reaching out is hard to do

As several of you know, I’ve been going through a rough patch in my life. At first faced with the concept of being homeless in December, it quickly turned “homeless in October and car repossessed any time between now and then.” Many of my friends were generous enough to offer what help they could, and for that, I am deeply thankful. I am also deeply thankful for the words of support offered to me – as my own harshest critic, even a “hang in there!” helps offset the burden of guilt I have placed on myself for not, somehow, seeing this situation coming … and by that logic, failing myself and my family.

I took a week off. Well, a week and a half. This morning, for the first time since I announced my hiatus, I went running – 1.2 miles in 11 minutes flat. It felt good to get out and moving, for my immediate problems to be “well crap, going uphill sure is a lot harder than going downhill!” (though I suppose that could also be used as a metaphor for my life). I am going to try to ease back into returning. Perhaps continuing Operation: Just Run and bringing back the daily pictures when I am truly able to devote that much concern to chronicling my diet.

In the meantime, I will share that my financial troubles have placed me back to a place I haven’t visited since the first time I was homeless (yeah, seriously): panhandling. Each evening or weekend that I am not otherwise occupied (with school, work, commuting, or watching my kids), I stand out by a stop light and hold a sign:

This is more successful at some times than it is at others, but as my current position pays minimum wage, it is always more financially successful than working my job. Is it enough to pay my bills? No. It’s enough to gas me to school and back, to gas R to school and back, and to continue us on our quest for an education that will finally earn our family the financial stability we crave. A friend suggested that I create a PayPal button, and though asking for Internet handouts (or e-panhandling) is not something that I ever thought I would find myself doing, I have had to come to the conclusion that my pride is not worth putting my family’s future in jeopardy – something that should be obvious, but hey, pride is a tricky thing.

So for those that read casually, or those that follow and are not otherwise aware of what I’ve been going through, or for those who stumble upon this through search terms of one kind or another, I ask that you consider donating to my informally-dubbed nonprofit, “Fight [my] homelessness.

I’ll see you all at the next exercise. 🙂

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