Moving Forward

This is for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. I’ve been there. I know how it feels, and I’ve gone through it. If you have read this far, I hope you continue to the end of this article. I’ve walked a rough road through life as well. I grew up poor. I was 8 years old and had to take care of 3 younger siblings. I remember going to my mother who was half asleep on the couch and telling her “Mom, we are hungry and there’s no food…”

My mother replied from her drug induced slumber, “Mommy has no money for food right now.” I know how it feels to go without. The above is just one of many good examples of some of the crap I have endured. After going through a roller coaster ride of divorce issues between my parents, I became very asocial and socially awkward. I wanted to make friends, but I didn’t know how. I’ve even had a birthday party where no one showed up. No one.

In 2008, things were going so well for me. Finally, life was looking up, and I was doing so well. I was making about 1000 a week, and I was slowly putting money away for a down payment on a house. It was something I’ve always wanted. I was working two jobs and just started dating someone. Things have never been better in my life. U felt strong and confident. Nothing could stop me and all this at the age of 19. I was wrong.

The economy fell apart in late 2008 and early 2009. I went from what I was making down to about 180 dollars a week. I had to throw most of what I owned away and use whatever I had saved to pay off the lease for my apartment. What little I had left had to be put into storage. I remember not knowing where to go and what to do. I became homeless. There are many things in life that will bring you down. A death in the family is hard. Feeling yourself die inside can be even worse. Holding a blade to your own skin leaves not just physical scars but deeper emotional ones. There’s a piece of you left in the dark that no one can see. Not having enough money for food and shelter is depressing. Having holes in all your clothing, every single piece of clothing you have, will leave you wondering. Having just a handful of change to your name when your car breaks down will sober you. Having the very siblings you took care of abandon you is chilling. I’ve been through all the above and more. I’ve walked miles in wind and rain just to feed myself and the ones I care about. I’ve worked myself to complete exhaustion, to where I was falling asleep while I was walking. I’ve cried myself to sleep more times than I’d like to admit. There were nights when I couldn’t sleep and just sat there wondering when this was all going to end.

I had to keep going. One day at a time. Every hour I gave it my all. I had to. There was no other choice. Blood, sweat, and tears were all I had left. Even during the times when I had no one, I did it for myself because I had to. What was the alternative? What other choice did I have? Death? Something I’ve considered many times but couldn’t bring myself to follow through with it. Maybe i could end it all and they wouldn’t even know it?

No, I must keep moving forward. It was a phrase that brought meaning to me. Keep… moving…forward. To the person who needs to hear this, I beg you. Keep moving forward. There will be a better time. I can’t tell you when. All I can promise is that the sun will rise and you will have another 24 hours to stand on your own two feet. Even if all you have right now is a beat up old cell phone to read this and dirty old ripped jeans and a shirt, things will get better. I promise. Just keep trying. Keep living for another day and pushing forward. It’s exhausting, I know. It’s draining. There will be tears. There will be pain, but I promise you will make it through. Even the worst storms eventually end and you, my friend, will be there in the sunshine soaked from the rain. Just please keep moving forward.



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