I was in a local store the other day after getting my first real paycheck and after paying my bills, I thought I had enough to get some much needed stuff. Thinking I had more money left over than I did, I grabbed some items that I was excited to purchase.
As I went through the checkout, I let the cashier know I was walking to make sure to put it all in one bag and double bag it. Well, as we reached the total, my card wouldn’t work. So, I had to slowly remove items until we reached an amount I could afford to buy. There were a couple of older ladies in line behind me that grew impatient as we slowly took off the items. Of course this encounter required a manager and although I wasn’t embarrassed, I became very humbled. I could’ve easily turned to the ladies waiting impatiently and making rude comments about me within ear shot- that I was homeless and am trying to get back on my feet after leaving an abusive relationship. After a few moments of contemplation, I chose not to say a word, as it was none of their business and walked off with my few purchases.
I am homeless. I live with my family and I have a part time job. Because of the area I stay, there is no public transportation, so the days I work I stay with my friend and he and my son drive me to and from my job. My son is also staying with some friends. He came back here to save his mom from the horrible situation she was in. So I do the best I can until I can get back on my feet.
You see, I left an abusive relationship. I was in this relationship with an emotionally, physically and financially abusive person for 6 years. With the help of my son and an online support group I finally got the courage to leave, and I left with nothing but a suitcase and my 2 dogs. My brother picked us up at a nearby school and have been living there since. My brother and his family provide me with a bed and my own room. I truly appreciate what they do for me. I went from driving a Mercedes and living in a big fancy house to having no car and no home and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I also rely on my new found best friend and whatever he feeds and provides for me. I am very thankful for him, he has a huge heart and he takes care of me the best he can under the circumstances we are both in. He takes care of his widowed father and has for the last four years without a single regret in his soul.
I also have come to terms with that I have to apply for government assistance. I need to have a permanent residence so I can work on getting a full time job again to pay my way. I also need to see a doctor, I have had laryngitis for several months now.
I am not uneducated. I have an Associate’s Degree, many certifications and about 90 hours toward my Bachelor’s. So by no means am I unscholarly.
I never in my life thought I would be in this situation. But here I am, working part time and living in two different places so I can make it to my part time job. It is definitely an adventure. Good thing I have a positive attitude!
Since my new found minimalist lifestyle, I have grown a lot, spiritually and emotionally. I have let go of material attachments and have learned there are much more important things in life than our need for material possessions. I have found I enjoy each and every person I have come to know and love to hear about their life and experiences. I have also learned that each one of us has our own crosses to bear and life experiences we are dealing with.
I also never thought in my wildest dreams how some people forget what others are struggling with. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and dilemmas and when certain situations cross our paths we automatically assume the worst about that person struggling in front of us. We are so quick to assume the young pregnant woman with her 3 year old using her food stamp card that she is unwed and is abusing the system. For all we know, her husband got laid off from his job and she is humbled or embarrassed by having to use food stamps. Or maybe she got brave and also left an abusive situation. Or the person walking into a café and paying for their meal with loose change. There are so many reasons why this person is living this way. The struggle is real.
Sometimes even our own families can judge our situation without justification. They get so wrapped up in their own demise and forget to look up.
I guess what I am trying to say here is, please before you cast stones on others, take a look at your own situation and take a step back and give that stranger or family member some consideration of their situation and by all means do not judge! I know this isn’t my normal content, but I felt a deep need to share my thoughts and experiences on this.
During the holiday season can be especially stressful, even for the most financially successful person. We should be considerate not only during the holidays, but, each and every day of the year. Each morning when you wake up and start the coffee before hopping in the shower, take a few moments and reflect and be grateful for what you have; and for those who are struggling and do not have please give them the common courtesy each and every one of us deserve.
Please like or comment your thoughts and please read more of my mindfulness at dianesthriftycupboard.com