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Muslims… And Sugar Babies (Part uno of II)

Good afternoon sports fans! Do you guys remember when people used to say that when they walked into a room? No? Ya me neither! Anyways, I know last time we talked, I said that I’d see you tomorrow, and I also know, that it has been a dozen tomorrows since I’ve posted something. To be fair, I’ve told you that I’m a procrastinator, but I’m also working on it. The statue of David was just a huge chunk of marble before it was chiseled into form. Am I comparing my writing to the artistry of the iconic masterpiece “The statue of David”? Maybe one day, but for now, I’m just chippin’ away at a chunk of stone.

Over the period of time that I wasn’t writing, I was back home in Duluth, picking up shifts at my old job, and fucking around with my old friends. As fun as that is, and always has been, poppa is a rolling stone, and I was starting to feel mossy! I gassed up Tink, and we hit the road towards St. Louis, MO. It isn’t far enough south to escape the cold temperatures completely, but I have family here, and a roof over my head while I figure out my next move.

From Duluth to St. Louis, is about a 10 hour drive, with a couple different route options. I’ve taken this trip about 10 times since I was a small child, however, I have always taken the same route. Timewise, both routes are similar, except the route we took didn’t include driving through Iowa. Come to think of it, I’ve avoided Iowa, and as much of the rural midwestern states, along with their lack of scenery as much as possible on previous road trips. Maybe that’s why my journey has kept me here for so long this time around. I’ll say it for the first time… by anyone… ever…. Iowa was calling me!

Farmland sunsets are actually pretty dope! Because there isn’t anything cool in the way, you’re able to take in every shifting blue and yellow hue painting the sky, as you coast through dead corn fields, old red barns, and waves of noxious, cow fart clouds. I also enjoyed just being able to drive and let my mind wander. Most of my novel writing lately has been brainstorming and storyboarding, however I was really able to dig into some dialogue this trip. After about 5 hours of drifting, and letting the voices in my head have a chat or two, I landed in the tiny river town of Mcgregor, Iowa.

I found this town with a population of 900, nestled beside the mighty mississippi river, via the ioverlander app. I searched for a place to park for the night, somewhere around the halfway point to St. Louis. I chose a 72 hour parking lot, a half of a block from main street, Mcgregor. I pulled into town late saturday night, parked, and hit the town.

While the good majority of the town was aged 50+, and probably never left, I connected with a surprisingly large amount of travelers that had settled there for various reasons, Most of them were chasing a fella, and stayed in love with the town after they fell out of love with the boy. This was Joy. Joy was a 62 year old jewelry maker, who moved here from seattle, and you know the rest of the story.

I met Joy at the Pocket City Pub. I was just finishing up a heart to heart with Chip. chip was a random old man who felt comfortable enough to share his life story with me. I attract that sort of element quite often, actually. I’m not sure why, but if someone is ready to spill intimate details of their life with a perfect stranger at the bar, they probably just need to be heard, so I hear you! On occasion, I run into people that are just wasted, or lack healthy boundaries, but you take the good with the bad.

Pocket City had their halloween party that night, and joy was dressed as a butterfly. She fluttered to the stool next to mine and started sharing the finer details of her life in Mcgregor. Everything is cool, we’re having a good time, to be honest though, the 5 cute, and like-aged pre-school teachers in the opposite corner of the bar seem like a lot more fun.

Whatever, I’m here talking to Joy. I’ve got 3 reasons to stay where I am…

A) It’d be super rude to just walk away mid conversation to talk to a different set of complete strangers. especially given the fact that she suggested that I “should go talk to those younger girls” and called herself an “old lady”, when she’d catch me gazing off into the distance; longing to play with some kids my age. The Guilt trip has been applied

2)In a similar fashion to Chip, the gentleman I was talking too earlier, Joy was spilling her guts about her failed relationship, victimizing herself more and more, as the story unfolds. What if she needs help?

