“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!