Image

My Biggest Fear Came True…

I’ve struggled with whether or not I should share this story, but ultimately I know it may be meaningful to someone else. Our testimonies are not our own, but rather for others to know there is another side of through.

2017 was one of the most challenging years of my adult life. In 2016 I moved to Los Angeles without a car, a job and a stable home. I know that sounds crazy right! The good news was I landed on my feet. I secured a job within the first few months and I worked at Nickelodeon in publicity for about 6 months until my contract ended.

From there I was lucky I had several different really good interviews and decided on a small PR agency that provided a good learning lesson, but it wasn’t the most stable. Several months into the role one day after working and successfully pitching several clients I was told I was being let go after one of our clients filed for bankruptcy. I won’t go into too much detail about the company, but I had known spiritually for a while that something was off.

After passing on 3 of the biggest companies in PR and Entertainment for the role I was left searching for a job. This is an LA and creative thing, but that also meant I did not have much of a safety net. For about two months I was left with little or no money. The bad timing of the incident was compounded by the fact that I had agreed to move out of the apartment I was sharing.

*Deep Sigh* so on June 21st I moved out as promised and had to live on friend’s couches and in hotel rooms for the next few months. I was literally homeless. I moved 6 times in about 2.5 months. It was honestly one of the most difficult spiritual experiences of my life. I have never cried so much and I have never been so disappointed in God like I was during those times. If you know anything about LA you know that the housing market and situations are extremely tricky. It is extremely tedious and difficult and you are not moving in without several thousand dollars and employment for at least 3 months so my then current issues were a serious road block. Sure I could have called my family and asked for help and easily had the problem solved, but that would only be a temporary fix.

I contemplated packing up and moving home and leaving LA. By the time June 21st hit I had secured a new job, but that also meant that I had to pay off a lot of debt from not working. Things were extremely difficult. I applied to literally every job possible. I received no offers or received offers that would exacerbate things more than help. I really did not share my story at the time, because I was ashamed and I had not fully processed the experience.

That experience taught me several things:

1. Shift your focus.

From the situation I shifted my focus to the positive things and acknowledged the bad. I just CHOSE not to sit in the bad.

2. Always say thank you!

I began saying thank you every day despite how those days looked. Thanks when it was bad and thanks when it was good. When it was bad I was renting a weekly room in North Hollywood with no a/c during the summer where it’s 100 plus daily. When it was good were my days at work and with my friends at the beach or at game nights. That spiritual shift and choosing to remain positive has stuck and I can tell you that by focusing on the end zone and not the play I have seen how my life keeps manifesting.

3. Good people exist.

On the day I was going to give up and move back home a buddy Geo reached out mid-ugly cry. We talked and he shared his story it definitely gave me hope. Geo and his roommates were kind enough to house me for a few weeks as I recharged and found a permanent place.

4. Strong People ask For Help.

Prior to this experience I rarely if ever asked for help. I thought I was not strong if I asked for help. What I learned through my old room mate Hal, Benecia (my prayer warrior and spiritual homie), Merling & Mike, Marco, Rodney and Geoffery is that help comes when we ask for it. My goal is to one day repay the many kind individuals that opened their homes, wallets and their hearts.

My point in sharing this story is to help someone else going through a tough time. Your tough time may not be mine, but it is still a valid journey as mine may not be representative of your tough time(s). Shift your focus, say thank you,

Advertisements
Image

The Walk

I have been in LA exactly one week as of today. Many people may not know this, but I got rid of my car in 2015 in order to save for the move I knew I would make.

One of my goals was to get a bike and really live a less is more lifestyle (we will see how long that lasts). Well I decided to uber to the gym, about 1.5 miles, from where I am currently staying.
About 10:30pm on Wednesday I finished working out and playing basketball. I did what I have done for several days now, I proceeded to walk home from the gym for extra cardio and in that space I also talk to God and clear my head. 

While walking I see a young Hispanic woman who is homeless and settling in for the night, in her car on Santa Monica Boulevard. She is reading a book with, what looks like a comforter and she is no older than 25. This seemed like a routine to her. She was not crying and she did not look upset, she looked fairly well kept.

That image did something to me, it jared me and I really felt overwhelming compassion in seeing someone so young in that position. Surely I am not too much better than she is, nor do I currently have a place to call my own. Though I did not know her story I could only imagine what brought her to that place. 

It made me think about what my journey may look like in LA. Part of me would like to think I would never be homeless, but the other part of me the part that has survived and lived despite many obstacles says, “Keep living”.

The other thing that seeing this young lady sparked was a refocused energy and an initiative I would eventually like to start. One day my hope is create programs to help transition people who are homeless into financially stable working Americans. Homelessness is not all about the want or drive to find a job, but often times the circumstances that lead many there.

I know some of us pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and made our own way, but for someone like myself I’m cognizant of the opportunities I both worked for and the ones that were provided to me. 

I shared this story, because it is a reality for so many and secondly to encourage everyone to find a way to help someone. Whether that be forwarding job/career information or referring someone you know is a good fit for a job (even if they are better qualified than you). 

Be a light and be a blessing to someone else.