It's been two months since I opened my large mouth a little too widely, and things have calmed down considerably. I've only received one or two interview requests in the past month (which I've dutifully ignored), and website views have tapered off to a fairly consistent 500 truck-enthusiasts a day. I've been spending my weekends hammering away on a new home improvement project, and enjoying bike rides to events in the area.
So it caught me totally off-guard when I, with little warning (like a few hours), found myself in a very formal meeting, where I was told, in no uncertain terms, that my weird truck shenanigans weren't going to fly anymore. The company parking lot isn't zoned for residential use, and it's illegal for me to be sleeping in it. It's also a liability, and certainly not a burden my company has any reason or obligation to take on.
And now I'm left to answer a (very timely) question I received, one that I'd been mentally dodging for a while:
Do you have a backup plan if you have to leave the corporate campus?
The answer to the above question should have been "Yes, of course I have a backup plan!", because a backup plan is literally the first thing I should have prepared. It's not like there was any certainty in my parking situation to begin with, it was based on assumptions and optimism. But, as I'm rapidly learning about myself, I'm not quite as good a planner as I'd hoped I was. Sure, my friends would happily take me in (like the stray dog that I am) while I figure it all out, but why should they have to deal with my completely ridiculous truck-related problems? It's similar to how I felt about dumping my trash, it's not my friends' responsibility in the slightest.
So that leaves me here, sitting in a cafe writing this post, iterating through the various (in reality, just two) options available to me.
Sell The Truck
Not happening. I've been far too spoiled by the simplicity, mobility, and regimentation the truck has provided me. I'm not ready to donate part of my life to a soul-killing commute. I'm in the best shape of my life because of my strict, truck-necessitated workout schedule and weekend bike rides. I like that my whole life fits in a parking space. I like the deafening sound of pouring rain on my thin metal rooftop just as much as I like falling asleep to the sound of crickets. I like being able to tear apart the walls and put them back together again on a whim in the name of "Home Improvement". I want to be able to live in random places for a night just because it's convenient. I like always living just outside my comfort zone. And yes, I like being able to fast-track my retirement and earn my complete freedom.
As you can probably guess from the paragraph above, I'm clearly not ready, willing, or able to sell the truck. Instead, I'm going to step outside my comfort zone, and move my truck beyond the relative safety of the corporate parking lots. This means I'm a little further from the resources and facilities than I'm used to, but I'll figure it out with time and the slightest bit of planning. Like with everything else in my life, routine and consistency are paramount, and once I settle back into a rhythm, I doubt this hiccup will be an issue. As far as the logistics go, I still haven't been able to find vagrancy codes for the city I live in, though there is a Senate bill working its way through the system that would invalidate city laws prohibiting sleeping in cars, which I'm naturally rooting for. In the mean time (and really just forever), my best bet for staying out of trouble is to be unobtrusive and out of the way. I'll have to play it by ear for a while, but I have complete faith that everything will (slowly, but surely) work itself out.*
Being evicted isn't exactly the most pleasant feeling on the planet, especially when I've spent the past few months lulling myself into a false sense of comfort and security. But I'd be kidding myself if I believed for a second I wasn't still the luckiest person on Earth. Human beings have endured so much worse over the course of history. Read literally any statistic on this page and it'll become imminently clear that even in this day and age, the worst day I have in my whole life won't be as hard as what billions of people experience every day. For me to sit here and complain and wallow in my own self-pity while a billion children live in poverty would be an incredible display of arrogance, and a complete waste of time and energy. I still have my dream job, I'm still able to live my truck-heavy lifestyle, and I'm surrounded by supportive friends. Hell, my manager even offered me his guest room while I figured everything out, which was above and beyond anything I could have asked for (not that I took him up on it). To ignore all of that and be sad about the drawbacks of my entirely self-imposed lifestyle and short-sighted decision-making would be to discount just how truly fortunate I am.
Looking A Bit Further
Mistakes are always a good thing as long as you learn something from them, and the lesson I'm learning here is to plan ahead, certainly more than I have been. Having some sort of contingency plan is the key to my situation remaining viable, and one plan that I've been looking at is buying property (along with a couple other truck-minded people) and then parking there. This is a much more long term solution, and there aren't any promising properties available at the moment, but it's something I'm seriously looking at.
Speaking of other truck people, I really owe them an apology that my vocabulary doesn't really have the words for. For years, people at similar companies have been doing the exact things I had been doing up until today. The fact that my company is cracking down two months after I paraded myself around is no coincidence. I don't know why it was so hard for me to keep my mouth shut in the first place, I knew what the consequences could have been (and now are). I guess it's hubris, maybe I thought I had something to prove or needed validation that I what I was doing was right. In any case, the fact that my own egotism has potentially uprooted the lives of others isn't something I'm proud of. I don't have a good solution, but if you're one of those people, please let me know and I'll do whatever I can to help.
*I edited this paragraph pretty heavily on December 16, 2015, mainly to save me from my
self aforementioned loud mouth.