And…. D) Who am I hitch? The scenario is just too perfect for me to know how to approach that situation. Picture it; a group of attractive females, committed to getting loose, and forgetting about the past week of wiping noses and dealing with helicopter parents to find me; a weary traveler in a dive bar for retirees, also in search of shenanigans. If I were sitting next to them already it’d be one thing. Having to walk across the room, I’d probably just end up hovering around awkwardly and laugh when everyone else does, until I stumbled my way into the conversation. That isn’t creepy at all!!!😒

The girls eventually leave, take my dreams with them, and Joy starts getting to work. Joy is fluttering around again, like the 62 year old butterfly that she is. As i’m sitting on my stool at the bar, Joy starts rubbing her old boobs on my back. If that’s not awkward enough, in a sort of color commentary, informs me of the fact that she is rubbing her tits on my back. The only thing I’m thinking about right now is how mad at myself I will be in the morning if I let myself get drunk enough to let this senior citizen take me down! No dis to Joy either, she was a cute 62, and if I were twice my own age I would’ve saw where the night could take us!

She didn’t take me down. NO, no, Joy had a more grandiose plan in mind. After picking up a few of the red flags Joy had been dropping throughout the night, it occured to me that Joy was a Gold Digger. She must have been under the illusion that because I’m an aimless wanderer, I must be pretty stable… haha… sike!! Perhaps it was the affluent flare of my track pants, hoody, and unkempt beard that made her see dollar signs. Anyways, Joy was looking for a sugar baby.

I guess she was too busy talking about getting dumped after two years of living off of the fella she came to town with, (I’m paraphrasing of course, but that was the jist of things.) to ask me what I do for a living. When I mentioned that I’m writing my FIRST novel, and was TRYING to get my blog off of the ground, her face went from intrigued and opportunistic, to confused and disappointed, as if she’d been hoodwinked! Honestly, I’m sure most of Joy’s confusion probably stemmed from not knowing what the fuck a blog is, but it was also due to the fact that i’m not the baby warbucks that she thought I was. That shit was hilarious in my mind!

Although I missed out on the whole teachers conference senario, it was entertaining watching the process of Joy grasping the fact that I’m a broke writer! I am nobody’s meal ticket, and joy wasn’t in need of shoulder to lean on. We are all writing our own novel that we call life, don’t judge covers.

Tune in next week for part 2 of… AS Mcgregor turn…

-Johnny T

“the Muslim Sugar Baby”

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The Journey Begins

Hello world, My name is John. I’m an aspiring author and a virgin blogger. As I begin this blog, I’m currently on day 13 of a road trip scheduled to last until my money runs out! Just me, my campervan named Tinkerbell, and a routeless walkabout the country.

When it’s all said and done, I hope to settle in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m a 33 year old, career service industry worker whom is single, without child, and has a burning desire to experience life and start fresh! I’ve lived my whole adult live in the city I grew up, and Duluth, MN is a wonderful town with incredible preople in it, but it’s time for me to experrience what else is out there!

As a lifelong, chronic procrastinator, I am incredibly grateful to be able to fulfill two long time dreams of taking a solo road trip, and publishing a novel. the road trip is in full effect, and the novel is a work in progress. As we get to know each other through posts, I will be sharing my progress and reflections on both adventures. Please subscribe and stay tuned for updates!

-John Thompson

The Vagabond Novilist.

I

Gary & Chester: A raccoons life…

Elbows resting on the banister of my front porch, I was enjoying a can of Earth Rider and a cigarette, as a prepared to venture out to Sir Ben’s for the Evening. My apartment rests in the middle of an avenue, across from an empty parking lot. From the shadows of this parking lot, emerged two racoons that went by the names of Gary and Chester. They were carrying on, riffing jokes back and forth to each other. I don’t speak racoon of course, that’d be silly. I could tell what they were talking about by reading their body language and mannerisms as the scurried towards the main road at the end of the block. 

Across this street, was another parking lot, which belonged to a city park called the rose garden, a very happening spot for Racoon nightlife. Gary and Chester were excited about the bush party they were on their way to! It was around 10:30 PM on a brisk Tuesday evening in April, the streets were virtually empty at the moment. The two of them had just successfully crossed the ordinarily busy street, when Gary paused in his tracks; he’d forgotten something. 

 “Shit!” Gary said as he patted his pockets. 

 “What is it Gary?”  Chester asked. 

“I forgot my garbage; I have to run back to get it” 

“What?” 

“You know, that super dank garbage I found by the juice place earlier? I was going to bring it to the party.” 

“I’m sure there is going to be plenty of garbage there, Gary. We are already running late!” 

“It’s fine dude, it’s early! No cool coons show up before 11 anyways! Besides, Daphne said she might come so…” 

Chester rolled his eyes. 

