So I was thinking about how Tim was always my friend with money. I mean, some of my other friends had reasonable incomes, but like mine, they tended to be low, transient and always spent. Tim had the great job making $9 an hour, which seemed like a fortune, and he always had money for rent and his car payment, plus money to go out. The rest of us were out of work a lot, and when we did work we never seemed to get ahead. We were always looking for the best angle, and more frequently than not, ending up behind the eight ball.
Anyway, fast forward five years to the present. I still have the same wanderlust, the same thirst for adventure and the same disdain for the 9 to 5 life. But I'm five years older and five years wiser. I've been through a lot more. Through a combination of circumstances, persistence and pure dumb Forrest-Gumping my way through, I've managed to parlay those instincts into a workable and successful career. I have a college degree I hadn't used in years...and suddenly I'm the expert on Phobias for About.com. I've been taking care of my Dad for four years, and suddenly I'm qualified to make multiple hundreds of dollars on a single article for Diabetes Management magazine. My wanderlust has taken me here there and everyone, and suddenly I'm being paid $150 a shot for travel podcast scripts. I've discovered that my various life experiences can be turned into excellent fodder for things that people want to read, and it's a lot more satisfying than churning out credit card articles for web mills.
I just had to replace the refrigerator, plus pay a guy to install it, plus pay for a week in a hotel. Yet when a hotel came available for $225 a night in DC for the inauguration, I was able to grab it. I have the freedom to work a ton and make money fast, but also the freedom to slow down, work less and enjoy life. I am on reasonable deadlines now, rather than pouring out dozens of blog posts every week. It's all up to me.
We're in uncertain economic times, and I keep hearing of more and more layoffs and foreclosures. I know that this could all be gone tomorrow, yet I also know that every single article builds my portfolio. The better my credentials, the more competitive I am for the next job and the next. If it does all blow up in my face, though, at least I'll know that for a time, I lived a life that most people only dream of.
For now, at least, I choose to live in an RV because it's cheap and it provides a sort of writers retreat, a place to escape and focus on the creative process, not because I can't afford an alternative. Meanwhile, I am a jet setter. I don't have gobs of money, but I am way better off than I ever have been, and I am traveling every month or two to exotic destinations. I'm very blessed, and I'm very thankful to each and every one of you, who have seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. You all rock!!