This is an overview of the day-to-day changes I’ve undergone since I moved out of my parents’ house and started living out of/in my car. I also share other related thoughts and experiences. Today, June 17th, is my 19th day of living this way.
All in all, this is a fun, happy article. I want to share the joy I have been experiencing.
I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced change so drastically and rapidly before. It’s as if for several years intentions and desire steadily built up, and then one day I decided to open the floodgates. Then it took a week for me to prepare for the flood. Then I opened the gates, and for the last two and a half weeks I’ve been riding the waves.
There really are so very many variables and ideas I could talk about. It stirs my curiosity. I’ll do my best to focus on what is worth exploring here in writing.
This has been like running down a trail in the woods that just gets better and better as I go along. The uphills get bigger, and so do the downhills. There are fallen trees to hurdle and limbo underneath. There are streams to cross, even rocks to climb. As the environment becomes more variable, I just keep moving faster. I’m all there.
This is the most clear-minded I’ve ever been in my life. I feel like my mind is being simultaneously boosted and reorganized. So, so much clutter is being cleared out. It almost makes me so giddy it’s ridiculous.
I’ve been getting a powerful, ongoing stream of ideas and insights lately. Part of the reason for this is that I consistently write them down and act on them (which includes sharing them). So it only makes sense that I keep getting more.
As you can see from the Archives, I’ve been blogging more this month than I did most months in the past (aside from May/June in 2015). It’s the middle of the month and this is already the 11th article I’m posting.
In addition, I’ve been doing a considerable amount of private writing (“journaling”) on a near-daily basis. I’ve been writing far more than I did when I lived at the house. This has added to the stream of clarity. I feel my thoughts are becoming far more disciplined and well-organized. Writing is much easier overall, too.
My gut feeling has been lit up lately. It’s so strong it’s pretty much impossible to ignore. And it amazes me how on-point it often is.
Yesterday I went for a brief walk in a small but lively town. I was about to head back to my car, though I noticed a small store was open that I had been to once before. I was surprised because I knew it opened only a few times a month (it’s volunteer-run).
I went in the store and said hello to a few people who were walking out. I walked straight ahead to a bookshelf, and saw a book. It was an anthology of stories of people who have climbed the Adirondack High Peaks.
I looked all around the book for its price but didn’t see it anywhere. My next impulse was to ask the woman behind the counter what the price was. Logically it seemed rather pointless because I had 29 cents on hand and knew I couldn’t afford it. But I barely allowed that thought to pass before I started speaking.
After looking at the book herself and likewise failing to find the price, she said, “Well, the author is right here, so we can ask her.”
I actually had walked by the author when I first arrived at the store. She helped out at the store too, and was bringing items in.
So I didn’t get to buy the book, but I got to talk to the person who wrote it. I say that’s priceless. J
Had I decided to be more logical and not make a supposedly “pointless” inquiry, that wouldn’t have happened. I might have seen the author when she walked back into the store, but I would have had no idea who she was. We basically would have just passed by each other.
I feel like intuition is taking over more and more of my decisions. At the same time, I feel more deliberate. Perhaps this beckons to the idea that logic and emotion are not actually at odds with each other, but can synergize. Whatever the case, this is worth exploring in greater depth (I’ve been saying that a lot lately. I have lots to do!).
Another contributing factor to this elevation in clarity is my diet. With a handful of exceptions, my diet has basically been raw vegan since I left the house (I’ve been 100% vegan for the last 13 months).
The first week and a half the only cooked food I ate was a small amount of rice—perhaps two handfuls. This was primarily due to not having anywhere to cook, nor any good way of storing cooked food (not for long, anyway).
Then, there came a string of three consecutive days where I ate cooked food. I felt terrible. I was pooping water.
At first I thought eating cooked food would be great. It’s easy to get a lot of calories in that way. I was desirous of calories.
After consumption, however, I had a change of heart. I thought, Greater energy? Where’s the energy in feeling heavy, bloated, sluggish, foggy-brained, constipated, and in pain?
I’d rather eat fewer, high-quality calories than more cheap ones. I’m more functional this way.
As such, I’m committing full-out by being raw vegan for 30 days. My diet consists of fruit, raw vegetables, raw nuts, and raw seeds (and unsalted, of course).
The only cooked foods I was eating on a regular basis the last several months at home were rice, lentils, and several cooked vegetables—eggplant, mushrooms, and broccoli (which I sometimes would eat raw instead, depending on whether it was bought frozen).
Saying goodbye to cooked vegetables was about as easy as blinking. As for the rice and lentils, most of my calories came from them, so there’s certainly a drastic change here. At least the cooked foods I was eating were pretty clean. I also stopped using oil while cooking quite some time ago (I sautee vegetables in water), so that helps with the adjustment, too.
Today is day 4 of the 30-day period. I can’t imagine why I would go back after the 30 days are over, but I guess we’ll see.
I certainly didn’t mean to become a raw vegan when I left the house. It just kind of happened. I thought it would be at least a few more months before I tried this, but it’s the easiest way to eat when you can’t cook (conveniently) or store food for long. I ended up liking it so much that I want it to be the norm for me now.
