There’s a full on dance party going on within my van; the frames a rocking, the energies high, and the musics alive - my body’s seduced into movement by the traveling sound waves vibrating through my eardrum into my inner ear, before finally shaking the hairs within my cochlea.
It’s been awhile since we connected; life got out of hand there for a bit and I felt like I was caught on the treadmill of life - dreams and aspirations were as high as ever but the path was covered with leaves, better known as distractions - bottlenecked with the fraught stories of the mind on interstate YOU, heading directly toward your gaze of focus powered by the mind’s eye.
After stepping away from social media, finding little Orca a new loving home, and spending time “Unstringing the Universe to its farthest planet and star, and restringing it another way,” I am back like a giant Redwood tree rooted in the Earth - with stressless shoulders, clarity in pursuit, and a confident feeling that’s omnipotently present - nestled firmly at the cellular level.
Tonight marks the second night of my training as a server at the fun, casual, upbeat Mexican restaurant named: “The Cantina”. Two days in and it's already beginning to feel like a home. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere welcoming, I get to work with people and it's another new experience. One of my coworkers is also an active Vandweller. I believe he has been living in his Van for 3 years and from the sounds of it he spends most mornings in the Ocean surfing.
For the past two weeks I’ve been running up to Fairfax and working with the Black Sheep Jiu Jitsu guys instructing wrestling classes in their facility. It’s been a great experience that is allowing me to ease my way back into wrestling and the coaching circuit - the best part is finally being at peace with myself and my abilities, so now I’m better able to put 100% of my wrestling genius toward formulating my own coaching philosophies that I really believe in. In the past, half of my coaching energy went toward the internal conflicts I had within myself - shadows of doubt attacking away.
Stepping back onto the mat coupled with going to the recent Tony Robbins: “Unleash The Power Within” seminar has caused me to ponder my love for the sport, and why I’ve had such a hard time getting back into the wrestling room after so many years of pursuing it as one of my passions.
This is what I found:
Sophomore year of college was the year I collapsed psychologically; trying to cut down to a lower weight class in wrestling, the difficulties of transitioning to college, and the disappointing blow of a parents divorce. I didn’t know how to act. There were times I broke down in practice and cried. F**k. Who do you talk to when you live in the society we live in and you don’t want to bother anyone else with your issues? Class was suffocating and my focus waned; I went from never getting anything below a 3.0 GPA to getting nothing but a 2.0 GPA in one of my second year semesters. I remember telling everyone I’d have to be talked back into wrestling the following year; I was going to finish the season because I wasn’t a quitter, but I didn’t plan to come back. I remember distinctly being in the Michigan State University library and saying to myself “I don’t want to be known as just Dan the Wrestler,” so I made the decree to start reading, and then told myself I’d learn an instrument (I’ve yet to do) - find my passions and change gears in life. However much of a blessing going through all those experiences may have been, I also now see how I attributed pain in those days to wrestling, so that is why I got burned out and felt like I needed to do something different. At the time that was the only thing I guess I felt like I could control and I conditioned myself to feel pain disguised as confusion toward not wanting to get back on the mat, when in reality I’ve been doing it since I was four and am proud to say it is still one of my biggest passions in life.
I’ve made some great, unique, amazing, and historically known friends since I’ve been back in Marin County. I have had my ups and downs with the challenges that come from moving 2,500 miles away from friends and family to pursue my path from the home of a Van. My mom flew out here and surprised me on her birthday which led to a mother-son road trip to Vegas, where we surprised my Uncle Mike who we hadn’t seen in over 15 years, as well as my Grandpa and other family members. We arrived sometime late in the afternoon and left mid-morning, so it was a pretty quick trip but meant the world to both of us. That woman never ceases to amaze me. I love you, mom!
I now have 3 sources of revenue coming in by way of the Coffee shop in the morning, wrestling instruction, and The Cantina a few nights a week. My expenses are $40 for the gym/shower/bathroom, $60 for the phone and internet, I stay under $20 a day on food, and my car insurance is $50. So essentially my monthly bills are only $150 in total, but I do have a little consumer debt from making the drive out here, as well as $9,000 in student loans. I’ve probably spent around $1,500 doing maintenance on the Van since coming to California, and I purchased it for $1,600 back in the great mitten state.
I now take 30% of every paycheck straight from the top and invest it in YOU (or ME) Inc. I have the goal of creating $500 worth of passive income within the time frame of a year. I’ve found jobs where I can make a healthy income and still enjoy the life I’m living. I plan to do this until I begin earning more than what my living expenses cost me and then I’d like to travel intensely, internationally, and deeply - engross myself in the rich diverse cultures that populate our living planet.
I am on day six without caffeine and I am feeling more alive than ever - or at least within my waking memory. It is now 11:30 PM as I sit here writing this with my energy still to the max!
My day in a nutshell:
I woke up at 6:30AM to do some breathing exercises, mobility movements, and meditation before heading to Coyote Coffee at 8AM. From 8AM to 2:30 PM I served up coffee and shared a smile - the day was rainy and the wind was cold. After work I jumped on my bike and road to the Ocean at Tennessee Valley Beach. At 5:30 PM I arrived at The Cantina and underwent my second day of training until around 9 PM. Throughout this time I found gaps to jot down notes and read poems by Mary Oliver; but the best reading came in my walk around “Walden” pond with Henry David Thoreau.
Our days are limited, our souls unending; time is precious and so are you. I am going to be really transparent in my forward posts. I’ve done my best to be transparent and open before, but now I also plan to include what I’m doing in my life to help accomplish my goals and fulfill my dreams. The reality I live in is one where everyone can have their cake and eat it too; meaning I have hope for me and I have hope for you, life is simple if we let it be. I am committed to sharing anything that helps me on my journey, because I believe that someone out there might need to hear a story; and if I can help someone by sharing my story then that is what I’m excited to do.
Your life’s destiny will be shaped by the decision you make right now!
Don't lose your dreams!
Let's go for a walk!