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And Then Some

My last post, published a few weeks back was called from nothing to something. The post contains much valuable information for anyone that is struggling with rebuilding their lives and looking to build from a place of need. A few weeks ago, I was face to face with having to build from nothing once again. The frustration that accompanies facing the same problems again and again is either crushing or motivational. When you have nothing, being crushed can be an extremely dangerous thing because when you think you’re at rock bottom, any worse than that and you might find yourself dead. As is always the case, I write these articles not only to help others but also to help myself. I hope that you can find value in my attempts to sort myself out.

First things first, I don’t have nothing and certainly have more than many. I have two hands and two feet, a mostly functioning brain and the ability to speak. And so, I looked at myself and figured out what I can do to get where I need to go. I knew that I needed to get stable in a way that would allow me to progress in the direction that I needed to progress. Here in Seattle the job-hunting process was harder than I expected but at one point it becomes a numbers game and depends on how many resumes you can dish out. For every 10 resumes I sent, I would get less than one phone call in return, and that was resumes where I would put in the research and write a long cover letter. Maybe I need to update my resume or maybe my work history is catching up with me. At this point in my life getting a job is taking some work but eventually I landed just the job I was looking for. I landed a job selling cars for Subaru.

This is possibly the first job that I am putting in full time hours and not working for myself. For the first few weeks this was useful and I made it through my first two weeks on spending less than fifty bucks which I ended up needing to spend on work clothes and gas for the car. There is much that I need to learn and I have been hitting it as hard as I can. Fortunately, I have experience in door to door sales making this car thing a breeze. When on the door people tell you to “get the fuck off my door.” Here at the dealership they come to you say “Hi, I’d like to purchase a car.” Selling cars is easy and I have already sold three. It’s managing the relationships with my coworkers that I have a problem with.

There has been an old dog that has been following me for my entire life and that is some sort of social awkwardness that now, at age 26 has become a real problem. I find that in group situations, especially the situations that matter the most, I can’t find anything to say. I used to think that it was social anxiety but with my all my experience in meditation I can crush most anxieties within moments. I now am rethinking how to handle my emotions in these social situations. Part of me thinks that I should chill out to the max, but I want to speak and be a part of what people are doing. This social stuntedness is possibly the biggest demon of my life right now and something that many people don’t understand about me when they get to know me. Some people never see it and many people believe me to be someone to look up to when it comes to social situations. I hope that with a healthy bit of money this problem will go away but sometimes I don’t know.

This post has been something of a soap box but I write these posts to sort myself out. Maybe there is someone that will read that may have some advice or maybe you can relate to my story and feel less alone. The idea behind this blog to find the social connection and the wisdom that can be shared between one another. If you know anything that might help, please let me know. I am open to learning we just need to meet halfway.

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Wake up call- From nothing to something

For any of you that have been keeping up with the blog and that may have read my last post, it ended with me heading down the coast doing gansta shit with a guy that I picked up in northern Cali on the weed farm. Maybe an hour after publishing that last post I learned that my partner had bailed on me with all my product as well as my cell phone and computer. I ended up having to pawn a camera just to get back to Seattle where I would be able to make a living once again. It was rough to learn but a good lesson. I know now better than ever that I need to keep to my own path and not let others dissuade me away from what I know is right. It was for sure a setback to have someone close to me like that do so much harm but here I am now back in Seattle and working my ass of for the next big thing.

Now I am back to the city life and what I know well. I have next to nothing and it is time to start to build which is one of my favorite places to be. I find myself more motivated and less distracted than when I have stability and for this reason I love where I am at. It’s the times that I have my basic need covered and I slip back into old habits that I wish to destroy everything and start all over again once more. There are no real start overs however. I cannot put aside all the faults that karma will not let me ignore but what’s more is that I have learned so much over the years making it much easier to go to the place that I want to be. I have vision and at the present I am working very hard to fulfill that vision.

To anyone that is going through something of the same I will now make a list of all the little useful things that I have learned while making my way from nothing to something here in Seattle.