“So, you think if you share your special garbage with her, she’s going to see what she’s been missing out on all these years, and finally give you the time of day? Face it man, she’s just not into you like that.” 

“You’re so negative Chester! By the time you’re finished crushing my dreams, I could’ve been back already!”  

Stubborn as usual, Gary insisted on going back. He headed across the street with his head turned backwards, assuring to Chester, that everything is going to be alright 

“It’ll be quick, just wait here!” 

As I watch them squabble, I can hear the roar of oncoming traffic in the distance. Time slowed down as I tried to yell for Gary to Look out; it was too late. A Ford Escort barreled through an unsuspecting Gary, sending him rolling underneath the speeding, oblivious machine of destruction. Chester and I both stood completely still and silent as we watched Gary lay on his back, grasping for life with his little, creepy racoon fingers. One hand gripping his chest, the other falling slowly toward the ground, it appeared Gary was a goner. 

I felt helpless. I’d never seen anyone get murdered before, and I didn’t know what to do. Chester was in shock!  He took off in a panic across the parking lot. He frantically paced back and forth near the entrance of the park, assumable trying to wrap his head around losing his best friend. When I hadn’t seen Chester in a few min I assumed he’d moved on with his life. Maybe that’s just how racoons are, I don’t hang out with them enough to fully understand their cultural idiosyncrasies. We grieve how we grieve; whatever. 

Chester reappeared, slowly meandering into the desolate parking lot he’d vanished into minutes earlier. Having had time to process his trauma, he approached Gary to pay his final respects. He stood above his fallen comrade, weeping and asking “why not me?” Chester noticed me watching him grieve, and began to approach me. We made eye-contact from over 50-yards away. I saw infinite questions in his eyes, and apparently, he saw answers in mine. 

I’m a little nervous at this point. This racoon is grieving; what if I don’t say the right thing? What if he’s upset that I’ve just been watching his life fall apart for the last 20 minutes and did nothing about it? Maybe he’s angry, and he’s the type to take his frustration out on whatever is in his way.  As Chester approached my stoop, we heard a faint voice in the distance. 

“Chester? Chester?” 

It was Gary! He rose up slowly and shook the whole thing off. We couldn’t believe it, or at least I couldn’t. Chester turned around to go get Gary before we had a chance to talk about it. Either way, the two of them met at the corner, and without stopping, breaking stride, or verbally acknowledging what just happened, took off down the road in the opposite direction of the bush party. They just went on about their lives like nothing ever happened. 

-John T

The Raccoon Whisperer

Muslims… and Sugar Babies (part deux of dos’)

“Hey Jay! You were right man, he ain’t no fuckin’ Muslim!”

*********************FREEZE FRAME!**************

That’s what my new friend James, shouting at his brother about me as he walked toward the door to go outside for a dart. This may seem out of context, and it was for everyother person in the bar; including his brother Jay. Unlike the folks in the bar however, I can fill you in on the scoop. it all started about an hour ago….

It was early Sunday morning at Josie’s River Queen. One of the bars on the electric Mcgregor mainstreet. I heard the bartender from the night before say that all of the teachers went to the River Queen after they left the bar. Obviously, I didnt think they would be there the next morning, however I was hoping to find a slightly younger demographic to watch football with.

No luck on the shift in demographics; except for the bartender, whom was also a young wanderer, but Nicole is a tale for another time. We are here to talk about James.

I’m sitting here, watching the game and eating my pizza. Other than randomly bullshitting with nicole when she came around, I was just minding my own business. I’m staring at the screen, and after a few seconds of watching James stare at me through my peripherals, I turned to my left to say hello, and see if he needed anything specifically, or if he was just fascinated.

The sounds of the T.V, and random chatter muffled James’ low voice tone and slightly slurred speech, causing me to move in closer, and corralling me into conversation. After a few minutes of chit-chat, James made a confession to me. Apparently, my initial presents in the bar made him uneasy… because he thought I was a muslim. Keep in mind, James now thinks I’m not muslim, not because he asked, but because I don’t have an accent.

He continued to tell me that his brother Jay, acting as a voice of reason, suggested he might be a tad outta bounds with that one, and jumping to a few conclusions. Among those conclusions was that I may not even be a muslim. I don’t think James was ready to tackle the other conclusion he was jumping to; that even if I were Muslim, keeping to myself, in your local bar… well, so the fuck what?

