It would be all too easy to allow myself to fall into despair about not having a place of my own and worrying myself to death over what’s not happening in my life right now. Everyday there is something, never enough this, never enough that and even though it can be a rollercoaster sometimes, I still have a lot to be thankful for. For one thing, I have access to clean water. I have the ability to work on getting a degree even though there is no guarantee of a job in the field I’m studying for. My kids are physically healthy and know that although we may have it rough right now, I’m not giving up on a better future for them. I don’t let them see me getting caught up in a whining fest or downward spiral into anger. Sometimes my teenager and I get into it because teenagers “know” more than they actually do but compared to some others I’ve seen, I think I’ve been fortunate that she hasn’t gotten into drugs, gotten pregnant or landed in jail. When it came to bringing donations to Nickelsville, I stood back for a moment while watching her unload the back of Caly’s car as though she had done this all her life. Sometimes her little sister gets on her nerves and typical bickering does occur but in those moments when they bond together, well, words can’t describe what I feel.
Laughter softens the bitter pill of how we live, especially when it comes to my 7-year old. From asking about tentacles and Chinas to borrowing cameras and making her own videos, she really surprises me. Here is a link to a video done last year of her when asked a question: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/video/video.php?v=125655337449632
My teen is the quiet artistic personality. She loves to draw and is an anime fan, especially Manga. I have to monitor what kind of Manga she looks at because not all of it is age appropriate as we once discovered when she got a hold of a book that made me blush! She found it at the local library and I had to tell her that just because something is “cartoonish” doesn’t mean it isn’t adult.
In the back of mind, when I knew we were going to be living out of a vehicle, I had to remind myself that the path I’m on must be leading me somewhere I just didn’t know where. This is what my philosophy has always been even when I was a kid because the experiences I’ve had always prove it. If I hadn’t become homeless, with kids, would I be able to write about it the way I do? Would I be able to understand others in the same situation if I had never experienced for myself what other people don’t want to believe is true? So many times people carelessly would comment that I should just go on welfare until I educated them that in all honesty, there is no such thing as welfare of American citizens any more.
If I hadn’t become homeless, I wouldn’t have met all the people I’ve met so far with their own stories to tell. If I hadn’t been homeless, I would’ve never found out about change.org and all the nice folks there. I wouldn’t even be on wordpress.com if I hadn’t been homeless. I keep wondering where my path will end but I know it began with me and the choices I’ve made so far. Going back to school felt scary at first but what did I have to lose? If I’m ever going to get out of this, I’ll have to fight my way out.
In the meantime, I will continue talking about the homeless and confronting stupidity wherever I find it. No matter how much any of us would like to give up, don’t. Don’t let the apathy and indifference of ignorant people keep you from helping yourself. Don’t let negativity infect your spirit because the truth is, we are our own worst enemies and it is time to start being best friends with ourselves.
If someone were to ask me if I would do this all over again, the answer is yes, I would.