A funny thing happened the other day when my brother and his wife were visiting us. We were talking about our kids at first. And then my brother said something to me which took me aback. He said, “It’s a good thing you met your husband when you did, because you’d be homeless right now.” He laughed after he said it, so I thought maybe he was joking. But after thinking about it, I decided he really did believe this about me. I had to set him straight about his thinking. You see, I may have had hard times but I have always risen above them and have come out successful in the end.
He didn’t know when I sold all my belongs except for my clothing, it was because I was planning on leaving the country. I had just gotten my TESOL certificate and was heading either to China or Costa Rica to teach English as a second language. However, my mom ended up with breast cancer and I decided to move in with her to take care of her and drive her to her many doctor appointments. Lucky she didn’t need chemo but because she was HER-2 positive, she needed infusions of Herceptin. My plan was as soon as she was better, I was leaving. I was still in college earning my BA degree, and I ended up graduating with high honors. I’m not sure how that equates to being homeless or almost homeless. I’ve always paid my rent or mortgage on time as well as my bills. I was never overly rich but I was comfortable.
Granted during Obama’s reign, I had to improvise how I earned my money. I had gotten laid off of my construction job and I started my own business as a Professional Organizer, which I ran for seven years, which paid my bills as well as my rent. I helped a Medical Marijuana grower, and I was a packer for a moving company. So, homeless was never in my mindset. And I never saw myself as being destitute, I had to tighten my belt but in my mind that was survival skills many people don’t possess. I am able to live without certain luxuries. I bartered my hair services, I stopped getting my nails done, and I certainly had enough clothes to wear. As far as food goes, I was doing Medifast, so my food was delivered and I only had to purchase chicken breast and salad stuff.
How I would like others to see me: A strong, independent woman who has survived being a single mother of two, a woman who fought and survived a breast cancer diagnosis, a woman who, for fourteen years, didn’t have a man to rely on and made it anyway. A woman who is a jack of all trades and a master of none. A person who is loyal as a friend, who is honest, sincere, fierce in her beliefs, and will help anyone in need. If you cross me, I will forget you. If you lie to me, I will forget you. If you choose to talk about me behind my back or make up stories, I will forget you.
As I sit here writing this, I am glad I went through the struggles life brought me. I can say it now that it’s passed me. And even though I am not an overly religious person, I do know there was someone or something looking out for me. Perseverance comes to mind. I’m happy I met my husband when I did. It meant I was ready to share my life again with someone. And we are perfect for each other. I deserve him as he deserves me. He often tells me he’s not sorry he ruined my plans! And neither am I.
The saying, “What you think of me is none of my business” still rings true for me today. I don’t need anyone’s approval to do anything. I am my own seasoned person. I love my life. It may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me. The closer the distance between these three dimensions, the more at peace I am. Don’t always surmise you know a person, unless you really do know that person.