About a year ago I was in my bed, working on my laptop. A fist pounded on the wall of my RV, moving from the front to the back. Then more pounding on the other side. Finally I hear someone yanking on the RV doors. I slowly shut my laptop, turned off the lights, and sat in the darkness as I waited for the police to decide I wasn't home.
It was then that I decided I'd try and find somewhere legal to park the RV.
I sent out dozens of emails and got only one reply. A girl had an apartment in the Mission and was willing to rent me her driveway. I showed up with the RV, shimmied it past the entrance gate, and agreed to rent the spot. She asked where I lived, and thinking that we were getting along really well, I bluntly replied, "In here!" as I patted the wall of the RV.
"Oh! Right! Okay. Hmm. Let me think about this for a second. Wow! Am I okay with this? Yeah, I guess so. Okay! This is fine."
As I expected, she called the next day and made an excuse. I lost the spot. I sent out more emails and got no replies. Found one more spot, called the phone number, and was told it was still available. The next day I checked out the spot, and when asked where I lived, I gave a more vague, "San Francisco". I moved in, and for the first week made an effort to be invisible. Then I left the country for a month. When I got back I stopped being anything other than blatant, and was caught.
"So.... you live in there, don't you?"
Since then I've had an amazing spot to park my RV. I pay rent, but it's not too bad.
When I was emailing and calling all of these places, there were times when it felt hopeless. Who wants some RV with a potentially sketchy resident parked in front of their house? As logic would allow: not too many people. Constant failure was a certainty.
At the same time, though, I only needed one person to say yes. There are times when a high success rate is critical (like being a chef at a restaurant), but there are others, like my parking situation, where a high success rate is not much better than a low success rate.
Another more universally applicable example of this sort of situation is dating. There are certain benefits to having a high success rate, but a low success rate can look pretty good, too. For most of us, a low success rate is what we ought to expect. Finding someone interesting is very difficult. Attracting them isn't always easy. Building a good relationship on top of that is challenging. But if there's only one person out of the thousands you meet in your life who you're interested in, successfully attract, and build a great relationship with, then you've done pretty well.
Next time you feel a bit overwhelmed with something, ask yourself what kind of success rate you really need. If it's a low success rate, then you may be able to put failure in perspective. In some cases it's absolutely expected that you'll have a long string of failures before you get that one critical success. If that applies to your situation, you can view your failures as the steps leading up to that one ultimate success that you need.
I think a pile of sea urchins may be a new low for post-image relevancy. Heading to China this week and will make a point of taking a lot of photos.
I know it's kind of beside the point of the post, but you might have avoided looking so sketchy if you had told people up front that you were looking for a place to park and live. I wouldn't be freaked by a guy who wanted to live in my driveway, but a guy who asked if he could park his RV, then tried to live there sneakily - sounds pretty sketchy to me.
You could lose any potential sketchiness by telling people who you are, link to your blog, link to the video showing your RV's interior, once they know you're not a potential thief (thieves don't have blogs nor make themselves so public), the response rate should rise. Point out that, given that you're in there much of the time, you function as backup security for their residence. There's a lot of advantages. I could even see some elderly couples paying YOU to live in their driveway.
When I started out freelancing, I worried that the "standard" client in my area, law, would not want to hire a young guy who has not fixed address. I has visions of an uptight lawyer deleting my pitches. Then I realised I only needed a handful of clients for it to work out financially, so the rejection was a lot easier to handle.
Messages appear to be broken. I can't access my mailbox, and get this error when trying to access a message from an email notification link:
Fatal error: Class 'Message' not found in /home/sett/sett/includes/user.php on line 999
It always makes me think how come you don't find very well related photo for your posts. I'm sure you take a lot of pictures. Specially this one. I'm sure you have photos of your RV parked next to a beach - to the least ;)
Last week I was sitting in bed, wrapping my brain around a programming problem presented by my newest project. With no warning, someone started pounding on the wall of my RV. No identification, no verbal communication. Just banging on the wall. Within a few seconds someone else started banging on the other side.
Would you open the door? I didn't. I shut my laptop and stayed as quiet as I could. I have light blocking curtains, but I could see that flashlight beams were reaching for the edges of them.
Then I heard someone try to open my driver's side door. It's locked. Then the passenger side. Also locked. I wondered if I remembered to lock the RV door. It gets tried, too, and the intruder can't get in.
Overwhelm is downright nasty. Few things cripple otherwise productive, creative, and enterprising people like being overwhelmed.
The worst state of overwhelm is probably when you start feeling like you're "shoveling sand in the ocean." It's when you're far behind schedule, but it seems like even working at maximum efficiency and intensity for an indefinite period of time won't make things any better.
It's an ugly place to be.