There is no secret in it. We all know that the older you get, the more you concern yourself with your security. Oh, yeah, when you’re young and wide eyed you’re invincible and you live for the moment, for now. Forget the future. But, the older you get the more you think about being transitory. If it’s not on someone’s couch for a few days, or an apartment for a few months, then its from this life into the next. Solid ground seems shaky and uncertain and you strive in fascinating ways to make sure that you will have a foothold for the last half of your life, the half that comes with a world of viable concerns. Where will I live? How will I make money? Will I be alone? Am I going to make it?
I had an interesting day. Some may say my astrological chart was out of whack. My moon sign must have pissed off my sun sign and then a couple of planets got into a fight while rising. Others may say that my blood sugar must have been low. (I have to look into that. I don’t care for sweets, never have, so I avoid them….even fruit sometimes. I like cantaloupe, but it’s just so damned expensive).
But, I was sitting here with faceless bears surrounding me. I got into this weird habit that just doesn’t work. Knit up a bunch of heads, bunch of feet, bunch of bodies. Next thing I know I have ten half done bears sitting in piles everywhere, but not GOING anywhere. It worked so much better when I was just doing each bear from start to finish. Put him in his little box, send him on his way, off to his new home. Now, they sit around like they’re in limbo. Don’t know what prompted this new process, but nah…..not working. Back to the original plan.
But, I was sitting here surrounded by unfinished bears and I felt that stress we all feel when overwhelmed. The walls were caving in. Questions about the future pushing me into areas of the mind I really REALLY didn’t want to think about…..but, we all have to at some point. If I don’t get these bears done, my career is over, my reputation soiled, my future will be…..what? The once and former homeless guy is now….homeless again?
That’s it in a nutshell.
I hopped on my bike and went for a ride. I went to my little white house. As usual, I peeked through the windows, imagined from the outside what it would feel like on the inside. And in a moment that is probably illegal, I stepped into the back porch, sat down and just thought for a while. I could have been trespassing, who knows. No one lives there, it’s still for sale, so I wasn’t hurting anything. I opened the creaking wooden screen door, stepped inside, and sat on the back steps and took it all in.
The weather here in Orlando is spectacular right now. 80 during the day. 60 at night. There was a cool breeze that seamlessly helped the streaks of sunlight pierce through the heavy oaks above, handing their brightness to newly blooming hydrangeas, blossoming in screaming green against the stark blue of the shed. I closed my eyes and could hear that the sound of traffic was obsolete, and with the absence of that shrill was heard only the subtle laughter of friends joining me on this back porch, spending the cool autumn evenings playing cards and planning croquet. I could smell a pot roast slowly cooking in the kitchen, biscuits cooling on the counter. I could see Mario lazily toying with a lizard as it held on for its dear life. I could see my future. This house is my Howard’s End.
I’m notorious for fighting adversity, while holding my head up, while not being jaded, while being optimistic about life, or even about the struggle in life. It never becomes tainted with the pain that makes one bitter. I never feel that. I always feel it’s always worth it. Life is worth the struggle. The beautiful moments we have and hold and enjoy are worth the fear and panic we sometimes are confronted with. The hardships we face keep the grand experiences of joy from becoming mundane.
I want that house because I love it, but I know one day I’ll ride by on my bike and the FOR SALE sign will be gone. But, that’s ok. Because that house represents my dream. And we have to wake each day, face the pain, face the fear, face the struggle and move closer towards our dreams. Mine is of what security a home of my own would feel like one day. My dream is that one day my little white house will be a reality. So, that’s what you do. You get on with it. You make it happen, you find a way to chase your dream. And it’s gonna hurt sometimes. It’s going to scare the hell out of you. But, if I don’t hold on to that dream of this little white house, my only option is going back to nothing. If I don’t move forward, then I’m only slipping back into the hell I left behind.
And I’m not going to let that happen again.
I heard myself say as I left that screen porch, “You will never will be homeless again.”
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