Get some food stamps

-You may feel like living off the government is not something your parents raised you for but if you really have nothing then the food stamps program is for you. Literally, it’s built to help people who are struggling to get back on their feet and all it takes is a visit to the office in order to apply. The same day that you walk in you can walk out again with something like $180 per month. This can be key to getting your spending down to 0 so that you can save everything for dream fulfillment. The food stamps office is located here 2106 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. Check it out.

The Compass Center

-Another huge resource for me was a mail deliver program. Not having a house I needed to find a place where I could get mail. The Compass Center of Seattle was exactly that place. I am not sure if I would recommend this over the post office (I never tried the post office) because there are almost always long lines filled with many people that are mumbling under their breath. Still, if you need mail this is a place that can do exactly that. I use this place as my address when filling out business forums and applying for jobs and such. There are other resources there too like housing if you’re really in a pickle. Its located right by the water front here 77 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle Pedicabs

– This will be the easiest way to make money fast. All it takes is to walk into the office, find the phone number of whoever is running Seattle Pedicabs and then give them a call. They can get you on a bike and making cash within hours potentially. If you’re not working an event or on the weekends the money can be fairly terrible, but it’s better than nothing. I have seen many people roll into a pedicab office with nothing with the intent on making back to something. So much so that I would even say it’s the pedicab way for some. The phone number I found online is this (206) 708-1726. The office is located is Sodo just south of the stadium right by Krispy Kreme on Occidental. It’s a small garage door that is open when people are working there. Good luck. Do not tell them that you found out about pedicabs through this blog. That would get me in hella trouble.

 

Other than those tips there I can’t say much else of what might help. There are a few shelters around town that might be able to help with work, photo i.d. and maybe even sleeping arrangements. The sad part about this blog is that most of the people that really need to help I am advocating for do not have the ability to do so. I don’t know what it would take to lift the helpless out of their position but maybe this will do something for someone.

Gangsta from the Emerald Triangle

The Emerald Triangle

Every year hippies and vagabonds travel from all over the country for trim season in Northern California. For a few weeks or a few months thousands of trimmers trim weed from morning until night in something of a hippy concentration camp. Farms pay anywhere from $100 or even up to the fabled $300 per pound. In either case the job is similar to something you would find in an eastern sweatshop. Long hours, near zero job security, virtually no skill development, and a job so mind numbing that only those so high that they cant see the pot forest through all the smoke are willing to do it.

I apologies to all those who feel that trimming is one of the greatest gifts to the lower class known to man and I must admit that if you are an illegal immigrant or cant find work doing anything else then yes, trimming weed is the perfect job for you. Not for me. In this post I will be going through my life coming away from the Emerald Triangle and the type of thing that you get into, not when you trim weed but when you sell it.

My journey started off about two weeks ago. I was living in a Subaru in Seattle working as a pedicaber making ends meet one day at a time. An old friend I knew way back from my Hawaii days gave me a call and said that he needed some help with his harvest. Something about the timing of the phone call gave me some sort of spiritual vibes and so I left Seattle without a second thought. Looking back I am a bit frightened at how far away from reason this call pulled me. It was not as if there was anything holly about my friend but in any case I left without a second thought.

I found two riders on Craigslist that helped with the gas money on the way down. They both turned out to be super awesome people and I was able to learn from them the entire ride down. Spent a night in Portland and then arrived in North Cali the following night. The town that I was to meet my friend was way up in the mountains and I could not find a place where my phone could connect and so had to drive a few (30) miles back from where I came from just to get in contact with my friend. We were eventually able to meet up and he was able to show me the world that he had been living in sense we last talked way back on the island of Maui.

Up in the mountains without service everyone was as hippy as it gets, some sort of trailer person, or reder than redneck; brown neck if you will. Without phones we spent most of our time running from house to house making deals and straitening out our shit before we bounced town, which didn’t take long for us to do. In a place where there is so much weed and no money, everyone owed someone else some money. I don’t think that we got our shit perfectly strait before leaving because as we were leaving we got chased down by a dump truck that chased us down the exit road at top speed. The only reason we made it out alive was because the truck owner was a felon and driving on the public highway would have been a huge risk for him. We only barely made it to the main road but we were off. We had no money but a fuck-ton of weed and we were hitting it off like two crazed bats finding a new mountain for the first time.

