I cracked open another can of cold soup. I was eating it with one of those plastic spoons they give out at Wawa for free. I had taken a few more than I should. However, they were free, so I helped myself. It was already dark outside. I made a light out of an extension chord and an old light fixture and hung it up inside my storage locker where I was sleeping. I remember it was cold outside. It was February I think and my hands were shaking from taking another icy sponge bath. After taking a sponge bath out of a big glass bowl and putting on some fresh clothing, I decided I would eat some Progresso soup I had in my locker. Vegetarian vegetable was my favorite. I was so hungry the cold didn’t bother me. I took some bread I had and dipped it into the soup and ate it.
As I sat inside my locker wrapped up in an old Batman sleeping bag, many thoughts crossed my mind. How did I get here? This is pitiful. How long am I going to be like this? Why does this have to happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? I hope no one finds me in here. Where would I go if they did? I felt trapped. Stuck. I wasn’t making enough money for a place. I barely made enough money to keep my car on the road and gas in it. I felt like failure, a loser. I felt terrible. What kind of man can’t even support himself? It was a waiting game back then. Waiting for what? I didn’t know. All I know was how to take it day by day. I would wake up, and wait. Go to sleep and wait. Day by day. Month by month. Year by year.
Eventually, things got a bit better. Hours would pick up, and I could start saving money again. After some time and “luck” (I don’t believe in luck), I was able to live like a person again in an apartment with real bills. The struggles weren’t over, but at least I wasn’t sleeping outside or in my car. I was thankful, grateful, and blessed. The only piece of advice I would give from this story is to have faith and keep trying. Another day will come. Another set of 24 hours will present itself and you will have the chance to get up and give it your best. When you are feeling down and trapped in whatever is holding you there, take it day by day. Make good choices. Be patient and remember to breathe. Have another can of cold soup. It’s on me.