Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a guide to becoming a truck driver, part one. why.

We are all struggling to exist. To find a way to provide ourselves with basic needs, and if we're lucky enough, more than just the basic necessities.

Finding a balance in this struggle is I think where most of us get caught up.  Some of us have too little, some have too much. Some of us choose to spend all of our time working with no time in life to really take pleasure in our own existence. Some of us work too little and lose the appreciation of simple pleasures by indulging in them incessantly.

Now, maintaining this balance must also fit into larger time-of-life planning.  For example, I plan to begin having children no later than my early thirties, so I have to think about my necessities now, and how they will change, and how to maintain order in all of this.

I have personally made the choice to be physically around my children while I am raising them, so I cannot have a career or any sort of employment for more than part-time hours.  Since this will translate into less money, I have to be able to provide for myself things that I would have bought with money but can produce using another resource I will have: time.  I must learn to grow food, mend clothing, milk animal(s), preserve food, cook, plan, cut wood, etc.

This comes back to a basic point that I have been thinking about a lot lately - the idea that you have to have a job where you get paid and work 40 hours a week and commute and wear a blouse and heels is a lie. You don't have to have a job your whole life. No one is making you work.

Work equals money which equals groceries, clothes, rent, cars, vacations, jewelry, etc. Everyone has the ability to strip their lives of all unnecessary things, learn to provide themselves with a good chunk of their own necessities for living, and then work very little or barter for the rest. Why more people don't choose this life is a whole other sociological/anthropological can of worms.  Suffice it to say here that it is a possibility, a life choice.

It became clear to me, however, that in order for this existence to go along as planned, I must first have a home and some land on which to carry out this little pastoral fantasy. And unfortunately this is not the old country where parents passed on a dowry or some land onto their children which they use to begin their life. This is America. Each of us must make our own way. So, I've gotta find the capital to procure this most basic of necessities, a roof over my head.

Again, let me emphasize that taking out debt in order to get a mortgage is not an option in my scenario. I do not want to be forced to work when I could be spending time with my children or tending my garden, so I will not be a slave to a bank, who could force me to do just that. I must own land and a home outright for my life to be what I consider balanced.

So that puts me here, in a truck stop in El Paso, TX, feeling the hum of the engine, crouching on the top bunk of my trainer's truck, musing about the necessities of balance and order in life. This is where I begin my ravenous scrounging for savings that I can put towards my idyllic creation. Working now so I don't have to later.

Now that's the why. Next time on the how.


String said...

you can also become a pro will give you all those things you want in this post.

Avitalphoto said...

I am a photographer and have none of those things. Every job is hard and takes time, commitment, sacrifice and compromises for somethings to have others, it is veeery hard to make a living as a photographer and I have a variety of photography related jobs.

Shari Weiss said...

Hi Ashley. Nice piece. I actually have a blog about being woman and becoming a trucker. It called The Adventures of Trucker Grrl in Myspace. I am also pursuing a Phd while I experience life on the road. Been at it two years now...and its been amazing. I recommend this path to any woman looking for a challenge and wanting to grow as a person.