Being a company man, I’ve noticed that every once in a while I get a little down about the routine of things. I get a little hung up on the “go here, do that” aspect of the job and start thinking I could use a little more freedom. Sometimes I even dream about what my life might be like if I went down the owner-operator route. Fortunately, something always comes around to bring me back to reality because I always end up feeling a bit comfier in my seat.
A few months back, I borrowed some DVD’s from another trucker and started watching the TV series Sons of Anarchy during downtime on my hauls. What really drew me into the show was the portrayal of camaraderie among a collection of nomadic souls with a love of motorcycles and the open road. The characters seem to enjoy a level of independence that most dream of.
Like any show, it tends to get off track from what drew me in to begin with, but there is definitely something there for those who feel they share a kinship with fellow road warriors. This inspired me to re-read my dusty old copy of Kerouac’s On the Road and I took a break from the show. Though I wouldn’t say the story glamorizes a life “on the road,” for me, it serves as a reminder that there is much to be learned as a traveler. Life is a journey – for some, journeying is the life and a way of cultivating the American spirit. Sure, sometimes life out there isn’t so grand; maybe sometimes it is even downright ugly. The thing is, that’s life. When it comes down to it, the way things look really depends on the lens through which you view it.
So I recently reflected on what I was feeling about my trucking life. I thought about my lack of control over where I go, when I go, and how long I spend driving at a stretch. I talked to some owner-operators and read up on things they deal with. What I came to realize is that unlike characters in the stories I love and even unlike some truckers, my gig is pretty uncomplicated. The things I don’t control are probably best left in other hands. All that I really have to worry about is enjoying the ride when I can.
Sometimes we all need a little reminder to take some joy from what we do, even it is from an embellished and dramatized story. Yeah, so I like to romanticize what I do a little bit. Is there really anything wrong with that? I certainly don’t think so. By the way, I have seriously been thinking about getting myself a motorcycle.
About the Author
Hank Barton is a second generation trucker-philosopher with a penchant for the written word. He enjoys blogging about long haul trucking, safe driving practices and life on the open road. He writes for eGears, an online CDL Test authority that specializes in a variety of study guides.