I’m well aware that my skin tone is a shade of ambiguous brown®, and my road trip beard puts a middle eastern twist on things. People are always curious, so I’m used to it, I guess. Most wonder, and some come out and ask. The Majority of interactions are harmless in intent, and stem from general curiosity, I’m a curious person, I get it.

I’m not offended for being mistaken as a muslim, or any other ethnicity for that matter. I was vexed in the next moment because the most offensive part of our interaction thus far, was his apology for pre judging me. It was a redeeming gesture because he chose to come talk to me instead of stewing in his own ignorance. Bravo!

That was a big thing James did there… but…. he wasn’t apologizing for misjudging my character, He was apologizing for misjudging my ethnicity. It’s not like James came over saying “hey man, I gotta be honest, when I saw you sitting over here, I thought you were a dick head, but after talking to you, you’re a pretty alright dude!” No, no, James was like “Hey man, I misjudged you, I was mad because I thought you were a muslim but your something else, boy is my face red!”

I’m well aware that I can walk away from this situation at any time, but as I stated earlier, I’m a curious person, I just need to know more about James! Not including racism, James and I actually share a lot in common. amateur photography is one of them, and upon whipping out his phone to show me his work, I noticed a rather large, and naked woman on his home screen. No judgment for taste in women, love who you want to, it just caught me off guard! the first few pics in his photo gallery were similar.

As I’m trying to process the ride James is about to bring me on, and also assessing the choices I make in life, James looks up from scrolling and says, “pay no attention to my love for fat pussy, that’s not what I want to show you.” It hasn’t happened yet, but I’d have to say that an offer to watch porn, with a stranger, at the bar, on a sunday morning, is a moment I’m comfortable walking away from!

The conversation went surprisingly normal for a while. We had intelligent conversations about art and philosophy, two things I pre judged James about. It’s not like I looked at him, and thought to myself, “yea right buddy, let’s talk about the paradigm of reality. pshh, this guy!” But if you had pointed to James and asked me to have an intelligent conversation with that guy, I would have been like “yea right, buddy, let’s go talk to that guy about the paradigm of reality! Pshh, this guy!”

James was just as surprised to discover my intelligence. I kept it to myself, but James let me know by calling back to what his brother Jay said to him, and how glad he was that he stepped out of his comfort zone to come talk to me. Now, on the surface it’s bordering offencive again because, why are you so surprised I’m not a moron? I had to look within, because I to, took him, for a moran at face value.

“Hey Jay, you were right, man he ain’t no fuckin’ muslim!” Jay was walking toward the door, to go outside for a dart. All eyes were on James as he shouted to Jay from close range. Jay looked embarrassed, but no stranger to feeling that way around his brother. Jay was the younger of the two, but kind of his older brothers keeper. James was the Fredo of the family.

We Joined Jay for darts, and I began to understand their dynamic a little more clearly. Jay would step in whenever it looked like James was about to wonder off sides. James would apologize for his “hangover-brain” and lack of filter(been there), then explain how Jay tries to teach him how to function in society like a normal person. Cheers to Jay, not all heroes wear capes.

I learned a lot about perspective in Mcgregor. James lived the vagabond life for years, following bands, going to music festivals, and smoking doobies with rock n’ roll musicians. Now he drives a truck so he can travel and take pictures. He’s also a drunk, and and an involuntary racist, but he’s working on it. (the racism, not the alcoholism… priorities)

Jay did some traveling of his own back in the day. He had dreams of heading to the west coast and pursuing a skateboarding career. procrastination, kids, and inevitably age stood in the way of that but he’s happy.

We all have a tendency to judge others based on what makes sence in our own realities! my goal isn’t to become a river town alcoholic when I settle down, but the rest of it sounded like a successful life, because he lived. If it makes you happy, live your life. Do what you want to do and be who you want to be! Who cares what it looks like to the rest of the world?

UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE A RACIST, TO BE THAT. 1ST, EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY, THEN BE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE.

-John Thompson

The MuSlIm SuGaR bAbY

You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability.

