There is a saying about how life is what happens while you're making other plans and, in my case, that has certainly proven to be true. Over the winter of 2009, I was having all kinds of mysterious physical symptoms, including a lot of pain, numbness, and difficulty walking. I had numerous doctor appointments, but was told it was probably a pinched nerve.
So, in the Spring of 2009, after agonizing over choosing another truck driving school, I discovered TruckingTruth.com. While researching which trucking companies were still hiring, I found Brett's article about the refrigerated carriers. I applied at another big company and was accepted. When I found out I would be put on a 12 to15 month waiting list for a female trainer, I applied with a third big company and was accepted there as well. But I was not feeling well and I put them on hold while I made more medical appointments to try to figure out what was wrong with me. To make a long story short, on June 1, 2009, I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Just when I thought I had a new life plan all figured out, SLAM!!!
I've often wondered if, at least sometimes, things happen for a reason. Or maybe they just happen, and we try to find a way to make them meaningful so that we can better accept them? I still don't know which is true. I do know that our life continues to evolve in unexpected ways. There is obviously no chance for me to be a truck driver now (unless medical science finds a cure for MS), because that is one job that you cannot do with a debilitating neurological disorder. That has been very disappointing to me, but I've already begun to think of other, more realistic, future career possibilities. I am dealing with my new circumstances the best way I can, and I'm really hoping that someday I can ride along with Randy and still be able to experience a little of what I'd been dreaming of.
When Randy was laid off from his job in July, 2009, we decided that it was finally time to take a chance and send him to truck driving school. He was turned down by the first company to which he applied because of the old misdemeanor. But he was accepted at a school in Salt Lake City, Utah and he began school in August, 2009. I am putting together blog posts about our experiences so far, and I am going to begin documenting what happens to him as he continues through the rest of his training. I sincerely hope that he will be successful because I think it will help him develop a new sense of confidence, which has been damaged by some of the failures we have suffered through. Already, his new, more structured situation has blessed him with self-discipline, which he was often lacking before.
For me, it has renewed the separation anxiety I've often felt before, but I'm (somewhat reluctantly) learning to deal with it. Since Randy's been gone, I have felt a bit envious of the challenging adventure he's experiencing, and I sometimes feel a little left behind. But, in many ways, I think it may be fortunate that it turned out this way. Who knows what would have happened with two high-strung, sensitive, creative, and sometimes competitive people with strong personalities crammed into a truck for weeks or months on end? It could have been a lot of fun, or it might have been disastrous! And, I've already had my share of accomplishments which I am proud of. So has Randy, but needs a boost right now and, if he's successful in the trucking industry, he can have that all to himself! Meanwhile, I have plenty to keep me busy as I deal with my illness, try to pack up the remainder of our belongings, and prepare to find a new place to live. That will definitely be a formidable challenge with Randy gone, but I believe I was tough enough to be a truck driver, so I think I can handle it!
And I'm still very interested in trucking, which is why I spend time on TruckingTruth.com. I want to stay involved with what Randy is doing for a living, and I want to do everything I can to help him succeed! And while I'm there, I have been contributing to the trucker's forum and meeting lots of really nice, interesting people. So I'll just keep hanging around! And I am putting together more blogs about our experience with his first few weeks at school.
P.S. Like Brett says all the time, I really don't think it makes much difference where you start out. The things that I found important when choosing were location (if they hire out of your state or have any terminals nearby), what type of freight they haul, the tuition cost and financing options, the specifics of the training, etc. No matter which company you choose, if you have a good attitude, work hard, use common sense and take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, you will probably get a successful start in the trucking industry.