If nothing else, I hope I turn into a gorilla.
All in all, I feel very inclined to trust the universe. I’m changing so much at once and diving off the edge of so many things, I need to trust—I need faith.
It doesn’t feel like blind faith, though. I’m just doing what I know is right to do. I’m just saying goodbye to things that disempower, drain, and hold me back, and saying “hello” wherever my heart opens.
To me, faith refers to the experience of trust. It’s the glow and the power you feel as a side effect of trusting in your highest self. Faith is the experience of full-out trust. It’s what you have when your trust does not waver.
Choosing to trust in yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Really, nothing is accomplished without trust. Without trust of yourself, what sort of life are you living? You’re constantly in fear. You’re constantly on the run. Obviously you can never be sure of yourself. You’re always questioning your own motives. You aren’t sure whether you might be living with a villain.
On the other hand, when you trust yourself, you don’t have to worry about your motives. When you can truly trust yourself, it means that your intentions are pure—right where you consciously would want them to be. When that is the case, you don’t have to worry about appearing villainous (even though you will, to some). The man who can trust in himself completely is beyond good and evil. ;)
I’ve also been feeling notably more comfortable with myself. Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed if people see me eating in my car or brushing my teeth in a public bathroom (perhaps there’s a better way to do that), for instance. But in general I feel not merely less shameful about being myself—I feel more joyful about being in my own body.
I think essentially living in the public eye 24/7 has contributed to this. If I try stifling and hiding myself all the time I’ll go mad, so I might as well get used to just doing what I need to do regardless of who sees.
When I first started this I would get self-conscious about people seeing my things in the trunk, for example, and wondering whether I lived in the car. Now it’s more like, duh, of course I do. The thought of what people may think simply doesn’t bother me as much anymore.
I have a much easier time singing publicly, letting bugs crawl on my arms (rather than pretend I’m afraid of them), shoving my schnoz in a flower so I can smell its beautifulness, occasionally talking to the bugs…
I guess the downside is that I might look like a nutcase. That would be an accurate assessment of me, though, because some days I eat almost a pound of nuts.
Goodness, you’d find it hard to believe that I’m not into men. What, with all the nuts and bananas I consume…!
Doing Things Respectably
Anyway, a more powerful reason for this boost in self-love has been the decision to no longer relate to people on a basis of tolerance.
I wrote all about that in a lengthy article titled Relationships of Power, and I won’t rehash any of it here.
This change is steadily contributing to my clarity of mind, as well. When you let go of disempowering relationships, you begin to free yourself from all the thought patterns of that relationship. Such thought patterns include things the other person would normally say to you, as well as things you would say to them. The way that you and that person related to one another is released, and you free up mental bandwidth to consciously cultivate a new thought pattern.
I say “begin to free yourself” because the change doesn’t happen all at once. Sometimes you’ll still hear, in your mind, that person bickering with you about something stupid, but then you’ll wake up and remember that you don’t have to own up to them anymore. You are free to choose the contents of your own mind—which thoughts you will amplify, and which you will banish.
I feel more like an adult now that I’ve vowed to take care of myself. Maybe I can’t do a great job of it right now (meaning that the stomach goes a little empty sometimes), but it’s time to start on this path, and I can tell this is the way to greater self-respect. I can tell that I will feel so much more grateful for every morsel of food that passes through my hands now—not because there’s less of it, but because I’ll have gotten it in a way that is more congruent with who I am.
I think it’s better to do things in a way that you respect than to do them “perfectly” (supposedly). At first your way of doing things might appear to be stupid or sub-par. But if you trust yourself and feel good about what you are doing, the reality is that you simply need to grow into this path, one day at a time.
When you do things in a manner that you respect, you empower yourself to continue taking action. Each time you take action you get another result, and you refine your approach a little more. Keep that up long enough, and a method that once appeared laughable now is admirable.
In my situation, doing things “perfectly” would have looked like staying at my parents’ house, getting to sleep in a bed and eat all the food I want, and waiting until I have enough money to rent an apartment and take care of myself effectively (i.e. buy enough food and other needed items) while there.
What I did instead was to leave when I felt staying at the house was no longer the right path for me. So with some fruit, almonds, and about $50 in the bank, I put my most important belongings in my car (which legally isn’t “mine,” I should add, since I haven’t paid a cent for it, though I’m the only one who used it. Though my name is somewhere) and left.
Obviously this is a much jankier, more “dirtbag” approach, but you know what? It works.
I didn’t have to wait around forever for a certain dollar amount to be in my bank account (not that I had an income anyway. LOL). Instead I could just do what I wanted, right then and there. Now, I can keep doing it.
I’ve reached the point where this has become so normal for me that I’ve effectively forgotten what it’s like to live any other way. I just go in and out of the car throughout the day, taking out some things and putting others away, and don’t think much more than, Of course this is how I do things.
It’s still fun, but it isn’t particularly “out there” for me anymore. It just is what it is.
At this point, behind closed doors, in my own private world, it feels perfectly normal and natural to live in my car. Of course! Why would you consider that it isn’t?
Intellectually I have to remind myself that there are people on the planet who live in houses. Not only do they exist—they are in the majority. Though I am natural, I am not normal.