Adam Herman's Page

Hey there. It’s me, Adam.
We’re kicking it ol’ skool here and doing a blog post. I know, right? 2017 called… amIright? Hey, I’m still a fan of the blog, though. It may not be as retro as the diary, and it doesn’t have the utility of the podcast. (In that you can’t really read a blog while you’re driving. Unless you’re me. I can. Go ahead and try it. Don’t worry about the other drivers. They’ll move.)
No, I’m still a fan of the blog because I always have and always will root for the underdog. They have such a big heart in such a small frame. Blogs are the Rudy of the online media. They deserve the slow clap.

It’s been a hell of a busy year with The Slamming Doors and Limbo and with more writing and fatherhood and dishes and what not, so I thought I’d offer…

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All Done Dreamin’…

So here I stand, day 26 of my journey, logging my 3rd blog entry. I promise that we will actually talk about the places I’ve been, and the adventures I’ve had, soon enough. It’s always been my dream to become a writer, and since I quit my job to pursue that dream, a dream is all that it’s been.

If we can jump into the confessional booth for just a hot minute, I’m not great with money, and I’m a chronic procrastinator! I’m sure you already gathered that I’m the latter based on the fact that this is my 3rd blog entry in 26 days! My finances on the other hand, have never really been public knowledge, until now.

My journey brought my back home, to Duluth, MN, to finalize bankruptcy proceedings. That’s right, bankruptcy. One might think I’d be ashamed to admit this, but hell, the president does it all the time, so it’s cool, right? Gross! That is, thankfully, the only thing I have in common with 45!

In all seriousness though, I don’t recommend ever allowing your financial situation to reach this point, but if it does, bankruptcy is actually a wise move to reset your life and rebuild, especially if you don’t own much. think of it like a get out of jail free card. It’s been a very humbling process, however, sharing it with you, is aso, very liberating.

Earlier, I mentioned that I’m not great with money, but for a while, I was ok at it! A year and a half ago, I had savings, a credit score in the mid 700’s, with only a few medical bills, and minimal credit card debt. What happened within a year and half to cause me to drop from ‘100 to 0 real quick?’

Life happened. First, I broke up with my girlfriend, whom I intended to one day make my wife. I moved out of our apartment, and started draining my savings living in hotels. Like most men not ready to deal with our feelings after a break-up, I started drinking the pain away. It wasn’t pain from missing the relationship that got me, it was the guilt I felt for not missing it. I added gambling and cigarettes to the mix for good measure, and smoked tons of weed. To be fair, smoking a ton of weed is probably the equivalent of you saying I ate food yesterday.

As I Healed, and allowed myself to be happy, and I became grateful. Grateful I was strong enough to leave a bad situation, grateful to have control over my life again, and grateful for the personal growth i’d experienced during, and post relationship.

After a short, sober stint to reset the batteries, we can drink to party now! My depression beard is shaved clean, I wore clothes other than sweatpants, I was back!

Over the next summer, I went out all the time, when I on dates, and took vacations I didn’t save for. I was basically over compensating for all the single fuckery I missed while I was in a relationship. From Las Vegas, to Branson, to a gut check moment in Myrtle beach, when all of my cards were maxed out and had to borrow cash from a friend to get thru the rest of the trip.

in the following months, I hit a bit of a dark patch in life after I drummed up some painful, repressed memories from childhood. Throughout November and December, I was very depressed, and felt as if I was barely making it thru each day. My credit card debt added to my bourdons, but it was far from a priority at this point. writing was out of the question, I hadn’t my laptop for anything but binging new girl or the office in months.

After the holidays past, it was time to pick myself back up again! I dealt with the pain, then parted ways, and forgave those who caused it. I was fired up, motivated, and more myself than I’d ever been in my life up to that point. For the first time in my life, I didn’t give two shits about what people thought about me, or who anybody else thinks I should become. for the first time in my life, I loved myself.

During the year leading up to my trip, I made financial plans to get out of debt, save money to self publish the novel I’d started, buy a van, take a road trip to promote said novel, and settle in my eventual final destination of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the past year I’ve made excuses, and justified not doing any of that. I was too busy dreamin’.

Summer is here now, and other than the months passing by while I was dreaming, I wasn’t much closer to achieving my dreams. The lease for my apartment ended in May, and I was dead set on leaving town in September, so I stayed with friends for a month, then camped out, couch surfed, and lived in my buick until I found tinkerbelle(my van).

