Learning to Take Things With a Grain of Salt

Grain

As a homeless person I have had to learn not to take things so seriously.  If you are going to succeed at being homeless, it means that you are going to have to take things with a grain of salt.  I’ve always been one to take myself and my situations with the attitude that the world is going to end if I don’t get help, lately I’ve been forced to adjust my attitudes.

For example, to get into my current shelter took seven months, in the past I would have just said forget it and walked off, but now I have a little more patience and nowhere to go or no prospects, so I waited.  What I have learned from this is that you have to wait for everything, it’s like Ringo Starr says in “It Don’t Come Easy”, “Got to pay dues if you want to sing the blues and you know it don’t come easy.”  Everything that is worthwhile takes time and effort.  I have had to learn to take my and others need for instant gratification with a grain of salt.

I see so many other homeless people who are told that there are waiting lists if they want to get housing/shelters who just give up and walk away.  I know how they feel.  When you are outside and it’s cold and wet and dreary, being told that you have to wait for something is just too much.  Being told that someplace has a 7 month waiting list in the dead of winter, it feels that you may not survive.  Having to spend one more night in an overflow shelter with a mat on the floor feels like hell when your back is killing you and arthritis is kicking your ass. I know how this feels and all I can say to my fellow sufferers is that it will get better, you will get higher on that list, the people in charge of that list have not forgotten about you.  It takes time and you need to take your impatience and the impatience of those around you with a grain of salt.  I know that that is hard to hear, listening to someone say that to me, I felt like slamming them against a wall.  I was so exhausted from riding buses and staying in overflow shelters, to be told that I had another six to seven months of this nearly drove me insane.

The great thing is if you are reading this, the weather is getting better, not so much cold and the next few months should be sunny and dry.  For some of us, that is all there is to be grateful for at this time, but it won’t always be this way.  Think of the day that you will have a place of your own when you can come and go as you please and you will not suffer so much.  Think of day when you will be the master of your domain and you will be the person that decides when you get up, when you go to sleep, what you eat and what you wear.  These things for some people are taken for granted, but for us that are out on God’s good humor, the things that others take for granted when seen by our homeless eyes will just have to taken with a grain of salt.

Jennifer

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