First Blog Post on 3rd day of being homeless by TooTall 5-17-2011

I am sitting here in Goleta Ca. (paradise) at a wonderful McDonald's that has all or actually more of the comforts of my previous little studio apartment. It has a nice table that I can set my laptop on and have a glass of water, enjoy a yogurt parfait for a $1.00 and watch CNN wile I blog -  Life is cool...
OK so I am not completely homeless, I have a 1990 Ford van that God blessed me with to "go camping" in.. I am going to choose to make this journey of mine a empowering experience by trying to help the homeless and people that may become homeless soon. My story is not special or different than so many Americans today. We are all just one paycheck away from being in my situation or even worse and it can be scary or freeing - your choice. I am choosing to enjoy the journey and say fuck the destination cuz the destination is 6 feet under and if you are looking back at yesterday or toward tomorrow you are pissing on today. 

Yes, I will be using a lot of AA slogans and wording in this blog and none of it will be original, I stole it all sitting in thousands of AA meetings over the last 15+ years (the only thing I have done perfectly - Not pick up). I went to a AA meeting today and it was the Tuesday "gratitude meeting". I love it because even when I don't feel grateful I can get grateful by attending this meeting once a week. By the end of it hearing everyone's thoughts on why they are grateful for the things in their life you are bound to think of some of your own.

Yesterday I got a call form a nice lady that I gave a ride to a couple weeks ago. Things are always relative. She has it a lot worse than I do. She called me to see if she could rent some space in my little studio apartment. I had to tell her that I am living in the van and she had to try and call other people to see what she could do. Broke my heart and if the van was bigger I woulds have let her stay in it. It rained last night and all I could think of is if she was OK. I know of young families that where trying so hard to go for the American Dream with 3 kids that have to go "camping" too. It is really brutal out there right now.
This is my third day sleeping in the van and I am so glad I bought a great sleeping bag that was good for 5- below temperatures. This is the one thing that has made everything cool for me personally cuz I hate to be cold and I need good sleep. The second thing was a great was a small flashlight I got at the auto parts store for the dark nights - a couple is better for different places in the van. I want to document the things I have been doing in the last few days because I think maybe people can learn from my success's and failures. I will attempt to outline below some of the thinking that I was doing and some of the actions I took to be I have to say pretty happy and comfortable as of today anyway. I of course had to close my ceramics business down (temporarily) and that took about 2 weeks prior to me moving out of the apartment. I also was trying to be proactive in thinking that I would be homeless and trying to think of things I needed to have when the time came. I had that luxury that so many don't of having 2 weeks to plan and to buy some essentials, etc... 
  • I was proactive not reactive in staying positive and working hard one day at a time. No one can blame you for anything as long as you try your best - not even yourself. 
  •  I cleaned my apartment and left when I should have as to keep my empowerment of being and doing everything I can right. Don't try and cheat cuz cheaters never win in the long run - Karma man....
  • I prayed and went to my AA Meetings and tried to keep things or daily tasks as normal as possible as to keep the stress down and have some things be an anchor in my life while going through this major change that was and is scary. 
  • I wrote a schedule, very important again to obtain some kind of empowerment. I wrote down what I was going to do each day and the times in which I would do them. Like 6AM get up and drive to the gym to workout and shower, 9AM go to coffee shop and look for work. 12:00 go to a AA Meeting, 1-4 look for work. 4-6 go back to gym and take a shower. or blog at McDonalds. 7-9 another meeting. 9-11 call friends or blog and then go park and go to bed. This is the weekday schedule.
  • HALT - Hungry, angry, lonely or tired. this is a saying that has really helped me and I am trying to practice this. It is just going back to basics and feeling good so you can be productive and make some shit happen.
  • I made sure I did first things first and that is made my bed - even though it is in a van haha. seriously I took my appearance and my personal hygiene very important so that I could again be empowered and feel good about myself. Any one can do this - the dollar store has everything you need. 
  • Prayed...

Just think I was at the top of my career as a Property Manager managing this beautiful 22 story high rise below in downtown Los Angels two years ago and today I am living in my van and can't seem to find a job. It is not all the economies fault of why I am where I am in my life right now. I have made some mistakes or some chain of events like everyone that leads up to this point. I made the first choice to co-mingle my financial life with my ex girlfriend and try and start a business with her after 1 month of dating. She is a good person and I loved here and actually still do have a lot of love for her and call her my friend. I have learned (my part) in the relationship and one of the things that I did was give her a resentment a month into it by giving an ultimatum and that is not fair. I also expected her to want the business as much as I did and  that is not fair. Many more lessons that I have learned and am learning but will not go into all of that right now. The second reason is that I quite or got myself laid off by exposing the truth about my last position here in Goleta to keep my integrity in tact and I am so glad I did that even though I am siting here in McDonald at 10PM about to go sleep in the van.  I can look myself in the eye today and take full responsibility for all that my life is about today. I want to learn and am eager to see what the next phase of my development will be. Life is a journey not a destination and we all have our own personal journey's to take and deal with.
Until the next blog...

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