The past weeks have taken me in a circular tour of the States: Tacoma, WA to Lebanon, TN to Kansas City, MO to somewhere I forget the name of in Iowa, back to Los Angeles, CA, and now up to Portland, OR (via Troutdale, OR) and tomorrow back up to Tacoma, WA. I have finally become confidant enough in my driving to relax a bit and take in my surroundings. I think it was today that it really hit me the hardest as I drove past Mt. Shasta in Northern California…this is my job. I drive, listening to good music, with an ever changing view out my “office” window that rivals the most posh corner office in any corporate building anywhere. I have gone from working in the basement (the window-less basement) at a government office job (though I admit it was very satisfying) to working (if you can call it that) behind the steering wheel of truck whose windows look out on more scenery in a week than many people see in their lifetime. If money mattered, I might add that I am making about the same pay as I did at my office job. Not to mention the perks – No dress code. No politics. Work at your own pace, so long as the work gets done on time. Tired? Pull over and take a nap. Jealous yet? Wait 'till you see the pictures.
Granted, this life isn't for everyone. It's like being on tour minus the concerts. I am still adjusting. The first week was really hard. I wasn't sure I would make it. I lived the first week not knowing when or where I would drive, eat, sleep, pee, or shower next left me feeling clausterphobic. I slept with all my belongings crammed into my bunk with me (many I was discovering I really didn't need, while I desperately needed some items I failed to bring along) and I never seemed to have time to get my bearings, figure out what I needed and continue. Always moving. Meanwhile loose ends I left back home were still not tied up, deadlines were aprouching, late fee's accumulating etc. I felt like I was suffocating, drowning, stranded, and lost all at once.
The good news is this feeling didn't last. I passed a breaking point somewhere along the line and things began to change. It felt like learning to swim (I wonder how many people remember what that felt like?) Now I am driving confidentally, getting food when I need it (even if my trainer only eats once or maybe twice a day…crazy…still don't know how he can do that), getting used to sleeping when I need to, and very much looking forward to having my own truck and not having to worrie about all this stuff anymore. Just 80 hours of drive time to go! Then I get my own place. This is more of a releaf than moving out of my parents house for the first time.
That's about it for now – I promise I will get some actual trucker stories in here soon.