AD · VEN · TURE
1. an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Truck driving is an adventure, all right, and comes with a full set of rollercoaster-like emotions.
I’m generally a positive person. I’m the type that tries to find the good in even bad situations, and I drive my husband bonkers with my “it could always be worse” scenarios. But there are times when I can’t hold my calm, positive demeanor and I temporarily break apart or snap. Sometimes it comes in the form of a long string of cuss words. Sometimes my eyes just frantically start spitting out tears. On rare occasions I’ll even throw something.
This new career in truck driving is fun for a lot of reasons – I get to see the country, spend a lot of time with Adam, get dirty and feel accomplished with what I do – to name a few. Thankfully the good parts of trucking still outweigh the bad by a lot. I hope it stays that way.
But the truth of this adventure: It’s hard.
For those of you that know me well, might find it hard to believe that I’ve cried my “happy” little self to sleep in the sleeper bunk on a few occasions. That, my friends, is a confession that I haven’t revealed to anyone. I don’t like the feelings I’m usually having when I get to that point – where I need a crying release in private. It’s almost always an equation of events + frustration = mini-breakdown.
I tend to hide my crying. It’s not because I feel ashamed, nor do I consider it as a weakness. I just don’t want people to feel sorry for me, and during those raw moments I don’t want the extra attention because it oftentimes makes me spin into an even bigger self-pity party. I want to cry, feel better, get over it and move on as quickly as possible. The attention somehow keeps me dwelling on it. So I try to let my tears fly in private. I do enjoy a good cry now and then, anyway. It releases toxins and stuff. Right?
There have been a few occassional stretches of what I started calling my “trucker blues.” I’ll temporarily feel sad, a little hopeless and things that would normally make me smile somehow plant alligator tears in my eyes. It’s kind of like a sporadic mini-depression. But soon after, I snap out of it and go back to my normal self – and I once again love this gig and all the crazy that goes with it.
In fact, even the stressful situations can bring out some good. For example, there was a delivery Adam and I had to make in downtown San Francisco last week, where it’s kind of scary to drive due to heavy traffic, tight turns, and many obstacles for a big rig to carefully navigate around – including pedestrians – in every direction. On this particular occasion we pulled up to our delivery location (with a plan to double-park on the street and meet a forklift driver that would quickly unload us right there) and we were met with a construction situation that wouldn’t allow us to unload.
A new plan was needed, and quick as traffic flowed around us. We decided to quickly route-plan to the only fuel station in San Francisco that was “truck-friendly” while we wait for further instructions from dispatch, but our maps took us there from a direction in which we couldn’t enter the parking lot. We had to keep driving past it while route-finding on the fly. This is much scarier than when you’re in a car – especially in San Francisco where there are so many places we simply won’t fit with this truck.
My point of this story is that Adam and I both stayed calm, worked together and came out with a feeling of pride from tackling a potentially stressful situation without incident.
What’s funny… well, not super funny… about that day was that it kind of went downhill from there and we later lost our cool for a bit, but I guess that kind of demonstrates the whole back-and-forth emotion and stress that makes this kind of hard sometimes. I might make it seem like it’s always puppies and rainbows out here with my uber-positivity, but that’s obviously not always the case (just like any job, really). It can be really frickin’ hard. It’s not always just the long hours, sleep struggles, getting dirty, bumped, bruised and missing family and friends, either. A lot of times it’s just the stress from unexpected little situations that snowball into one big crazy day that makes it hard. Like getting to your shipper an hour late, begging them to stay because it’s Friday and you don’t want to wait until Monday to load, paying them cash for their overtime to stay for you, then finding out your axle is overweight and you can’t get the load rearranged because the warehouse is closed down for the weekend. Yup… That’s when things get hairy again.
But then you make another new plan, cross your fingers and roll hoping everything else goes smoothly. And when it does, and when the week is done, you get home and take several deep breaths and prepare for the next trip out. Again with fingers crossed.
In between all of this there’s those mountains I adore, so many fantastic miles to cover, time to quiet my mind and think, listen to podcasts and audio books, hang out with Adam, and enjoy the fact that I’m in a different place every single day.
I wanted adventure, and by definition I got myself into a doozie – that’s for sure!
Tonight I love boiled eggs.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!