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Homeless but Hopeful: A Tale of Endurance

Refusing to Give Up in Even the Darkest Hour

By Amanda WashburnPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Sometimes I wish there was an easy fix, or I wish I was person that could just be happy with less. But life doesn't work that way, and I'm not that person. I've always had enormous dreams. Even as a foster kid when I was surrounded by people that ended up shocked I even graduated high school, I still believed I would do something great. I cannot even tell you how many times I wondered if I was just naive. I would consider that maybe I really wasn't anything special. Maybe I really was just some kid no one wanted and the best I could do is a minimum wage job flipping burgers. But the thought of this made me like I was betraying myself. Over the years, I learned that I was made to be out-of-step with everyone else. I was made to be different. To have different ideas. To create something different. At 29 years old, I finally figured out what I wanted out of life. I wanted to be a writer. But I didn't want to just write books or freelance articles. I wanted to create something more. Something that I could pass down to my son. A real business. So, I started a blog. It began as an attempt at writing about my own life. Unfortunately, my life sucked at that moment. My son's dad who we will call Justin (because he hates that name) and I had just broken up but we were still living together. Fun tip: don't even try that experiment. We were miserable. I was miserable because he thought our son was solely my responsibility because I have a vagina. He was miserable because I disagreed. I just wanted time to work on this blog I was trying to start. This was my life. Who wants to read about that? I didn't even like writing about it. It was nothing but a bunch of nonsense every single day. The same arguments over and over again. Blah blah blah. Boring. So, I did a little bit (a lot) of introspection. I would ask myself, what is it that makes me different? What is it that set me apart? The answer became so clear it was comical.

"Nerd you are," the voice of Yoda said from inside my soul. "Write of nerd things, you must." Thank you, oh great one. Days later, The Grimm Critique was born. Soon after that, The Reaper Scoring System was complete and I was on a roll. I quickly learned that I knew nothing about running a website. It was a Jon Snow moment. Google became my best friend. I Googled every single question I had, sometimes spending hours or even days just trying to find one answer. But I was learning and I felt good about that. Then, Justin left. Suddenly, we were down to only my very limited income, which wasn't even enough to cover rent. For two months I paid utilities and begged the landlord for mercy. I knew eventually I would have to face the inevitable. I couldn't afford to stay there and, to be honest, I felt I was just wasting time at that point. The day finally came to bite the bullet. I asked a friend for a ride and checked my toddler and I in at the homeless shelter. I remember how I felt in that moment, walking through that gate and then into the building. Answering questions about how we ended up there and feeling like I was entirely to blame. Fear and disappointment consumed me. Even now it makes me cry. I remember trying to hide my tears from my son because I didn't want him to know how awful things really were.

We are still here, at the shelter. It has been a month, almost to the day. My son is now in daycare, which gives me some legitimate work hours. I still find it incredibly difficult to get everything done here that I need to do. My heart is still entirely set on seeing this business through. Sink or swim, this is the ship I am in. I want to provide a future for my son. He turns two in less than a week and it breaks my heart he will have to spend his birthday here. But, there is this weird thing that has started happening. I feel this fire burning in me. My soul is aflame with hope. I see being in this shelter as a stepping stone, now. Just one step of many. I pray every day not to get out of the shelter, but for the continued opportunity to build this future. Maybe I won't change the world. Maybe The Grimm Critique will never anything more than a small corner of the internet. But what if. What if this struggle leads to an empire? What if I can create jobs? What if I can change the world? I feel a glorious importance in this journey. There is no option but to see this through. This road will be hard. A lot of the staff here at the shelter treat my business like nothing more than a hobby. They look at me like some crazy kid with big dreams she can never achieve. At that, I smile. I will do this. I will see this to the end. Even if this ends in failure, it is the journey that truly matters. And this journey is indeed magnificent.


About the Creator

Amanda Washburn

Freelance writer and single mom. Lives in Montana with one son, two cats, and one dog. Writes everything from poetry to listicles.

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    Amanda WashburnWritten by Amanda Washburn

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