All posts filed under: Personal

A Lesson I Learned While Living with a Hoarder

An easy way to measure our progress down this narrow path we call life is thru reflection, which simply means looking back at a period of time in our life and examining experiences as well as searching for meaning. While we often tend to look at our own experiences with rose tinted glasses, focusing on the highlights, or rather fun times, we often neglect the true lesson that often seems so elusive. I know in my lifetime I’ve often looked back in hindsight and discovered an epiphany, or better yet, a teachable moment, when truly thinking about the trials and tribulations that I’ve been thru. Often what I thought in the moment was unpleasant or even torture has thru reflection has revealed itself to be a lesson in disguise. I reflect on the past year living with my mother in Toledo, Ohio. I was an adult child at 30 years old, and staying with a woman who I had selfishly began to think of as a hoarder. For those who don’t know, a hoarder is …

A Sincere Apology For Reusing Photos on My Blog

Ignorance is bliss until you’re caught in your stubborness to listen to those who know more than I do. This is an apology to those whose picture’s I’ve stolen over the years, at first under the mask of ignorance but as of recently under a stubborn refusal to listen to a woman who knew what I was doing was wrong. I failed to take her advice but have since realized my own error, recognizing the need thru religious training and specifically because of my Christian faith to respect the rules and guidelines mandated by both my governement and civil demands. I used to be one to question authority and pick and choose which rule I wanted to follow, often under the guise that I knew more than the authority enforcing the rule in the first place. And while rebellion is a healthy attitude for youth, as I grow wiser and unfortunately older I’ve come to see how even failing to know the rule is not enough of an excuse for not following it in the …

A Disorder Behind a Disorder

A Disorder Behind A Disorder My first memory as a child is of a little boy named Ian pulling down my pants in front of cars driving our neighborhood street, telling me to be Madonna while he pretends to be Dick Tracy. He had no doubt seen recently seen the famous film starring Warren Beatty and the infamous singer that has become synonymous with unbridled sex. I was exposed and vulnerable, alone with a friend who had seen a sex scene that should have been forbidden by his parents, this much I assume. Why it matters seems foreign to me and yet this is where it starts. A man named Reggie tells me we all have a disorder behind our disorder. Mine is bipolar disorder tho I know there’s something deeper. What doctors tell me is a vicious and never ending cycle of mania and depression must have a root that lies not in biology and chemistry but a psychological underpinning that can only be traced thru reflection and analytical perspective brought on by a …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 6)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 6)   His name is Drew and I’m convinced he’s a saint.   No more than 5”7’ and around 150 pounds, Drew is new like me to the City Mission, having stayed exactly one more night than I. Also like me he’s in a crisis, looking for a new beginning to life, tho for different reasons.   Drew tells me he’s here because he was addicted to meth and is trying to escape his old life. Having seen friends go crazy on the drug, he called the mission and was told they had a spot for him. 20 mintues after than phone call he was out the door and headed here.   He tells me he’s from Brunswick, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland tho I have no idea where that’s at. He was working at a metal factory, working a stamping machine, but is cryptic but his current situation. I gather from talking with him that he was living with his mom and then some friends …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 5)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 5)   There’s a place called the City Mission in Cleveland that’s on my mind. I first heard about it on what locals call the street card, which is essentially a sheet of paper that list all of the resources for homeless people. I have no idea what the mission offers other than the card says it’s a 30 day shelter and that it’s located on 55th and Carnegie, which is about a 2 miles away from 2100 Lakeside, the shelter that I stayed at the night before. It’s not obvious at first that this is where I’m headed when I start my desperate walk this morning, nor that there will be a cot waiting for me to sleep on tonight. But I have to walk and leave the area I’m in. The night before I stole a guy named Jamaica’s hat, and now I’m afraid that guy and his friends want to kick my ass. This afternoon I went to Cosgrove, the local soup kitchen, …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 4)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I was Homeless (Part 4)   When I first get to 2100 Lakeside I’m shoved into a cafeteria and fed a shitty dinner that consists of beef steaks, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and of all things goldfish crackers. I enjoy the crackers the most. While eating I strike up a conversation with a guy I saw waiting for my caseworker over at Cosgrove. The man tells me he’s in the same predicament as I am. He’s from Cleveland but has nowhere to go but here. He’s waiting for tomorrow morning to Talk to a guy named Terry. I tell him I’m waiting for the same thing. He assures me everything will be alright. The guy says he’s been here before and explains that once dinner is over we wait for our beds and then are assigned mats. I take his word for it and finish my meal. Outside I bum a smoke off another bum and sit by myself at a picnic table, stressed and anxious, well aware that I …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 2)

I step off the bus in front of Jack’s Casino, lost somewhere in the business district of Cleveland, Ohio. The black man nods to me as I step off the bus, a little unsure of where I’m at. In my wallet is 27 cents, and an ID that says I’m from Toledo. To where I’m going I have no idea, tho how I got here I know too well.   The voices tell every year to leave, and every year I oblige. It’s everything I want and everything I hate. An adventure of a lifetime, a trip into the jungle without a knife. And here I am walking down corridors of blinking lights and sounds of bleeps and boops, hell if there is one. Some people have fun here tho.   Back in Toledo the casino I went to had free pop. I preferred mixing coke zero with a splash of lemonade, a trick my father taught me. When I was really bored I’d walk around the circular paths of that casino staring at movie …