't get me wrong; a big part of what I want to do now is to write, but I don't want to write stuff that doesn't inspire me, and I definitely don't want to write said stuff for pennies on the dollar.
Basically, I was working way too much for way too little, and my health was deteriorating as I sat in front of a computer stressing out about barely making the bills all day. In fact, we realized that soon we would have to be working 12 hours or more a day to just barely make our bills.
This brings me back to where I began.
We Moved Out of Our House and Into A Cargo Van
Most people probably wouldn't do it. Most probably wouldn't understand it. But I imagine there are some that would, and I bet some of them, maybe you, might be intrigued by the idea. I was. And then next thing you know I was doing it too.
Long story short, again, we sold almost everything we owned, except for what we'd need and wanted to keep with us in our cargo van, and we bought a GMC Savana extended cargo van. It took us a bit less than a month, working daily, to gut that sucker out, insulate it as much as we could afford to and as much as our time allowed us, build our own bed frame, put a pillow-top queen sized mattress on said bed frame (yes we roll like that; very comfortable), create a nice little drawer system around the bottom of the frame, clean our house out because we gave notice before we even got the van (yes we rolled like that; not so comfortable), and finish up all of the details of getting everything someone would need to actually live in a cargo van inside of city limits.
Camping will be fun once we can afford to do so. I don't know about you, but I've always dreamed of the kind of life where I can work from the road and move about as I will. I almost made it there once. Did it for roughly 6 months semi-successfully, but that's a completely different story. This is a new adventure. I've learned a lot from my previous experiences and living too far above your means doesn't work out very long.
My Initial Goals Were Simple
So, what started this wacky little idea?
Well, as I said above we had found ourselves in a place where we had to make a decision; continue to work at least 12 hours a day in front of our computers, not making much but not having to go to a regular 9 to 5 gig, or move into a cargo van where our bills wouldn't be nearly as much. I mean, I know we had other options, but none of them were anything we were wanting to do.
Ok… Most people probably wouldn't consider this an option but, to be honest, we're not most people, and I'm glad we're not. I kind of like being me. I'm still working on being 100% successful while being me, and I'm getting there. But, hey, this is my life and one day I'll be gone. I want to know that I did my damnedest to make it work the way I wanted to make it work. I don't want to be miserable my whole life just slaving away to get by. I want to be happy doing what I want to do to be happy. It might be the road less traveled but, really, I often wonder why.
Like I said above. Life's too short.
It may not always be glamorous, but it's the path I've chosen to walk. Speaking of walks…
It All Started During A Walk
One day during a walk, after I'd been watching loads of youtube videos with people living in their cargo vans, we threw the idea around, kind of halfheartedly at first. It didn't take us too long before we were starting to talk about what we'd do with our days if we actually decided to do it…
…and next thing you know we were plotting out the details about how to do this all within 30 days because we'd want to give notice as soon as possible so we could have as much money as possible in the beginning. It took us about an hour or so to make a major life-changing decision. Yes, I'm serious. Sometimes we roll like that. 🙂
Most people who hear we live in a cargo van probably think we're destitute and homeless. Not the case.
While it's true we haven't hit the big time yet by pursuing our passions, we've had some good times, and hard times too to be honest, but among all of these different times we're slowly learning. We are figuring out that what we really want to do is to live a life of our own making. I mean, we want to live a life spending our time doing the things we enjoy and love while making a living by doing so.
If I didn't tell you yet. I love to be chest-deep in spiritual, personal development, fear shedding, self-limiting belief shedding, yoga, mindfulness, learning how to love myself and others kind of stuff. Oh… and I love to write. There's more, but that kind of sums it up, briefly. That's the kind of stuff I'm going to be writing more of in The Living Journey blog. 🙂
Alright, so now you've got a bit of backstory. There's plenty more, but that's enough for the purpose of this blog post.
Right… So I'm 41 years old, and if you'd told me 20 years ago that I'd be doing this exact thing at my age I'd say you were full of it. But life takes you down many different roads and not all of them are roads you'd expect to find yourself on.
I'm happy to say that I chose to take this road, and while it's rough some days there are many times where I just feel so happy and free that I decided to walk my own path.
Right now I get to work on doing what I want to do with my life, and since we also happen to live on a pair of wheels I'm getting to visit family that I haven't been able to visit in years. There's no way I'd be able to afford the time and money to drive as far as we did to see some of the people we love the most.
The bonus: we get to sleep on our own bed; a queen sized pillow top mattress while we visit.
I don't know how long we'll be here, but I'm going to focus on enjoying the hell out of it as much as I can. Yes, I forget to do that all-too-often sometimes, and I need to remind myself that I didn't choose this life to stress out and be unhealthy. I could of just stayed right where I was if I wanted some more of that jazz.
My Career: Doing What Frees Me
Now that I know exactly what I don't want to do, I've made loads of room for what I do want to do. I just, tonight, fully realized what it means to follow your fun and passion and let the rest take care of itself. If I didn't learn this by now, I'd get to experience many more years, I'm sure, of things happening that kicked me in my rear to show me which way to go.
My freelance writing career is slowly picking up. That's right, I didn't talk about that.
I'm a budding freelance writer who aims to do it location independent, and I won't take no for an answer. 🙂
I also finally realized the direction I wanted to take The Living Journey blog in. That direction is towards my fun and passion. If I'm not having fun writing or I'm not writing about something I'm deeply interested in, here, that frees me while i write it, I won't write.
Who would of thunk it? Write about what actually interests me instead of focusing on writing about topics because I think they'll rank in a search engine. Been there, done that. It slowly drained the life out of me and wasn't fun. Again, life's too short for that.
I'm going to continue to write about topics that truly light my fire, here, and if I can light your fire in the process, that's awesome. 🙂
You can do the same, too, and you might not even have to move into a cargo van to make it happen.
If you're feeling all jammed up in life and you know you aren't doing what you love, take a closer look and, even if it's part-time at first (Bills have got to be paid; I know), start feeling out how you might be able to start making a career out of doing the things that free you and that you truly enjoy.
There's nothing wrong with living an inspired life. You might even inspire others to do the same. I hope I do.