I voluntarily left hot sex, no bills and free home cooking to move into a damn homeless shelter.
Ain’t that some crazy shit?
What’s even crazier is that I spent three weeks in that shelter, around a bunch of cast-offs, nut jobs and interesting people — -then moved into the ultimate paradise right after I left there.
This is a story about perspective and the power of it. If you don’t have that already, my unsolicited advice is that you should damn well get it.
Flashback: April 2017
There I was getting my ass evicted from the condo that I was renting. Everything was great about it except the shit that sucked.
I was clinging to a thread with the insurance company that I was contracted with and making about eleven pennies a month.
Using the thrust and power of my personality, I had managed to get accepted into this condo in September 2016 even though I had no income.
That’s why shit hit the fan almost seven months later and I was out on my ass like a flipped over turtle.
My dear female friend took mercy on me and insisted that I move in with her and her kiddies. For the next 14 months, I was living under rules other than my own.
That is never fun. Especially when the other people are different in the way they think about basic things.
Clashes are all but guaranteed at that point.
So as I approached my 15th straight month displaced from a place of my own, I started to chafe under the circumstances of the house. By that point, I was under the same roof as her and the kids along with her father.
The homeless shelter was the obvious choice because things had become so untenable. I’m sure that no one appreciated the virtually free ride that I got from living there.
The shelter actually felt like a vacation by the time I made the choice to take up temporary residence there.
I felt all of the expected feelings when I showed up for intake. I was nervous, scared, curious, hopeful, relieved, uncertain.
I knew that it was going to end up being a feather in my cap at some point in the future. That’s because it was an unprecedented move for me to make, especially since I did not have to do it.
It might eventually be viewed as gritty and courageous. Or dumb and stupid.
Yea, I could’ve shacked up with a few different people at that point but I wasn’t willing to do that. Talk about defeating the purpose of leaving where I left.
Those three weeks in the shelter were educational as fuck. I had to face one of my fears the very first day; sleeping in a room with two elderly men and two ginormous dogs!
What the fuck?
It was almost comical how it played out, but either way I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be staying there long. Not because I planned to leave. I just knew that I would get a place with their help.
I also had a lot of good stuff going for me, so I had more confidence than normal. I was only allowed to be there a maximum of 45 days.
I left after 21 days with the key to paradise.
It felt like the biggest miracle in history when I went to look at an apartment (my weight is higher than my credit score) and in less than 15 minutes, I was approved for it.
It was crazy because there were so many things that had to go right for me to get that place. Plus, I actually had the nerve to expect that I would find a place that was ready for immediate occupancy.
That is something that is far fetched and almost never happens. I already had the key and after the obligatory inspection the next day, I was officially no longer homeless!
I remember sitting on the floor of the empty apartment feeling excitement, happiness and satisfaction. Most of all, I felt peace, serenity and positivity as I sat there in silence. It was an exhilarating experience and it came from tons of ups and downs.
These feelings were in sharp contrast to what I had been feeling before at the shelter and in living with my friend and her dad.
Make no mistake, I appreciated their generosity. We just needed to go our separate ways with hopefully no hard feelings.
Because of those wonderful emotions, I considered my apartment to be paradise. That was no exaggeration and it speaks to the power of perspective.
The place was small, especially for a two bedroom. There was nothing remarkable about it and the complex in which it was located seemed to be a bit shabby.
But what mattered most was my mental well being. I knew that my apartment was not going to be a negative environment. Instead, it was only going to be what I intended for it to be.
Purely positive and peaceful.
It was something that was long overdue and evidence of my own efficacy. I had treaded water for so long, that being an underachiever had become way too commonplace for me.
The way I saw it, I hit the jackpot. I told anyone who would listen to me at the time that I was living in the same type of place that Will Smith did.
That’s because the power of perspective made me see things in a different light. A unique light. It was essential that I had this moment of growth.
Just know that paradise is anywhere that you feel the most alive and fulfilled.
That’s pretty damn powerful.