Intellectually I can understand the ways of these people, but emotionally I do not.
If I see a house, I think: That’s right. Those big boxy things-- people sleep in them. OK. I guess I can see that they would do that.
Likewise, if I see the inside of someone’s car: Why would they organize things that way? That doesn’t leave any room to… Oh, wait. People don’t sleep in those things. That’s just me (and some other weirdos).
Where in your life do you feel like this? Something feels perfectly natural to you, but statistically it wouldn’t be considered normal?
On a similar note, all in all I’m not that afraid of going hungry. I’ve been through it several times before, so I basically know what to expect. It’s kind of like a person I’ve seen a bunch of times.
The last time was during my semester off from school (Fall 2015). The first time was when I was anorexic in high school (Winter/Spring 2013).
I’m glad I had that second experience in the Fall because otherwise I might be sitting here right now thinking I’m doomed to turn into a sub-90 pound skeleton. But last time I learned that that isn’t necessarily the case: I didn’t lose a pound.
That doesn’t mean I wasn’t frakin hungry though… or without a certain womanly function.
Anyway, during that second experience (which lasted about 3-4 months—hard to say exactly where it ended) I would get quite frustrated about my situation, and I would feel very anxious while eating. I spoke about that in a podcast, The School-less Semester.
I do get anxious sometimes these days, but I get over the feeling much more quickly. I often decide that my own individual survival just isn’t that exciting—it’s not what I want to put my attention on.
That may sound illogical, like a lot of things I say, but I am under the impression that survival is much easier when it is regarded as a worthy byproduct of a life well lived, rather than the primary end of one’s day. I certainly would like to survive. I like being here. But worrying about survival all the time makes surviving a bit less enjoyable, don’t ya think? I’ll attend to my physical needs as I need to, and, well, that’s it.
I don’t mean to give the impression that I don’t care about my health. I know that greater health (primarily, in my case, eating more food) allows me to be even more energetic and to do even more. I imagine it would help with thinking more clearly and deeply as well, as long as it is healthy food.
I feel that I need to grow into taking optimal care of myself. For some reason I don’t feel right now that I can handle eating to perfect satisfaction. I don’t think that’s necessarily a product of self-hatred, either. I think it’s more of a matter of calibration: in this case, getting used to taking care of myself independently.
It’d be like if a person who lives in a slum was suddenly given the key to a mansion. It’d be great, but something would be off.
A better example is when a person wins the lottery. They’re really happy and they can quit their job and yay… But things get kinda weird. Maybe they spend a lot of time and money on things they don’t really want, or they don’t know what to do with themselves at all.
I think the reason for things feeling “weird” or “off” would be that, deep down, the recipient doesn’t really feel worthy of that stuff. It’s not that they hate themselves. They just don’t really understand what they’re receiving. They cannot truly appreciate it. It feels more like a distraction or a burden than a gift. The object cannot be enjoyed as it is. There are too many disorganized thoughts floating around—thoughts of fears, expectations, and unrealistic dreams.
The main problem behind that type of situation is that the recipient thinks that whatever they are receiving will fundamentally make their lives better. Of course, since the thing being received is a material object, we know this isn’t the case.
Overall, I think change will come about in this area of my life steadily.
Sleeping in the Car
I must say, the freedom that comes with knowing I can live out of a car is tremendous. As long as I can keep it fueled, I can travel anywhere I want and not have to concern myself with finding somewhere to sleep. I just park somewhere appropriate and zonk.
Hotels are certainly very nice, and I enjoy staying in them, but they’re kind of a glorified bed (sometimes with breakfast). If there’s somewhere you want to go, and the cost is daunting to you, you don’t have to pay $200 a night just to sleep. Not when you can stay in your car! :D
Of course, I would also suggest that you simply make more money, but if the cost of a place to sleep is the only thing holding you back, and you really want to go, don’t waste your time. Go now!
My car is fabulous to sleep in. I can put the front seat so far back that it squishes the back seat—I can nearly lie flat. I just adjust the seat, climb into a sleeping bag, and I fall asleep in minutes.
Usually I wake up 1-2 times during the night (such as if a garbage truck is spinning in circles right next to me… Damn Wal-Mart!), and I fall back to asleep within several minutes very easily. I had the same sleeping patterns in my bed at my parents’ house, though I’d always have to go to the bathroom when I woke up during the night. Now, amazingly, I don’t have to anymore. Maybe since the option isn’t as easily accessible, my body decides that letting out a sprinkle just isn’t as important anymore. It can wait. :)
My only other suggestion: if you take children with you on your trip, you shouldn’t leave them in the backseat. You’ll squish them. You’ll have to find another place to put them for the night.
Consider the trunk. It’s undoubtedly the safest place in the car. There are no windows to be broken nor locks to be picked (unless your car is considerably old). If your trunk is closed off from the rest of your car, you get bonus points for safety. If someone breaks in, there’s no way they’ll get to the trunk! You might as well get your kids accustomed to curling up in the trunk now. Clearly this is the best option.
Of course, the decision is up to you. I only hope that you’ll choose consciously.
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