Friday, March 23, 2012

What's My Dream Life?

I've been thinking about how I would want to live my life, if I could live it in any way I so desired.

There are more ideas bouncing around in my head than I can count, but if I could narrow it down...

It would be living in a travel trailer, as a minimalist, thriving off of my own writing.

Yes, I would have one of my best buds there with me, and we would go off and travel every cranny and corner of whatever interested us in California. I would continue striving to achieve my dreams, of which many would come true through this lifestyle. I would have to drop a few others dreams, though. I think I could live with that.

I have to ask myself though, could I really live in a travel trailer?

It's smaller than what I've ever lived in before. I'd have to get rid of quite a bit of my stuff, too... But really, stuff has always been my issue. Stuff has always gotten in my way. Spending time where I feel it is most needed, doing what I want to do in my spare time. I'd like the stuff to go away and begin my life anew. Without all the extra baggage.

Normally I keep stuff because it has sentimental value, or because someone I love gave it to me... And I know I will never forget the treasured feeling the person gave to me, but do I really need to keep a jacket my grandmother gave me that I never wear? Or a little statue my father gave me years ago?

Some of it, yes, is important to keep. There are just things I'm not ready to give up yet, I may never be able to... But the rest...what is the rest?

Is it all just another obstacle to surpass? One more step to take in an effort to continue my journey?

And I've never been one to share my personal space well, it's just something I've had to grow through as I myself grew. I'm still learning how to better share the space around me. Would I truly be able to conquer that problem and live with someone in such confined quarters?

I'd like to think that I can. I'd like to think that the person I've decided to live with accepts me for my little quirks, both good and bad. And that they'll understand when I decide to be off on my own, just enjoying my introverted personality. I've always enjoyed my own company first and foremost and I like it that way.

Besides the problem with giving away my things and having less space, I guess I would also have to deal with a less than secure environment.

I love the feeling of safety I have out in the middle of the orchards where I dwell. The tossling of the leaves in the singing wind and the calls of the coyotes are the only things I need worry about here. Could I give up that comfort for a life of travel? Constantly moving and facing what nature and humanity decides to send my way?

I'd like to think I can, eventually. And with my luck eventually will come faster than I expect.

I want to take my chances and defy the life that I've been leading, chasing down adventures in my imagination and ruing the life I currently allow myself to live. I want to get out there and take a few risks, ones I wouldn't dare think of commiting to three years ago.

So where will I be in three more years? What will have changed about me and my dreams?

What about life in three months from now?

I've been thinking, dreaming...hoping.

I've made some hard decisions.

I'm changing my life.

I'm going for it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vehicle Crime: Please Protect Yourself!

Yesterday evening was, by all definitions, unnerving.
We were in the restaurant no more than an hour when it took place, but after my friend and I walked back out to our respective vehicles we had no idea we’d be there a few more hours. In all actuality he had gotten off lucky, but as my friend walked stiffly over to my truck his face was filled with tranquil fury.
Someone had knocked out the locks on his truck doors, broken the driver side handle and had attempted to hotwire his truck.
 My jaw dropped.
It really was one of those times that I actually thought to myself: “What the heck!? We go here all the time! It can’t happen to us! At least not here!”
But it did, right on the corner of the parking lot and in broad daylight, albeit rainy daylight. And so far we’re not sure what they stole, but if they did steal anything my friend’s insurance won’t be covering it.
Sometimes we end up being the unlikely, but unlucky victims of events such as these and like I said, it could have been worse. We could have walked out to no vehicle, period. I just wanted to take a moment to give out a few tips that I try to follow and that I learned from the officer who came out to file the police report.

Ladies and Lads, please remember…
Keep the minimum amount of personal identification information in your vehicle. Identity theft is a big issue right now and the police officer couldn’t emphasize this enough.
Do not leave anything of value out and on the car seats or floorboards. It’s just one window smash away from being snatched away.
If you’re the type of person who likes to sit in your vehicle while in a parking lot to eat or to take a call remember to lock your doors and keep your windows up half way.
Always lock your vehicle up, no matter where it’s parked. Which obviously means: Never walk away from your vehicle while it’s running! Don’t do it, even if you’ll be gone no more than a minute.
While returning to your vehicle keep your eyes peeled for anyone following you or watching your movements. You’re your own first line of defense against someone foolish enough to try and harm you.
If you keep pepper spray on yourself, keep it within reach! Pepper spray will do you no good if you have to spend precious time searching for it. I advise, wherever you go, if you feel even the slightest inkling of a threat or if it’s getting dark to keep it in your hand, ready to go.
Report anything happening to yourself or your vehicle to the police, insurance company and the store or restaurant you’ve just left asap. If you’re lucky, the store or restaurant might have security cameras and if not you may be the deciding factor in getting some installed.
I hope everyone does their best to protect themselves from preventable crimes. If you have any other words of advice, please comment them.
Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Living For The Purpose Of The Present

How much time do we spend living in the past? Mulling on old memories and previously lodged emotions? And how much time do we take out of our day dreaming about the future? Projects we've yet to undertake or prospects we've only begun to consider? I found out that I do both quite frequently and have been striving to break this annoyingly fortified habit.

Unfortunately, and as many others have learned, it isn't an easy task to undertake. As a dreamer I'm frequently in my own little world, creating vast expanses of imaginary worlds and building on them with characters, dramas and the like. I enjoy doing this, I'm a writer after all, and what better to spend my days doing than envisioning new ideas and realities to enjoy and share with others?

But what about the rest of the time? I continuously chide myself, noting how often I decide to relive an event I didn't enjoy in an effort to figure out what went wrong. Or perhaps I take the time to go over a conversation I plan to have with someone, which may or may not happen at all. I do these things constantly, becoming the worrier that I promised myself I wouldn't inherit from my mother's side.

Tell me, does this sound at all like you?

And what really interests me? When we try to come back to the present and stay long does it take for our minds to begin to wander?

I've tested myself over the course of a commute home.

I didn't even last a minute.

That's sad.

But that is exactly the reality I face, a very difficult realty I'm striving to change.

So, how exactly can I change it? It starts with practice, as all things do when we want to shake up our lives. And what exactly is the practice? The practice is spelling! Yes, that's right, spelling.

Sounds easy? Not when the next step is spelling the word backwards.

I chose "Mindful" for my first word, ironically. And so on my way home I was spelling the word forwards and then "Lufdnim", which pretty much kept my attention focused on the road and on the word. It was pretty interesting, noting the results.

I did this over and again until I noticed my thoughts wandering again, upon which I would select a new word. It was fun, easy to do and helped me remember a few words I'd forgotten how to spell.