I have a collection of souls in my life I’m grateful to be able to call my chosen family, but I kept the fact that I was living in the back of a buick as quiet as possible. I knew they would just try to help, however I was in this situation because of my grasshopper like tendencies, I’m not the ant, and I’m not a victim.

Uncomfortability, cut with a large portion of humility is the fuel of champions. In the 11th Hour, Tinkerbelle found me, I payed my lawyer fees, cleared all personal debt, and started stacking for the trip. The dream is coming to fruition. How long the dream will last still remains to be seen.

I wasn’t ready to come home yet. I wanted to come back to Duluth a published author, an established blogger with a healthy following, maybe a low grade I.G influencer. Instead, I’m back home, almost out of money, trying to avoid telling people why I’m back so soon, and writing my 3rd blog entry in 26 days!

I was ready to go as soon as I got back, yet I’m still here. I’ve found through my first month of travels, that whenever I’m feeling in a rush, or too focused on what’s next, life finds a way to make me sit still, remain grounded, and accept whatever lesson it’s trying to teach me.

I am all done dreamin’! For months, I’ve justified not writing because I was working so much, and I was trying to soak up the last little bit of my “last” hometown summer with friends. Yesterday, I sat in a small puddle of regret because I’ve wasted so much time that was free of work or social obligations. Time in which, I had nothing but time to focus on my art. Now I’ll have to start finding ways to earn money, then set aside time to create, if I want to keep the adventure going that is.

For whatever reason, I woke up yesterday, very emotionally charged. Nothing on my conscious mind could explain it, but commercials were making me cry, T.v villains were making me irrationally angry, and was genuinely moved by the human experience of fictional characters. I’m pretty sure I was “mansturating”, but either way, I was all up in my feelings, and It was one of those times where you don’t know whats happening, but momma will know what to do!!!

For me, “momma” is my late grandmother; whom was my mother, my grandmother, my best friend, my mentor, and my everything. Now, she is my guardian angel, And my inspiration. She was a writer herself, and was never published. A lot of her works were burned in a house fire, others never finished. I have to stop dreaming for my grandmas sake.

I’m really good at standing in my own way, but for my grandma, I can do anything! I’ve got to make it, and carry on the legacy she started. I needed to return home to remember who I’m doing this for, and to be reminded that it doesn’t matter what happened last month, last year, or what happened for the past 33 year,(I’m 33 years old btw) all that matters is the moment I’m standing in right now!

If this trip ends tommorow, then it was a hell of a ride! If I need to stop and get a job before I finish my book, so what? I’m still going to finish it. and sure, it’d be nice to live everyday without a care in the world besides my art, but I fucked that up! the only thing I can do at this point, is dedicate the freedom I have left to stop dreamin’ and start doin’!

I’ll see ya tomorrow for blog post #4 on day #27 of the rest of my life!

-gratefulwanderer7

moving slowly from procrastinator, to lollygagger, right before your eyes.

All Done Dreamin’…

All Done Dreamin’….

So here I stand, day 26 of my journey, logging my 3rd blog entry. I promise that we will actually talk about the places I’ve been, and the adventures I’ve had, soon enough. It’s always been my dream to become a writer, and since I quit my job to pursue that dream, a dream is all that it’s been.

If we can jump into the confessional booth for just a hot minute, I’m not great with money, and I’m a chronic procrastinator! I’m sure you already gathered that I’m the latter based on the fact that this is my 3rd blog entry in 26 days! My finances on the other hand, have never really been public knowledge, until now.

My journey brought my back home, to Duluth, MN, to finalize bankruptcy proceedings. That’s right, bankruptcy. One might think I’d be ashamed to admit this, but hell, the president does it all the time, so it’s cool, right? Gross! That is, thankfully, the only thing I have in common with 45!

In all seriousness though, I don’t recommend ever allowing your financial situation to reach this point, but if it does, bankruptcy is actually a wise move to reset your life and rebuild, especially if you don’t own much. think of it like a get out of jail free card. It’s been a very humbling process, however, sharing it with you, is aso, very liberating.

Earlier, I mentioned that I’m not great with money, but for a while, I was ok at it! A year and a half ago, I had savings, a credit score in the mid 700’s, with only a few medical bills, and minimal credit card debt. What happened within a year and half to cause me to drop from ‘100 to 0 real quick?’

