A while back, I believe sometime in 2016 I realized that I was not a very happy person and that I was a very lonely person. And for the first time I actually questioned that and asked myself if this was how I wanted to live the rest of my life. I realized that my whole life I had simply accepted that as my reality. I didn’t have any answers but I did ask myself an important question that day. I also realized shortly thereafter was that due to the isolation of being a long-haul truck driver my mental health was on a downward spiral. Little did I know how badly.
I remember listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast. I love podcasts. The podcast episode was one of those episodes that jumped to a dozen random topics quickly. For some reason the topic switched to online dating. In my mind I instantly said “yeah, I tried that, it doesn’t work.” Anyways, the guest mentioned how the trick to online dates was get the other person to commit to a coffee date as quickly as possible or it just becomes an online messaging relationship. And that’s when I realized – that’s it! All I need is to arrange for as many “coffee dates” as I could to force me out of my comfort zone and force me to engage with the opposite sex. Chat them up for an hour and then say it was great to meet but it’s obvious we are not a good match, let me pay for the coffee and have a nice life. I didn’t want a relationship to interfere with this bike ride I was planning for and to be honest 7 years after my last relationship I still was not ready to put myself out there.
So, I went to my go-to online dating site Christian Cafe.com and low and behold after all these years my old profile was still there. I proceeded to edit my profile by taking out everything interesting and any dreams and goals that were in my old profile. I wanted to appear as boring and normal as everyone else. Strangely the one thing I would forget to take out was at the bottom of my profile. I had noted that I don’t want kids and I won’t accept other people’s kids (that’s another story.) But the thing was if I was only trying to get a coffee date so who cares if you have a dozen kids? Anyways, I made myself as boring as possible and then made my profile active. It was then I realized my flaw in my plan. How does a guy working 14+ hours a day driving a big truck try to engage women online? It was impossible. But a strange ability in my truck was that for some reason when my phone was plugged into the dashboard charger, I could keep a web browser open without going into hibernation. So, the next best thing I could do was appear to be online. Online daters are always checking to see who’s online as it’s quick and easy to start a conversation with someone. And you know what? I had basically no luck for many days until I received a message from Arizona.
When I saw a message from Arizona I thought “I love Arizona.” I now wish I didn’t as I probably would have deleted the message. But because I loved Arizona, I opened the message by first checking out the profile photos and oh my goodness was this girl beautiful. Anyways her question was “how come you don’t want kids? In my culture children take care of you when you get older.” (She was Haitian.) Because I was many days into this online dating thing with no luck and this girls’ photos were beautiful, I thought why not and responded which would lead to some back-and-forth messages.
Back tracking to another situation but will come full circle I had a problem that I didn’t know about but was getting worse by the day. You know those voices in your head? No, I am not talking about schizophrenia, I am talking about the self talk that is generally negative. The phrases that say to yourself such as you are a failure or a bad parent. Or the anger that builds up inside you? You get the picture. These voices are generally a soft whisper, but for me these voices were getting louder and louder and I had no idea because it was so gradual, I was so isolated being a long-haul truck driver working 14 yours a day with nothing but 1,000 km’s of interstate in front of me. I was ever so slowly separating from reality.
Getting back to the girl. We did our first instant messaging conversation the day before Christmas 2016. She sent an updated photo that was even more beautiful than her profile photos. I messaged her the day after Christmas to let her know I had a run out to Vancouver BC and would have plenty of time to talk. I didn’t hear from her for a few days, which was fine. But then I got a message that she was pretty tired from Christmas but would reach out shortly. I didn’t know what shortly meant, but it meant something. A day after that I got an email from Belize of all places. And this email got me pretty angry, actually really angry. Remember I mentioned the voices in my head getting louder? At the time I didn’t realize, but these voices were actually screaming inside my head. And this email put me over the edge. I remember I went to bed late in Kelowna BC and in my sleep, I was in such a rage that the rage actually woke me up. I don’t even know how to comprehend a rage so strong that it wakes you up. But wake me up it did. And I wanted to kill somebody.
Fortunately, I had my first delivery only a few minutes away from my parking spot. This would help to keep my rage in check. The problem was that my next delivery was in Abbotsford 325 km’s away or about 5 hours driving in a truck over the Rockies. To this day I still remember walking to my cab, opening the door and climbing up and not knowing what was going to happen next. I was done. I didn’t know if I was going to kill someone or myself all I knew is that would not be humanly possible to drive 5 hours without a complete breakdown of the worst kind. I had reached a point of no return and the voices were screaming so loudly it was defining. I was scared. I got in my truck and looked at my work phone and there was a message from that girl. She sent me a link and said this made me think of you. I actually had to type in the link on my personal cell phone as my work phone had no data. So, I typed in the link and On the road again by Willie Nelson popped up on YouTube. Now I am no country music fan or a Willie Nelson fan but by only a miracle from God himself my rage and the voices in my head instantly evaporated. Gone, I mean gone! I would actually end up going almost a full year without a vacation on the energy from that release alone. This woman had no clue about my state or what her “silly” text message would mean to me. There was not a human alive that could have talked me off the ledge that day.