Its been four days sense we were chased down by the truck. Its been a super slow and chill journey. In just about every town we pass through we stop and try and sell weed to anyone that will have some. Because of how slow we are rolling its a great way to explore the state. Selling weed is getting much easier the further away from North Cali we get. This type of life has been gangster shit the entire way too. More gangster than I am used to handling in my everyday life.

The first night we were parked waiting for a friend to get home when a girl that looked homeless asked us for a cigarette. She didn’t look harmless at all and we asked if she wanted to smoke some weed with us. She denied us and walked away. Just down the road we saw her get into a Cadillac and drive away. My friend got sketched out and told me to get in the car and drive. Just as I had pulled out of my parking spot the Cadillac came around the corner and someone held a strobe light out the window so that I could not make out who was in the car. “Got weed bitch” I heard someone say. In less than 5 minutes we were miles away from that spot and not about to go back.

The next night we traded some bud for a little thing called Lucy. We were in a college town and were able to climb the homeless hierarchy with extreme efficiency. Around noon we were talking to street kids at their pick-neck spot, by midnight that same night we were talking with what appeared to be an ordained hippy shaman who claimed that he was three hands down from the laying of the acid. Maybe it was the acid but I was super impressed with our short work in that town.

In Cali the weed laws have changed drastically in the past few years. You can legally carry up to 28 grams and if this law is broken it’s similar to a traffic ticket in that there is no jail time. Still, it is illegal to sell and today we had our first encounter with the police. My friend ran and all the cops chased him. He was able to ditch the weed before the cops caught him but still put behind bars. At this point in our journey we are balling and so he was able to pay his own bail and we are still rolling our way down to SoCal. Lucky.

We take each day at a time and the beginning of our trip was a struggle but now I feel that we are strait kicking ass. I cant say how long I will stay with this type of lifestyle. It doesn’t suit me as well as something where I keep my head lower but its new and exciting. The payoff is huge and I might just stick with it until shit goes a little crazier. Who can say? Not me. Maybe future me can. Stay tuned and I will let you know.

-Cheers mates

Elves live here

I never level capped in the world or warcraft, but I did get to explore and played until maybe the level of 40. I remember playing as an ork shaman and so started off my Wow life in Draenor. I made my way through the world of war-craft just as I am making my way around the USA. The are many parallels between America and Wow. Draenor is Colorado, the land of the dead is obviously New Orleans, Minnesota the dwarven realm, and now here in Seattle I have finally found the land of the elves.

If you look all people that fall under the label of “hippy” you might find a type of hierarchy. Most bums and riff raff here in America will call themselves hippies just because of their openness to new ideas and their convenient socialist ideals. As you climb the hierarchy, hippies become more disciplined and are often found practicing yoga and living a vegan lifestyle. At the very top of the hierarchy some hippies have taken to living in self sustaining tree houses much like the wood elves in Lord of the Rings.

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This type of life is something that I have been seeking for a long time and living here in Seattle has already started to effect my lifestyle in many ways. I have started the vegetarian diet and might send it to the vegan thing here soon and then yoga begins this next week. There is so much from my past that must die and even more in my future that has yet to be born and mature. The fear of falling back into old paths is abound but if not for perfection then what else could we aim for.

A friend of mine has come to me with a business proposition. He has asked me to go in with him in the business of flipping buses. The basics are that we take an old bus and turn it into a quality home for rich people to live out of. The idea of doing my own business and creating for myself is everything I could have wanted. They guy that I would be going into business is my opposite and I might even go so far as to consider him one of the dark order, organizer and leader of goblins, but something more of a man himself. The perfect antithesis of a high elf and everything I could want out of a co-creator.

