“Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.”
― Jack Dawson
Yes, I just quoted Titanic and yes, that is one of my favorite lines from the movie. A flashback to my life -- times when my mother sent me to the corner store to ask for food on credit, times when we would sleep with no heat, times when we would have no electricity, no phone. Through all of these moments though I learned that the sun will set, it will rise, another day, time keeps going, and we are still alive today.
February 1st I embarked on a journey, I'm going to travel the world (or at least make it back to the east coast). "Oh, you must have money saved up." NOPE! By every definition of the word -- homeless. The way I choose to look at it -- a traveling crochet artist on a very tight budget. As money came in for orders, I have used it to pay for a night or two at hostels (Between $24 - $35 a night with breakfast included, not bad). But even that little bit of money seems like a fortune in my current situation.
And then last night happened, February 17th, when I finally decided NOT having a place to stay is ok. So I dug into my arsenal of skills and went with the idea that an all nighter was in order (thank you college and NYC life). As I walked around for a place to hang out and do some writing and thinking, I found a long wall to sit on. It was close to 1am at this point, "damn I'm tired" I thought. Then a guy walks by, with a cast around his neck, and his mouth just starts going.... for the next 4 hours to be exact (I was able to get two words in). Needless to say, he kept me up the whole night.
For me, he was sent to keep me awake and accompany me. For him? He called me an angel. He told me stories about his alcohol and drug abuse. I told him I don't drink nor do drugs (I haven't in months) except for weed (which I only have access to when invited for a smoke session, remember, broke). He told me about his family issues and every other personal issue you can probably think of. He poured out his beer. He showed me his meth pipe and thanked me. If it wasn't for me, all he was going to do is find a corner to smoke what was inside that pipe. For those four hours together he only took it out once to show me. Towards the end of our time together, he dug into his wallet and handed me a picture of the Virgin Mary. He said he couldn't believe he was handing me this since he never wanted to part with it, but decided to give it to me anyways. The prayer in the back goes like this:
"Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, help all those who invoke you in their necessities! Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen."
Persevere. Every day, another interaction, another lesson, another day of being grateful. There's a certain happiness that comes when you forgo every expectation that has been set on you and decide -- I'm just going to create the world that feels right. Every day I am creating something new without the question of "is this going to sell well, does this make sense, will the people get it?" None of that matters when you have faith that God and the Universe will provide you with everything you need at any moment. And when the prayers your family has in your name is to simply keep me safe, I know I have to persevere because I know any obstacle I face is just a lesson in the story that is my life.
My sister Lola asked me if "I was going to be like this forever". My immediate reaction was "no!" and now my answer is "for as long as the Universe puts it in my gut that this is the right thing to do."
I made a video two weeks ago talking about what "the plan" was. It was a great starting point towards how I believe society can live. But I only have one plan right now, have faith, have trust. As people order pieces and I see the happiness it brings them I know this is the purpose I am presently given. It may change tomorrow, heck, it may change in the next minute. But don't get hung up on the change, go with it, trust in the process. As I mentioned before, the sun will set, it will rise, another day, time keeps going, and for as long as I am still alive, the best way to honor this opportunity called life is to live it.
It's only been a little under three weeks and I feel like I have learned a lot and I cannot wait to learn more. Life. Gotta love it!
So here is my first blog post of my new adventure. (sidenote: I think I need a name for the adventure. Crochet Around the World? 3C's for a Cause? This Broke Ass Motherf'er that Thinks the World is for Everyone? Haha. I'm sure something will come eventually but Billy's Crochet World I think encompasses it all because that's the world I want to live in for the rest of my life.)
There is one question I have been asking the Universe lately, "can you give me a sign that I am on the right path?" I have stopped asking for anything because what I have realized is that the Universe really does give you everything you ask for, the problem is that it won't tell you how we are getting there. For example, many years ago I asked to move to the West Coast. Many years later I got that wish granted, but the process of how I got here was partly a shitty one. Hence why I just have to trust that everything is happening how it should be, but I figured if it could at least give me some sort of signs along the way, then that'd be dope!
The week leading up to the day I left LA, my mom's cousin Herbert was on my mind a lot. I don't believe I ever met him, or if I did I was a baby so I was wondering why he was on my mind. The story with him -- he disappeared and no one really knows what happened. To this day the family seems to have their head wrapped around the fact that he may be dead, but a part of all of us hopes that he is still alive and we will be able to see him some day. Without even telling my mom that he was on my mind, she posted this on her page:
Translation: Wow! Dreaming with my cousin Herbert is priceless. That hug he gave me, I woke up with my eyes watered. In the dream I asked him if he thought about us, the family, and he told me, "I think about you all the time and that is why I am always watching over all of you"
Disappeared so many years ago.. all my life I will miss you Herbert. How much I would love for you to give me that hug in real life. I never lose the hope that one day you will appear
My reaction to that post was, "THANK YOU!" I still haven't told my mom he was on my mind and this will be the first time she reads it. I already have her blessing on this journey, but maybe this will help her further understand that what I am trying to accomplish is bigger than me.
The next two signs came within 3 hours of arriving to San Diego. The first one was when Google Maps suggested I take one route to get to my first Couchsurfing host, but at one point I was like nah, I'll take this street instead. A couple blocks later I see this:
For you that is just a street sign, a green light, and a walk sign. For me, 500 Beech St is the address of my high school, one of the last times you feel like anything is possible. The green light and walk sign? Keep going.
Finally, I got to my host and once I was a block away, I realized the address of the host was Essex St. Again, for you, possibly just another street. For me, it is the intersecting street of my grandparent's house, the place I always feel safe no matter what is going on in the world.
I have no idea what is waiting on the other side of this, but I do know two things:
1) One of my final days in LA I sat on the metro and looked up at the clock, it said 9:17pm. I just stared, tried to focus so hard for it to stop, but 9:18pm still came. So the first thing I know is that I cannot change the past, the present is the only thing I have control over, and the future is coming regardless. Try that simple exercise yourself. That night, 9:17pm already passed and I will never be able to do anything to change it, 9:18pm was happening right now, but if I all I kept was worrying about 9:19pm, then I have spent the 60 seconds 9:18pm gave me on worrying about 9:19pm.
2) I also know that everything that has been created beyond the elements has been created by humans like you and me. A friend told me (as I was going off on how I no longer want to live this life of being slave to money) that they cannot make me accept the realities of the world, I will have to do that on my own. The thing is I did accept the realities of the world and the reality is that this idea of money, this idea of "the job", the standards, customs.... all created by humans.
So if those are the two things I know, I have a choice... I can either be the human that keeps feeding into the current system, knowing from past experiences that it is a shitty one, but still hoping for a better future. Or I can be the other human, that sees another way, and decides to do something different in the present. The fact remains that I do not know the future, but the beauty of it all is that no one does.
I hope that you are interested and decide to get involved! Go to "Get Involved" tab to see the many different ways you can do so. And if you are currently in San Diego, would love to catch up / wanna host me? :)