Can you see me? At one moment proudly walking the promenade of cobblestone streets in Savannah, to the next minute falling face flat into the asphalt of Orlando, hoping only to one day rise back up again and contemplatively step through a path made of blue bells and dragonflies through “Honeychurch?” Can you see that? Our own roads are so sown in the strange, or familiar, hopeful, or devastating.
I mean, think of my own journey. From homeless man to entrepreneur, from one who had been successful, to one man who dared even attempt the tenacity of self worth, to a new man who dreams of achieving great things.
God, when I went homeless in 2010 I never imagined the heartbreak, nor the inspiration it would require to get back on my feet again. Hunger was all it took for this path to begin. My very belly ached. I sold that first teddy bear that I had knit for some food, just something to eat. Then I knit and sold another. Then another. And another, until over these years I have knit and sold nearly 4500 teddy bears. It never would have dawned on me then that this would be the result, that this is where that first teddy bear would bring me; to a place where I don’t worry of the nightmare of living on the streets, but think only of how to get to my own home one day. What a big dream, brought on by something as simple as hunger.
Wow, have far we have come. All those bears and books, and that chance to be seen in the arena, that often rare occasion when the populace sees you and you finally get to hear people cheering for you.
In our mundane pursuits, we rarely think about where they may take us. One day I was knitting for a hobby, the next day it was a resource available to me for making money to live. One day I was writing in diaries and journals, privately etching in my mind the trivial things of the day, the next day I was publicly sharing my story with the blatant pounding of keys. (I like to type like that. Makes me feel like a virtuoso at a Grand Piano). One day I felt as the most unloved person there ever was, the next I was beautifully, happily married to the man of my dreams and tending to three cats.
I’m not being forlorn, nor even nostalgic in any sense today. I was just thinking just precisely how I got here, to sitting at these keys, boxes of knit bears out the door to be shipped, learning how to be in the arena without pissing people off, husband in the corner with a belly full of chili watching his favorite anime, cats purring near my afghans, one legged crossed over the over, (me, not the cats) beautifully sporting a set of knit socks he made for himself….this guy, how did he get here?
My simple act of knitting teddy bears opened amazing doors for me. I didn’t wait for them to open. I went to every latch and knob I could find until one of those doors would creak right open.
But, it’s easier done with the support of the crowd, the cheering crowd, the many new faces and names who wanted to inspire and help, who wanted to see that their support mattered and made a difference. Never trust anyone who cheers for someone’s demise. Clean those people completely from your life and fill it with people who cheer you on.
Because believe it or not, at some point you get to be the one doing the cheering for others. Not a far fetched concept. That’s how this beautiful universe works! You get cheered on, then YOU cheer on others. Rid yourselves of dark people filled with dark ideas and fill that space with people who WANT you to go well. This is the Law of the Mundane: that the little things you do, like cheering someone on, can have monumental impact.
And I thank you for that.
Your cheering me on has made the greatest impact in all my life. Now I’m off to knit because I want my own home.
And that would be the house that my knitting built.
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