The reason for writing this paper is to get my thoughts in order so that I can plan effectively for the future. The west coast is everything I could have dreamed of but staying here would mean delaying my dreams of world travel for a considerable amount of time. The risk would be great and I would be putting everything I have into this venture. If something were to go wrong I would be back at rock bottom for sure. A winter spent here in Seattle would be miserable, though a sacrifice that I would not be unwilling to commit. I would be living on a bus that I would also building and converting. I would not have a car. Transportation would be by bicycle and in a city where it rains about 150 days out of the year, most of which are in the winter, it would be quite the sacrifice.

On the other hand, there is the entire coast to explore and even still Australia looms in the distance. A trip down the coast in my Subi followed by a flight to Hawaii and then another jump to Australia and I am back on my world traveler plan. High end potential could be this blog taking off, online business, bartending, and all those side projects that I am constantly focused on. This plan doesn’t give me the knock my socks off business opportunity that I am looking for and so I am swayed to stay in Seattle but my confidence comes from holding back on commitment and waiting to see what thoughts mature and what thoughts do not.

Power over the self is the ultimate goal. Being able to say that you will do something and then following through and doing it is where meaning of self is created. I must admit weakness on this facet of life coming from my life in Denver. Many times did I say that I would change just to find that I could not break free from old habits. Here in Seattle I have already proven to myself that I am not confined by my old ways. What was it that changed that allowed me to make these forceful commands of life? How far can this power be pushed and tested? With what joy it is to discover a new power such as this.

A mantra that I have picked up in the past few weeks is to take it one step at a time. I need to remember to focus on the little things and let the macro unfold from diligently taken individual steps. Tonight I fill up the gas tank and buy groceries. This week I aim to spend no money Monday through Friday. Once you have everything you need the focus of life is left to shift. To what I cannot say. The great unknown is where the treasure hides. To explore uninhibited to find the secrets of life. To create. To destroy. To live by ones own word no matter the cost.

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Car life>hammock life, sometimes 

Car life is great. I can’t wait to take it to the coast where I will be able to explore from my super mobile home. For now, I am still in the building phase and am working on building the car into the home of my dreams. It needs a passenger window, new carpet, and there are a few cosmetic improvements that can be made. I have been watching different youtube videos that people have made that show off the different style of living that people have invented for their subarus. Some of the youtubers have solar and water collector which is a bit beyond my price point, but a wooden framed that fits into the back seat would be nice. Maybe some cardboard cutouts to fit onto the windows. A disco ball. A play for two.

Currently, I live on the outside of society. Not having a single place that I stay and call home makes it so that I am something other than main stream. Not having a mailing address is difficult in that my first check from where I work will be sent to a location that I do not reside in. All government documentation is mailed and I am currently using my mothers address who lives 5 states away. It’s frustrating that society assumes that you live in a house and if you don’t then you are going to have to figure these nuanced things out. I signed up for this however, and do not regret my decision. At this very moment I sit in a coffee shop next to people that dress like they have a house, a car, a job… Most of these people have probably been going to the same job for years and have savings accounts and maybe even a house. I am so far removed from this type of life that I now feel on the outside looking in. I am beginning to wonder if starting a career and saving up enough money to “fit back in” with the mainstream might be the things that I want to do. (Reading this paragraph through I think- classic, a guy that lives in the rough desires comfort).

The people I went to school with have all graduated and are now making more money than they have an idea of what to do with. I don’t have a way to grasp how much I owe in school loans and also don’t have a definite plan of paying it off. My school friends make plans to travel but something like three years down the road, after they have saved up enough money to make the trip in luxury. That looks like a really good idea for the perspective of my car, but there is no way I could ever wait that long.

I value the experiences that I have had so far but wonder if I might be able to choose a better path for myself. One adventure to the next is something that would be hard to give up, maybe impossible. The wear and tear of life feels like it might get to me at some point and I might then be forced into choosing something different. For now I will continue down the path of the unknown. I wish to be in Australia and that is where my sight still lies. A month or two of work and then I will be off to continue with the great adventure. I will need to figure out how to make money doing the coast over the next few months. This week will be focused on the car. Next week I cannot say. The week after that is still a greater mystery and from then until death anything could happen.

