Life happens fast. So fast that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. It doesn’t help that the speed that it happens is the same speed that it happens to everyone (at about 1 second every second) so it feels like you’re failing at life while all the other people really seem to have it put together.
The secret is that we all suck at life in some way, but some of us are better at hiding it. The ones who are best at hiding it become leaders, and then everyone else admires their ability to hide it, thinking it’s their ability to deal with it, but forever deluded that they themselves can’t get to that level of awesome.
But, like I said, that level of awesome is simply a matter of appearance. Sure, there are productivity tricks, laziness prevention tricks, tubby-fatty-removing tricks. However, most people simply praise the consequences of things and don’t realize how much steady unrelenting work it takes to attain something.
Tomorrow, I’ll be heading off to truck driving academy with Swift. The recruiter I talked to has arranged for the academy to be paid entirely by the company, and after getting my written CDL (commercial driver’s license) permit I’m on the fast-track to Paidville.
Change is a universally hard experience for most people, but does become easier over time. The support we can glean from others also helps. However, the looming dread from my change-ophobic parents partly invalidates the affirmations my Shnooky Toobers and several other friends have expressed.
The stereotype of a long-haul truck driver is a pretty well-known one, and my parents imply that I will fit that stereotype perfectly as soon as I start: staying in one place only long enough for a one-night stand, losing any form of physique as I blob up on junk food and soda, having the social skills of a half-feral raccoon as I lose touch with all of humanity and finally drive off into the sunset until I dissolve in a fading of broken dreams and worthlessness.
Since my imaginary phantoms of the past are haunting me, I’ll share a few rebuttals for the buttals being thrown my way:
“You won’t make it; you’ll quit this job like all the others.”
Maybe so, but if I stick with it for 4 months after only 1 month of training, then I have the advantage of it paying for itself. Besides, I’ve always wanted my Class A license and it allows us to upgrade in the future to a much larger box-on-wheels, since a bus-sized box is roomier than something a normal driver’s license can haul around.
“But Greg, you’re smarter than this! Why don’t you do something more…analytical?”
Well, apparently being analytical doesn’t hire right now. Also, it doesn’t seem to pay as much. Right now I can make $55,000 a year or more doing truck driving, which is more than I’d be making if I had studied and passed a newly minted CPA certification! I’m sure you’d agree that the smartest thing right now is to follow the money, especially when my Snubby Tummers and I like being able to pay bills and eat. Keeping me close to my family is good, but no income on either of our ends is a government check away from trailer trash.
“But isn’t truck driving an unglamorous job? Shouldn’t that accounting degree take you farther?”
I put this idea in more detail on the Philosopher Accountant, but suffice to say I don’t believe that a college degree is as relevant as the expertise it provides. Seeing as how the accounting industry finds my adventurous and bold personality a bit off-putting, I’ll take my talents elsewhere. However, I know I’m not the only one who’s doing this sort of thing.
“So how are you going to keep your brain sharp? You’re constantly learning and making blogs, and truck drivers don’t do that!”
It’s simple, really. When I’m on the road, I intend to read the hundreds of books I’ve wanted to read, mostly those “classic works” that everyone praises and nobody reads. If it’s got an audio book version of it, I can “read” it.
Also, while I’m undistracted, it’s a perfect time for me to pump out the dozen or so book ideas I’ve been bouncing around in my head for a few years. Those Flying J truck stops have Wi-Fi now!
“But you’ll have all that time alone! How will you cope? How will your wife cope?”
Unlike the truck driver of the 50’s, the USA now has a gigantic cellular telephone network spread across the continent. Though there are spotty parts, phone signal can still come in across much of the country. My Gooey Dumplings and I intend to keep each other updated on all the things that happen in both our lives as we both set off on these respective adventures.
Also, my Honey Nummers won’t be alone. Right now as we speak, the owners of the property we live on have finally been able to come home and live on it again, meaning that she’s got awesomesauce neighbors. Also, we have multiple friends that want to hold Kiwi and make funny faces at him, so my Quickly Sticklers is a high-demand commodity.
“So how are you going to not become fat-fat-tubby-large-fat? Truck driver diets are not healthy, and you’re already a big guy!”
My career ambition is still to become a transportation officer in the Army, and that requires hefting away another 45 lbs of weight. Since I have a deadline of about 4 years, I’ve got to hustle! My Honey Yay-Yay and I will create a nice list of “approved truck stop foods”, and I won’t deviate from that list, and will start PT once I learn the ropes/tie-downs.
Haters are still gonna hate, and the secret to life is to treat it like an overworked vacuum repairman: pay attention to what you absolutely must work with, but otherwise avoid the ones that suck the most and be more familiar with the ones that suck the least.