19 & Homeless
It was 2001 when I was 19yrs old and ended up homeless. I had enlisted in the military because I wanted to go to college and that was the only door available to me at the time. Then 9/11 happened and my recruiter pushed out my departure date. So I had to wait another two months to leave for my military training. Well being a kid of 19 I hadn't saved much money beyond my date that I was to leave. So my father said I could do some grunt work at his company, to pay for rent while they let me stay at his house for the two months they pushed out my military date.
However, about a month into working for my father I ended up slipping off a ladder and breaking my arm. That day my father fired me to avoid having me file a worker’s comp claim, then he booted me from his house since I couldn't work to pay rent. The military getting news of my broken arm un-enlisted me. So having nowhere else to go I had to live in my van.
So here I was homeless, with a broken arm and I had to live in my van. By now it was entering early winter time and it was getting below freezing at night. Since I had no money and I couldn't get any work until my arm healed up I was living off animal crackers and dry top ramen. I soon got pneumonia and a chronic cough - even to the point where I was coughing blood. Eventually my arm healed but I was still very sick and it wasn't until I received my tax return that I had money to purchase some antibiotics.
This was one of the saddest times of my life. While this is an uncomfortable story to write. For a time it was my reality. This is where even though stories like this happen all the time. Stories are at the cornerstone of who we are as people. Stories have meaning!
Stories can give us the power to relate and relay strength, change,heart ache, loss, joy and a plethora of other personal truths. Stories are so much more than a way for us to be entertained and escape reality. We are not alone. Sometimes we need to get real!
If you've read the Hobbit there's a powerful illustration of this villainous dragon named Smaug that ruined a whole city just for the dragon's greedy pleasures. Now there are dragons in our lives sometimes. And even though it's beyond us to imagine how we're going to deal with this impossible monster, that creature is laying on top of an incomprehensible treasure. So let's slay these dragons together and enjoy the treasures of being truly who we are!
Thank you all so very much for reading and I hope this particular post let’s you know you're not alone, and to take courage and care. And if you feel led to reach out to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) - perhaps you'd like to share a piece of your pain or story I'd be honored to listen. Even more so I highly recommend to please also consider seeking assistance from a certified mental health counselor. They can guide you step by step through your pain like I have. Thank you so much again. 📖