Living out of a Subaru

Today I woke up in the back of my Subaru and took 15 minutes to meditate on where I am in life and where I am going. I am literally parked in the Sodo area of Seattle Washington, close to my friends bus and close the garage that I ride pedicabs out of. Last night was the first night spent in the Subaru. I changed sleeping positions three different times throughout the night. Today I will get some proper bedding for the fold down back seat and then next week I might head south for trim work and fit myself nicely into this west coast kind of life.

My friends are starting to take off in success and I am here, getting thrown all over the United States having to rebuild from zero time and time again. My experiences come with me and I am more competent at building a life than I have ever been. Right now I feel that its time to set my sites on one plan and stick with it. Right as I make up my mind to do this however a million options open up. Only the near future seams certain. In about a week I will head south with some friends in search of trim work. Trim work is not something I am fond of but it would be a way to make money without spending. After trim season I could head even further south and explore what is going on in LA and other parts of SoCal. It would be there that I sell the Subaru and head out to Australia for the adventure that I had originally planned on making.

There is another plan however, that could push the Australian adventure back about 8 months. Here in Seattle my best friend is a guy who turns old school busses into mobile homes. He is making a great argument in my mind that  could get me to stay here in Seattle and convert a bus over the winter into a place thats able to transport pedicabs around the states to different festivals. This would involve me investing quite a bit into building the bus and also into building a pedicab that is festival worthy. After the festival season comes to an end I would be able to sell all of my equipment, take what I have earned, and head out to Australia like I had originally planned.

As I talk about great plans with different friends that I have made over the years, we all talk about what we are going to do with this coming summer and skip over talk of the winter. It seems like everyone is going to hibernate for the winter. I cannot let this come to pass. It seems vauge to head south for the winter. I would like to travel to some distant place where I can make money or maybe work another winter on the mountain but still the issue of money comes into play. Perhaps Hawaii, or maybe Australia, or maybe here in Seattle.

There is so much to do and so little time to do it and the coffee does nothing but stimulates this feeling. For now I will go and speak with my friends about great things before heading out on the town to make money and then head back to my car to sleep. Good things are happening. Good connections are being made. Life is good and it’s alwasy time to act.

Australia baby here I come

It feels like it’s all going to work out and come together just in the nick of time. It’s been too long that I have been under pressure to complete some task without the necessary resources, but now I have what I need to make the leap across the sea. All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go. As of today, there are two weeks until I leave for Australia. I do not know what I will get into in the remaining two weeks but I am sure that it will be an adventure worth writing about.

After working at Powder Mountain ski resort for the winter I returned to Colorado with 50 dollars and came to start saving money for the trip I am about to depart on. I was able to do exactly what I set out to do here in CO and was able to partake in a few extra adventures along the way. Some of which include working as a bartender for my first time, pirate party festival in Montana, getting a motorcycle, the hail storm, and then general adventuring around the city and in the mountains. There were more setbacks that I am willing to admit, and I am still working on not reacting negatively when life gives you the ol’ one two. Surely, I am making my way.

This past weekend I visited the family in Minnesota and was able to see all the close members that I have not seen too long. My mom’s new house, my brother’s awesome life, and my dad’s cabin in the woods. I know that I will miss them more than anything and this visit will be like my last breath of air as I plunge beneath the surface of America and my home.

There is so much to do. I still have not bought my plane ticket and will need to get on that as soon as I have my passport in had. I will need to figure out what to do with my remaining two weeks. The choice is between riding Vegas pedicabs or going to Portland to explore. I am leaning towards portland but cannot say for sure. I will make my decision at the last possible moment. Contacting my pedicab friends in CO and asking them if they want to go to Vegas is another option.

I am spending less of my time looking back. When I do look back it’s to learn from the past. To think about my wrongs and ways that I can correct so that when I am overseas I do not make mistakes that could potentially be catastrophic. More of my thought is put into the future and as the day come closer and closer I become more and more excited. I am sure that things will not go according to plan. I feel like they will go better, actually. Some things that are within the plan that I am looking forward to are things like pedicabbing in Melbourne, getting barreled on a surfboard, learning to scuba dive, seeing friends that are living on the other side of the world, living and loving in and outside of a car. Australia baby here I come!