In the midst of the economic fallout of 2007, I found myself seeking employment without a college degree or significant work experience in any given field. Mounting debt and the impending consequences of not having an income prepared me to consider options I might otherwise have spurned. Ironically, this state of affairs led me to the best job I’ve ever had.
I enrolled at a local truck driving school with no idea how I was going to pay for it, but with assurances from the administration that something would work out. After a couple enlightening and harrowing months I had my commercial driver license (CDL) and several job offers. I moved out of my apartment, sold all my stuff and hit the road. By the end of the year I was making money driving cross country with all my debts settled (including my tuition).
The nomadic lifestyle has come with its perks and challenges. The work itself is both serene and maddening. The learning curve is steep and most mistakes have dire consequences; there is however great satisfaction in it and the rewards are immediate and tangible. As a musician and artist I find driving itself to be inspiring and meditative, and I find time on the road to be useful for contemplation, enjoying audiobooks and music, and planning my next creative endeavor.
Moving around the country has also reconnected me with family and friends I might not have visited otherwise, while at the same time making it a challenge to foster close relationships. I’ve lost touch with a lot of people while gaining new appreciation for any who I’m still fortunate enough to call my friend.
Managing my health has been anything but easy. The job involves entire days of sitting and nutritious food is hard to come by. I’ve also acquired an assortment of callouses and scars, seen the inside of hospitals in four different states, gained and lost over 60 lbs, and acquired a bit more gray hair than seems reasonable. I have learned a great deal about the importance of self-care in the process and am more determined than ever to cultivate a healthy body and mind.
Overall I’d say these years have been the best of my life thus far. I’ve gained some wisdom, come to know and appreciate myself and my loved ones and had a lot of fun along the way. The scenery wasn’t bad either. I’m excited to share my continuing adventures and see what else this crazy life has in store.