My homeless experience truly began back on that fateful day when my dear friend Isabel showed up with that old Ford Explorer. My time at the shop was now over, so I packed up my two remaining cats, my tortoise, a bag of clothes, a blanket and pillow, and a cooler with some munchies. I wasn’t in the best state of mind, of course, given what I had just lost. I was traumatized, actually, but I was trying desperately to hold it together and stay positive. I had no way of foreseeing what lay ahead. I had no idea how long I would be out there, or where the road would lead me. The only way I could get through it, or get to sleep for that matter, was to change my entire attitude about it. Everyone (especially me) always says how important it is to “stay positive,” but that is way easier said than done in a situation like mine. I could choose to lay down in the road of life, and let it run me over, or I could turn it around, for my own sake, and find the good in a horrific situation.
So here is how I did that:
I reflected back to the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yup, another really fun time in my life that I felt as though everything was being taken away. I had to quit school (pre-med), quit my job, and my boyfriend had just left me. I lost my hair, my boob, and 99% of my friends. So yea, I felt like I was losing everything. I had no way of foreseeing what lay ahead, and that was the weird fact that cancer would end up being the best thing that ever happened to me (more on that later).
So now, in a “similar-but-way-worse situation,” I had to once again extract that golden nugget of wisdom that is “staying positive.” I had to force myself to believe with all of my being that this was some kind of blessing. As fucked-up a blessing as it may seem now, it is still somehow a blessing. It wasn’t obvious at first, but after the initial trauma wore off (well, it never really wears off, but can be “managed”), I started to realize that I was now “free.” Or, should I say, “free-ish.”
I had been very over-worked for so many years, and I was pretty miserable trying to keep up with the many demands placed on me by others (as most adults can attest to). Client demands, guilt from friends for not *being there* often or sufficiently enough, and the unshakable feeling of missing out on the fun things in life. When you own a business, you get so used to spending every waking second thinking about how to improve it, that you really do lose sight of everything else. Well, that is if you’re single and childless like me. I probably wouldn’t be nearly as obsessed with business if I had a family. Of course I also blame Facebook for much of that feeling (hahaha), as I’m sure lots of people feel envious of our “friends'” oh-so-amazing lives. But the reality is, I was so work obsessed that I forgot how to have fun. I never got to go anywhere or do anything. Every day, and especially on weekends, all I see are all of my friends and makeup peers posting photos of all the incredible events they get to go to, shows they work on, art they make, awards they get…and I’m stuck in my shop doing what I no longer even want to do. Working hard for tiny scraps in order to barely pay the rent…just like millions of other adults around the globe.
So as I set out on the greatest adventure and challenge I’ve ever known, I slowly start to let go of all those chains and responsibilities. I *finally* had the time to take that long-procrastinated road trip! Stay tuned, because this is where it gets fun 🙂