Life happened. First, I broke up with my girlfriend, whom I intended to one day make my wife. I moved out of our apartment, and started draining my savings living in hotels. Like most men not ready to deal with our feelings after a break-up, I started drinking the pain away. It wasn’t pain from missing the relationship that got me, it was the guilt I felt for not missing it. I added gambling and cigarettes to the mix for good measure, and smoked tons of weed. To be fair, smoking a ton of weed is probably the equivalent of you saying I ate food yesterday.

As I Healed, and allowed myself to be happy, and I became grateful. Grateful I was strong enough to leave a bad situation, grateful to have control over my life again, and grateful for the personal growth i’d experienced during, and post relationship.

After a short, sober stint to reset the batteries, we can drink to party now! My depression beard is shaved clean, I wore clothes other than sweatpants, I was back!

Over the next summer, I went out all the time, when I on dates, and took vacations I didn’t save for. I was basically over compensating for all the single fuckery I missed while I was in a relationship. From Las Vegas, to Branson, to a gut check moment in Myrtle beach, when all of my cards were maxed out and had to borrow cash from a friend to get thru the rest of the trip.

in the following months, I hit a bit of a dark patch in life after I drummed up some painful, repressed memories from childhood. Throughout November and December, I was very depressed, and felt as if I was barely making it thru each day. My credit card debt added to my bourdons, but it was far from a priority at this point. writing was out of the question, I hadn’t my laptop for anything but binging new girl or the office in months.

After the holidays past, it was time to pick myself back up again! I dealt with the pain, then parted ways, and forgave those who caused it. I was fired up, motivated, and more myself than I’d ever been in my life up to that point. For the first time in my life, I didn’t give two shits about what people thought about me, or who anybody else thinks I should become. for the first time in my life, I loved myself.

During the year leading up to my trip, I made financial plans to get out of debt, save money to self publish the novel I’d started, buy a van, take a road trip to promote said novel, and settle in my eventual final destination of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the past year I’ve made excuses, and justified not doing any of that. I was too busy dreamin’.

Summer is here now, and other than the months passing by while I was dreaming, I wasn’t much closer to achieving my dreams. The lease for my apartment ended in May, and I was dead set on leaving town in September, so I stayed with friends for a month, then camped out, couch surfed, and lived in my buick until I found tinkerbelle(my van).

I have a collection of souls in my life I’m grateful to be able to call my chosen family, but I kept the fact that I was living in the back of a buick as quiet as possible. I knew they would just try to help, however I was in this situation because of my grasshopper like tendencies, I’m not the ant, and I’m not a victim.

Uncomfortability, cut with a large portion of humility is the fuel of champions. In the 11th Hour, Tinkerbelle found me, I payed my lawyer fees, cleared all personal debt, and started stacking for the trip. The dream is coming to fruition. How long the dream will last still remains to be seen.

I wasn’t ready to come home yet. I wanted to come back to Duluth a published author, an established blogger with a healthy following, maybe a low grade I.G influencer. Instead, I’m back home, almost out of money, trying to avoid telling people why I’m back so soon, and writing my 3rd blog entry in 26 days!

I was ready to go as soon as I got back, yet I’m still here. I’ve found through my first month of travels, that whenever I’m feeling in a rush, or too focused on what’s next, life finds a way to make me sit still, remain grounded, and accept whatever lesson it’s trying to teach me.

I am all done dreamin’! For months, I’ve justified not writing because I was working so much, and I was trying to soak up the last little bit of my “last” hometown summer with friends. Yesterday, I sat in a small puddle of regret because I’ve wasted so much time that was free of work or social obligations. Time in which, I had nothing but time to focus on my art. Now I’ll have to start finding ways to earn money, then set aside time to create, if I want to keep the adventure going that is.

For whatever reason, I woke up yesterday, very emotionally charged. Nothing on my conscious mind could explain it, but commercials were making me cry, T.v villains were making me irrationally angry, and was genuinely moved by the human experience of fictional characters. I’m pretty sure I was “mansturating”, but either way, I was all up in my feelings, and It was one of those times where you don’t know whats happening, but momma will know what to do!!!

For me, “momma” is my late grandmother; whom was my mother, my grandmother, my best friend, my mentor, and my everything. Now, she is my guardian angel, And my inspiration. She was a writer herself, and was never published. A lot of her works were burned in a house fire, others never finished. I have to stop dreaming for my grandmas sake.