Between that experience and her beautiful smile about a week later I told her that I would not rest until I married her. We wouldn’t even meet in person for almost 7 months and 2 days after our 1 year anniversary I proposed to her in Arizona. My 2 1/2 years with her would be the happiest years of my life. And every night before bed often with tears in my eyes I would thank God for this most precious gift of His daughter, that He had remembered me in this lifetime and that I would never take this woman for granted, ever.
And then it all ended with a stupid argument. A day before my 47th birthday she ripped up the immigration paperwork for me to immigrate to the US for us to be married. And that night was how my bike ride became my focus and timing to start on November 12, 2019 through a Canadian winter. To prove to myself that I was strong enough (for even marriage, because marriage is hard.) After I was well on my way with plans of the bike ride and my anger and being upset had subsided, I realized that I needed to continue to pursue this woman. I was convinced that she was God’s gift to me and still the woman of my dreams and nothing would change that. But on October 21, 2019 in Gilroy California at my very last delivery as truck driver. One week away from handing in my keys to one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs of my life. Mere weeks away from starting a bike ride across Canada in the winter. I get a text message from her that 4 months after our break up she met a stranger, they both fell instantly in love and were married in a private ceremony a month ago. Whether the whole story is true or not is irrelevant. This would be one of the worst days of my life and I was alone in the world. Two and half years of the happiest time in my life resulted in the worst day of my life. If you recall my first paragraph to this story about happiness and loneliness and you see how it all ended. I can not afford to pursue happiness in this lifetime and I no longer feel lonely. The price is too high for a person like me. I think it took close to 2 years not to think about her everyday. And I feel emotionally it will take another 20+ years to get comfortable with the idea of being with someone else. So, I should be ready around my 70th birthday.
But my current living situation has how we might say aggravated my emotional well being. I am not sure if I can say this next bit by suggesting that it is not emotional because it very much affects my emotional health. What I mean is I can’t afford to feel or be lonely. The idea of being with someone else freaks me out. But I am so alone currently that I am losing perspective on my reality. That’s what I mean be emotion. I am alone but not lonely. I now live a tradition lifestyle (a roof over my head) but in an nontraditional location (jungle) that is fairly isolated. In my situation it is almost impossible to get through this kind of lifestyle as a single person. I would actually hazard a guess that it is virtually impossible. There is just too much work and it keeps me far to isolated.
And not to beat myself up further and expose a horrible attitude though I realize that is how it will be interpreted but I am experiences shows me to be incompatible with just about every woman on the planet. Emotionally I would never trust her to stay. Emotionally I would never trust myself. I am basically uneducated and unemployed for over 2 1/2 years. I am probably living a pipe dream living in Belize with virtually no savings and zero retirement at 49. I look almost 20 years younger than my age. When I look at women my own age, I think I am looking at my mom (yeah, I know I just pissed a lot of women off and I know I will die alone for my sins). My only chance would be a much younger Belizean women. As much as I love black women (probably the only woman I could be with) I believe the culture gap here to be too great. Not to mention I suspect 95%+ younger women in this country want children. I am far too old and with no source of income it would be impossible to afford. Not to mention how isolated I am in a tiny village to actually meet people. Even the desire to be with someone is a luxury that I simply can not afford to hope for.
To make matters worse, the transition to a traditional normal life has not been easy. Being alone with no support, no help and not knowing who you can trust is very, very frustrating. Especially when dealing with the few people I desperately need help from. And that frustration is leading to a lot of anger with the people here that are holding me back. And as I have stated earlier. I am so alone that I am losing perspective and I realized just the other day that the voices are back.
Another blog posts that add to my daily challenges and the situation/challenges that you just read about is called I don’t trust anyone which can be found HERE.
Written – June 2, 2022
Disclosure: first and foremost, I acknowledge that there are people in the world with far worse stories, events and situations in their lives. You simply have to look no further than the Ukraine. This post is not about woe is me. I also realize that all I have to do is change my attitude and my life will be perfect just like yours.
The purpose of this writing is to help process what is going through my head to actually help change my attitudes. And to simply disclose the challenges of trying to start a life in an isolated, third world environment. I also find that writing about these things goes along way to put my anxieties into context resulting in a better more constructive perspective about my life.