There was a time when I could carry everything I owned on my back and now it would take a truck load. 20 years ago I stood on a street corner wondering what I was going to do and where I was going to live. I had just been dropped of by a person I believed to be my friend, telling me I couldn’t stay at her house and needed to find a place to live. I had no family nearby and wasn’t going to call my father to bail me out of this mess. I had her drop me off at some guys apartment we had met last summer.
I was 18 years old, desperate to make it on my own. I knocked on the door. There was no answer. There was no way to even know if they still lived there. I think we hung out with them once at a party, and I was banking on them to let me in. I couldn’t even remember their names. I waited patiently for them to come home. When they did, they took one look at me with my back pack, and sleeping bag, rolled their eyes and said hell no. My power of persuasion would not be fazed even by the look of doubt on their faces. I smiled and used my charm to break through their resistance. It worked.
I stayed there for a few days, got my old job back with the restaurant, and started to work my way out of my predicament. The only problem: the two guys I was living with were older and in my limited experience, a bit strange. The one with the red hair insisted that when I asked for his lighter, I had to ask for precious. Slightly annoying to say the least. The other man was rather mopey, going on about his wife leaving him and taking their child. In my naivety, I felt sorry for the guy only realizing later why she left him. He didn’t work and was very negative all the time. Handsome as hell, but the negativity was too much to take.
After awhile, I was told I had outstayed my welcome and had to charm my way to another place. Making $3.35 an hour would take me awhile to save enough to get my own place. A coworker let me stay at her place for a few days, but she had a one bedroom apartment and her husband was not too fond of me sleeping on their living room floor. I found a place nearby that a man let me stay in and it seemed like a good deal until my friend Sam came over to hang out and stated that the hot tub in my room and the mirrors were not a good sign. He told me the guy was probably a pervert and had cameras set up to watch me. I didn’t believe him until the next day, when the guy started acting weird and told me I couldn’t have friends at my house. I panicked. I began trying to find another place to live.
I met these two girls at work who told me they were struggling to pay the rent. They said I could stay at their house. It was an apartment where I slept on the futon in the living room with the cats who felt they needed to mark my bed. On one bright sunny day, I gave my share of the rent to these sweet girls who in turn took my money and bailed, leaving me stranded. Was this Karma?
So now what was a girl to do? Call my dad and explain that I failed or keep moving forward? I chose to keep moving forward and spoke to the three guys living across the hall. I explained my predicament and they let me in to their home. Little did I know what kind of adventures this would lead me to. My discovery of myself and who I would eventually become. A future is not made by one decision, but by multiple decisions, and each twist and turn in life will lead us to another experience, which will make us stronger or weaker depending on how we handle it.