I’m really good at standing in my own way, but for my grandma, I can do anything! I’ve got to make it, and carry on the legacy she started. I needed to return home to remember who I’m doing this for, and to be reminded that it doesn’t matter what happened last month, last year, or what happened for the past 33 year,(I’m 33 years old btw) all that matters is the moment I’m standing in right now!

If this trip ends tommorow, then it was a hell of a ride! If I need to stop and get a job before I finish my book, so what? I’m still going to finish it. and sure, it’d be nice to live everyday without a care in the world besides my art, but I fucked that up! the only thing I can do at this point, is dedicate the freedom I have left to stop dreamin’ and start doin’!

I’ll see ya tomorrow for blog post #4 on day #27 of the rest of my life!

-gratefulwanderer7

moving slowly from procrastinator, to lollygagger, right before your eyes.

Before adventure became reality, it was an Idea.

So, I’m about two months into van life, with the past two weeks actually being spent on the road, traveling. I realise that as far as van life goes, I’m coming into the game far too late to pioneer the movement, nor am I consciously doing anything to revolutionize; I’m just living in a van, drifting.

When you tell your family and friends that you plan on getting rid of all your stuff, buying a van, and hitting a road in which you’re not too certain where it might lead, they’ll probably think you’re nuts! I’m fortunate enough to have an overwhelming amount of support from my chosen family, but I know that’s not always the case.

When someone in our lives that we care about moves on to see what else is out there, it’s often second nature for our first thoughts to be focused on the fact that this person won’t be in our lives anymore. Strangers are a little more regularly optimistic for you. Strangers view your need for adventure and disregard to traditional structure to be whimsical and inspiring. Me living my life comes at no loss to them, so they can live vicariously through my dirth of responsibility.

Regardless if you’re pro, or against van lifestyle, the questions most everyone shares in common is, “But why, though?”

“What about all of your stuff?”

“What could possibly make you want to pick up and leave everything, and everyone you know, to live in a van?!?”

For me, my first bite from the travel bug came 7 years ago. I spend 4 months on the road with my then-girlfriend. We were both in our mid 20’s, living in the town we grew up in, so we wanted to see what the rest of the country had to offer. basically, we were on the run from small town life.

Duluth, MN, my home town, is one of the biggest little towns you’ll ever run across. residing on the north shore of lake Superior, it’s a city filled with beautiful parks, awesome local live music, and 85,000 people connected by 3 degrees of separation or less! sometimes as your personal evolution progresses, the folks around you struggle to see anything but the “you” they knew before.

Flashing forward, the ex and I came back to duluth, broke-up over the next couple months. I spent the next 7 years thinking about taking a trip like that again, only this time, I’d take it alone. To be able to drift with the wind, stay anywhere for as little or as long as I wanted, picking stones and bird watching to my hearts content sounded like a dream. for the next 7 years, all it ever was, was just a dream.

From family life, to my career, to romantic and plotonic relationships, I’ve spent my entire adult life chasing someone else’s idea of who I should be. Through all but fully committing to a life i hadn’t designed for myself, I realized I didn’t have to “grow-up” and be someone else’s something, I was finally happy in the moment, just where I was standing. With 14+ years experience on all rungs of the service/hospitality industry, I could literally find a job anywhere I wanted to go, so why not?

Instead of stressing about what I would do after bartending, I started thinking about what I would do if I didn’t need the money; an author. I should rephrase that, I started thinking about what I loved, instead how much money i can make doing it, and that’s writing!

Now, both of my dreams are in my conciousness again and I have no reason not to chase them! My novel, “Pete and Gwendoline Grew Up”, is a novel about the perception of success and the reality of what it means to grow up. I’ve started and stopped this premise several times over the years, but it didn’t all come together until I was accused of having Peter Pan Syndrome, only I didn’t take offence to it, I embraced it! (Pete & Gwendoline/ Peter and Wendy??)

So here I am, with just my van Tinkerbell and a pocket full of happy thoughts; hanging out at the second star, on our way to neverland! Idealy, I hope to take the J.K Rowling route and make millions off of my imagination. In the mean time, I’ll take just getting something on the shelf. I’d also like for writing to be a full time job, so the more you share and subscribe, the less I have to work!

I hope to see you on my next adventure!

-John Thompson

Leader of the lost boys.

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