How many times have I counseled people to turn away from the dog and pony show bureaucrat shenanigans? How many times have I advised folks, instead, to grab life by the horns, choke down your fears and kick that sucker in the butt?
... and then I trip, stumble, FALL... right into all that phony, double speak, hypocritical mess of a sewer that's bludgeoning anyone and everyone... head first with my mouth open? Sheesh! Guilty!
Bad enough if a guy was ignorant of it all... but to KNOW it's all smoke and mirrors baloney, both sides... and STILL get suckered into wasting time argufying about what's NEVER gonna change? It's like arguing about outlawing the Wyoming wind!
Sometimes the weakness of the human mind just leaves a broken down old cowboy biker shakin' his head disgusted with himself...
Then I wake up one morning... after a string of small (relatively) reverses and find myself pulling back and and thinking of the "safe" road, a respite from the wind. Both with thought of an "easier" way and in a feeble and fruitless attempt to win general approval and justify my "choices". Guilty!
Arrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh! Shame on me!
The problem is, when you do that... when you make choices based on what convention and society train you to do, you live THEIR life, not your own. You start simply existing and not Living.
The heartbreak of it is that when you look back you might see someone "Getting Approval"... but that sucker sure ain't YOU.
Now I'm sure that when I say I've been contemplating, even pursuing to some degree, thoughts of being conservative and careful and safe, there's plenty folks gonna say; "HUH?"
"You left 'Home' without enough cash to your name to make the end of the month... two years later you're still rollin' with pretty much the same situation... making last month what's feeding you this month... and you call that Living Safe?
Yeah well, it's true.
My saving grace is... Safe terrifies me. The thought of standing in a hardware store, with a safe work schedule, and safe from the wind and the rain, and knowing where I'll be next week and the week after, with all the protections of being an indentured servant... makes me physically ill.
But... set my worn out rig in a camp out in Far Country, where a blown tire will tip me/us into the world of the penniless... until the next dollar of our tiny lil' income "Stream" flows in... and the Boss's face smiles down on me from the Mountains towering above... and though I don't have the dinero for next weeks beans yet... I breathe free and easy, the pressure in my chest, Gone.
I step outside and feel the caress of Freedom on my face in the cool breeze blowing across the Arizona chaparral... I smell the pungent fragrance of creosote brush... or feel the fresh sharp air from a waterfall as I roll my bike past, high up on Going to the Sun Road in Montana... I hear the Boss's whisper in the surf crashing against the Oregon coast...
"You're home boy. Your Freedom is the Gift I give to you."
One of the readers here passed it on a few weeks back when he said clear and plain; "When you're poor you're just broke. When you're out of Time... You're Dead."
Money and such is the biggest stick they beat you with. It's the material they use to construct the chains that at times seem unbreakable... and when you're not watchful, the sob's sneak up on you when you're tired and worn and start slipping the shackles around your ankles again.
Fear and Money... are the tools they use.
Be vigilant. Keep a Sap in your pocket to whack the bugger when he tries. And Whack him unmercifully. The sickest and most vile and most brutal villains are the ones who try to steal your Freedom and Liberty from you. Deny them with every ounce of power you contain. Your LIFE depends on it.
There are not words to describe the beauty of a sunrise in the desert... when it comes up over a life that is lived in FREEDOM. There is no description that does proper service to the joy of walking along the Blackfoot River in Montana... the Clearwater in Idaho... knowing that next week, you will be where YOU decide...
Knowing that your life is not owned by some mini tyrant's time clock. Nor owned by some banks payment schedule.
Life is to be lived. It is to be squeezed with all your strength. To take no risk is to not take a full breath. That isn't to say you go crazy... It's to say you reach farther than you ever have before. It's to say you must learn to trust in, have faith in, your own ambitions and dreams.
It's to say Live like there's no tomorrow. Laugh like a drunken cowboy. Ride like you stole it! ;)
and when the fear they throw at you starts to wear you down... pick up your sap... and Whack Whack Whack! :)
Thumping My Way Through the Doubts
I have lots of questions for you. I like your blog, and most of your writing. Some is a bit political for me, but still interesting. Id love to know your monthly budget, I think that is what keeps most people from chasing their dreams. Its one of my biggest fears. I will ask some more questions later.
