Thursday, May 16, 2013

Current Thoughts on My Homeless Bohemnian Lifestyle

Indeed as I report to you I am homeless. Before you panic (in case you’ve forgotten), I remind you I am not forced into this position. I’m doing it voluntarily because I think it may be the most practical way for me to go into hardcore debt-payment mode, which is what I want to do since I’ve been falling behind financially all year.

As of far, I’m utterly surprised at my response to it. I’m perfectly okay with it. I’m perfectly okay with sleeping in my car at night and spending my days camping inside the library and bookstore. It goes to show you that external circumstances truly hold lesser power than how you respond internally.

To think, I’ve spent months in my apartment complex panicking about the prospect of potentially getting evicted and becoming homeless, only to, upon my move out date, choose it calmly and willfully. I even tossed away some major things like my food processor, cutting board, plate ware, and so on to ensure minimal overflow of property to the backseat (to give peeping Toms less to see and decrease chance of theft, and to have a place to sleep as well), yet even with that I’m okay. After paying my debts I should be decently moneyed and buy it all back, especially my precious books.

I’ve renewed my gym membership to give myself a place to shave and shower, along with other perks cheaper than pay-per-trip truck stops, and eat decently. Nighttime actually gets quite exciting since I have to technically hide out. The alternating environment gives me something to contemplate the moments before going under in the back seat, and there’s a certain challenging element in sleeping in spasms, for once in sleep I regularly panic myself awake to survey the surroundings, only to go peaceably back under in moments. It’s becoming a peaceful habit to wake up at dawn – to slip out unseen – which makes my life feel extended in a way, with time less spent sleeping with the added enjoyment of seeing the sunrise.

Though, don’t think I’m romanticizing it. In all, it’s simply easier than I’d thought it would be, though, of course, trials are yet to come, such as the occasion I do get caught out or have to deal with night’s upcoming summer’s heat. In all, it’s a fresh experience which has allowed me to observe life and my habits from a different angle, but I still dislike since I don’t have a nice hard floor to sprawl out on, no access to cooking equipment for the discounted beef roast from Sprouts, and find it harshly lonely not to have my usual internet access. Without a laptop at present, it feels uniquely isolating not to check up with my friends in various states, especially since I haven’t met many people yet in Texas with my deep interests, sort of rendering me a temporary hermit in my real-life social network. However much I can bare it now, I still wish to end this lifestyle as promptly as I can, but not until I’ve paid off a significant portion of my debt.

Probably the biggest screwing up factor is the last of a full computer, which does mess up some rather significant plans I had for entrepreneurialship online. Plus, this blog is practically on hold. I’m at the library, but I don’t like that sensation of people looking at me. It’s not the same.

But let’s see how quickly I restore my credit and clear my debts without having rent, utility, or internet bills to pay, eh? Even if it’s a pain to be so deprived of the regular contact of my friends the subtraction of internet access does eliminate that distracting element, so while I’m incapable of engaging my entrepreneurial ideas at present my biggest goal these next few months (yes, months) is to work on building up as robust a mind as possible, one that is meticulously studious, vigorously creative, and overall enthusiastically active, both able to tolerate the mundane labor of my income-earning jobs while still exerting at at-home (er, in-car) improvement. Minus the omnipresent internet, there is far lesser excuse for me to not read or up my game at writing in a journal. (Though, darn it, I need to get myself a head lamp, for I feel forced into my bedtime with closing businesses and the sometimes dark parking places.)

My advice to you is to reevaluate your monsters in mind to see whether they’re truly as scary as they’ve been made out to be, or if it’s purely a matter of internal evaluation. Homelessness – the thing I’ve been so scared of all these past months – turned out not to be so painful after all.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Coming Climax, and Temporary Blogging Leave

Another boring update about the author.

I thought to notify you that this blog may go into remission for a bit, as -- now don't fret; I'm doing this on purpose -- I'll be living in my car for a bit in order to gather capital and get myself back into the black ink zone again. Overall, the reason why this blog has been so spotty is because of my turbulent finances, and this ought to be the last hurdle before I can really dedicate myself once again to my goals without excess outside concern.

I could probably afford an apartment, but I'm choosing the ultra-frugal car living because it distresses me that it was LAST year that I resolved to eliminate all my debt, and not only increased it but also, halfway through this next year, am still increasing it. The red ink accumulates.

Plus, it's been one hurdle after another, like having the reverse luck of Gladstone Gander. It isn't getting me spiritually down, but I have to remark at the silliness at how one event after another has been coming at me. The sun about rises over the horizon, and then oddly the horizon gets taller, bringing it back to pre-dawn.

For instance, I had to suffer the embarrassment of "lying" to my landlord because one of my bosses explicitly promised to increase my hours, which I passed onto my landlord as ensuring that I'd be paying my dues, and then the next week the hours would be arbitrarily hacked in divorce of working performance. Or I'll hit a sweet spot of having three incomes and so nearly having financial stability in my grasp, only to have something catastrophic happen to my car and whittle me down to one income plus walking to grocery stores.

Though, again I'm not complaining. It's just odd to me that this year of all years these events are occurring in a line like this. As such, reflecting upon this history and in being hit with the tremendous cost of car repair, I've decided to embrace voluntary, temporary homelessness as a way of finally getting the teeth out of my debt. It's a small one-person debt that can be paid off in a scant 3-4 months, but still irritating on the whole to have resolved for so long to get rid of it and see it laughing in the middle of the room, even bigger. Being Spartan for a bit ought to be the needed battle axe to cut it down to size and finally get it out of my face.