Politics is a large boil on most folks behinds... the difficulty really comes in if you totally ignore it... 'cause it has an impact on your Freedom... so you gotta pay a bit of attention to know where it's goin'... so you can avoid it ;)
As for budget, I have kept actual numbers out of my writing till now... ah... that's a "How long is a piece of string" sort of a question... ever'body is different. How you lived is likely how you will... our original plan before the house caved in called for around $1800 bucks to live on... and we had a small bit of "pad"...
When the house became a heavy loss rather than the cash out we'd planned... it left us with significant debt that couldn't be retired with the elimination of the sticks and bricks dungeon... when the legitimate equity of a place that sold at 25% below cost of construction Vanished.
It made no sense to keep paying hoping for a market turnaround... The value would never catch up to outrun the expenses... so we dumped the anchor.
so... though many months we're well below that $1800 target for our actual subsistence "living" budget... we're still quite a ways above it, every month... because of that remaining debt... Once that debt is gone we'll be deep in the black Every month.
Some I know can't live on less that 4 or 5 grand... Lot's live on less than we do... It's a wide variation...
We've gone everywhere we've gone and done everything we do on less than 20,000 a year after uncle sam rips out his chunk.
What's in the bank? what I made last month on the websites, my books sales, my VA check and the "other half" of our income from our little store in Colorado. Those numbers have been stagnant for a couple of months now...
Any one of those tiny lil' income "Streams" dries up and we're sittin' like a beached whale...
When I say we're "Broke" I mean... if we blow up a couple tires... we pretty much have to sit and wait for some income to flow 'fore we can move on...
The recent weeks at PIR should have put us ahead a small bit... but then... the dentist heard about it and came up with plenty to dry up that lil' windfall :)
It would be nice if things were softer and less "up against it"... and I won't refuse it if it happens... but... I'll take the Freedom I'm enjoyin' any time over the Imagined security of a job/house.
We pay our way as we go, in all things. I know some believe we take medical or other "handouts" but that just ain't so. Those folks measure me by their own actions, what THEY do. And if they're willing to sell their souls to the Devil for those moments of Imagined Security... that's their choice.
Myself, if I can't pay for "it" I do without... Period.
I'll live till I die... and when I die I'll do that a Free Man... Beholden to no one.
Now, some will say; "well the VA is a handout"... Not so much... I basically "Contracted" my "Services"
"If you'll fight for and protect us we promise to help you out if you get busted up in that task."
Well... I got busted up... so... That small VA pension is a small payment for services rendered.
Bottom line... what would I do different? ... exactly what I'm doing... a lotta years ago...
The only mistake I made, other than getting sucked into the "Treadmill Scam" for too long... was taking too long to wave and say "Bye!" :)
Now, outside of a week or two or maybe a short season here and there doing a job for some backup cash... That life is behind me and good riddance!
Hey There, I really enjoy your website and posts I feel the same way you do about freedom and the open road. my wife and
I are full time on the road with our 5th wheel and intend on easing into boondocking. Keep up the good work. I have read a couple of your books and really enjoyed them as well.
Take Care, Ray
You've said it all my friend, we too live from one month to the next on the road and we aren't going to trade it in anytime soon for the "Illusion of Security".
I know how you feel on that political stuff, when I get wound up, I write it out and file it away, some day I'm going to put it into one blog post and it'll be.....pointless.
Carry on and don't let nothing get you down!
Fred Reed said it this way:
One might ask oneself, “What do I really need, and what things really matter to me? How much money do I really need, and how much am I willing to pay to get it?” Remember, you pay more for money than for anything else.
It also fits well with Fred's Bifurcate Law of Economic Independence: If you can't pay for it, don't buy it; and if you don't need it, don't buy it.
Again, circumstances differ and details vary. The principle remains: Disengage, cut your expenses, seek the interstices, and don't believe in anything unless you are sure it was your idea to believe in it. What is coming looks to be ugly. If so, it will be every man for himself, his family, his friends, and what principles he believes.
Thanks Brian. I'm as political as the next guy and appreciate your way of talking about it. I just like the R.V. side of things a little better. Thanks for your budget info. It helps knowing what the real costs are.
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