The majority of the considerations are solved. I'm at peace at having to whittle down my property a slight bit more to lighten the load, and my Paleo diet is still workable despite not having a dining area. I'll take advantage of an incentive to renew my gym membership to have a showering and shaving area, plus some dandy things like a place to do Body by Science workouts and utilize a sauna. (The sauna, in addition, ought to help acclimate me to approaching summer heat.) All that's left to work out is practical parking.
This means I'll have to take a temporary leave of absence from blogging, as I won't have access to my PC. With the money savings I'll try to get myself an affordable laptop -- like I've been blabbing about -- to bring myself back and to no longer have excuses for spotty blogging, and I should be able to afford it rather rapidly, under these circumstances.

It's odd to think I'm so at peace with this decision. I've spent all of these months, most of this year, getting stressed out and my heart rate up over eviction and homelessness, only to approach my move-out date and willingly choose it. It goes to show, again, that external situations do not have much power except how we react to them internally. The vast majority of our obstacles are on the inside . . . sometimes the entirety of our problems.

And! For those of you who may be scoffing at my claim to blog about self-optimization, in accepting homelessness in order to gain financial stability, I remind you that measuring how far you come towards your ideal goes by many standards. I primarily want to deal with here measures of psychological and character improvements, which may or may not lead to monetary wealth, so riches in themselves are the only measure of how successful a person's ambitious goals are. They can be, but we're more worried about the progress our mind and relationships make. We hope to be rich, but that isn't the primary concern.

The next time I broadcast to you, hopefully, is through a laptop at a Barnes & Noble, now stripped of any complaint of environmental distractions or being too busy with work to actually be a responsible author. I still have a lot of technology, computer, and internet related goals and projects to consider, like learning photoshop for an especial purpose or further mastering writing, which will bring me back to you in short-order.

Until then, my internet goes out Friday morning, and I shall largely be non-responsive for some weeks, I don't know how long. Any activity you see on my Twitter or Facebook profile is going to be automated posting.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting the Punch of Aromatherapy Cheaply

Now for a deviation into an isolated mental health technique, and good way to save money at it.

I think it's vastly understated how extremely effective it can be to use aromatherapy to nurture mental health. Applied only mildly, sure, it has some relaxing effects, but a few simple tweaks can have a dramatic impact, which is an immense boost to helping you not only keep stress under control, but also keep your cognition together, say in the case that an intense emotion might urge you to nail a bad thinking pattern down.

For me, I have to say that aromatherapy may have outright cured my rage problems. A good while ago -- though not anymore, thankfully -- I used to work at a restaurant that had a particularly abusive staff, and it resulted in some tremendous anger problems in me. I used to get myself really worked up even in the privacy of my own home, and be stuck in my fumes for hours. Upon a random discovery, I found that applying aromatherapy at those pivotal moments made me feel like my brain was being "punched" with relaxation: I'd inhale the scent, my brain stem would throb with comfort, and the anger would instantly vanish, to be replaced with inner peace.

However, aromatherapy as recommended tends to be far more expensive than it needs to be, and the particular methodology popularly suggested is quite flawed, making it even more pricey.

For instance, I think it's wasteful to go for things such as scented candles, for unless you're trying to impress a house guest those aroma molecules are going to fill up the receptors in your nose rather quickly, and once they're filled the scent not going to have that impact on your mental health anymore -- you won't even be able to detect it -- so you'll fill the air up with aroma that will cease to be noticed after ten or fifteen minutes. If you have hours to burn yet out of that candle, that's money down the drain for aromatherapy that won't work after your receptors are filled.

The essential thing I've found to making it cheap is grasping that aromatherapy is its most potent when you're experiencing an intense emotion or longing (such as comfort from depression), so you only need to apply it during those emotional experiences, rather than having it fill up your home all the time. Additionally, you need a great variety of scents, for that receptor-thing can render you numb to a particular scent relatively quickly, or at least vastly weaken it over time, so it's a must to have alternatives on hand.

Here's what you do: Buy some cheap vials of essential oils, and simply open and sniff them when you want to calm down, relax, or whatever. Don't apply them to your skin or evaporate them on a hot plate; kept in their vials, they should remain potent for years, which means you could buy an aromatherapy kit that's not only super-cheap, but also lasts virtually forever. With the money saved you could keep adding to the variety.

I say this because in curing my rage problems I found that a few simple inhalations were all I needed for the anger to dissipate. I'd run to the bathroom in a panic of my growing seethe, start smelling a desired vial, and it was so deeply relaxing that I'd be alright for hours, or the rest of the day even. Just a minute or less of smelling was needed; not hours of burning a candle.

Though! Remember to use aromatherapy only as a supplement. It's a vast physiological help, but will only go so far in treating physical symptoms, whereas you'll have to take an additional effort to identify and understand your emotions, and change your thinking patterns. For me, I would resort to such things as journal writing afterward, before which I used aromatherapy to clear my head, otherwise my explosive mood would prevent me from thinking and writing clearly, and I wouldn't be able to calm down by that method, perhaps. However dramatically effective, it's only a boost, an aid to other methods needed for long-term thinking habit change.

Now, as for an actual source, I'll go ahead and suggest my own favorite perfumery, Deb's Oils. The smallest vials -- which are all you need -- run about $3 a pop, so you could get an already effective collection just by buying three vials for $9, which was about all I had in curing my own anger, or spend more or else using future money savings to expand the collection to keep various scents potent.

If you treat them right, all these vials could last you forever, so you'll always have this emotional helper at hand, and won't have to waste money on hours-burning candles, those bath salts,  or fancy potpourri to tuck in your pillow at night.