I will not go back to living in a cardboard box, begging for change, or sleeping in a homeless shelter because I make a decision everyday to give life all I’ve got.
I made a decision on a cold dark evening in my bunkbed of a homeless shelter on Skid Row. I knew after that night my life would never be the same. During the nights at the shelter there were women screaming, talking to themselves, and getting into fights. While I was there, I stayed quiet to myself and barely made eye contact with any of the other women. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep. I can just picture myself there again with a thin blanket shivering and being scared for my life. Many nights I stared at the ceiling praying for God to keep me safe and asking for a way out.
One night a women threatened to cause me bodily harm because I stepped on her bed to get to the top bunk. I just remember apologizing to her and thinking to myself I have got to get out of here. This had to be the longest night of my life and my spirit would not settle. The next night I climbed in bed with a sheet of paper and a pen with a goal to write down my plan for getting out of the homeless shelter. Reminiscing on that night, I wrote for hours in small writing detailing the plans for my life and how I would get there. The inside of the shelter had no windows so I could not see when the sun was rising or when morning would come. The only thing I knew was my hand was tired and my body felt weak.
Before I drifted off to sleep, I made the following decision: “I will spend the rest of my life becoming the person I am meant to be.” Afterwards, I drifted off to sleep and woke up the next day with a change in the stride of my step. My mindset was different and every move I made had a purpose. Also, I made the decision to not spend the rest of my life living in a homeless shelter. From that day forward, I had an increased will to believe in myself and to never stop chasing my dreams. Without making that decision I would not be where I am today. I am only a few months from graduating and becoming a full-time therapist. I am no different from anyone else, but I made a decision and never wavered or faltered from that choice.
I challenge you to starting today to make clear decisions in your life and stick to them. The decision can and will transform your life for the better. Each day I make a decision to study, go to work, and be the best version of myself possible. I will not go back to living in a cardboard box, begging for change, or sleeping in a homeless shelter because I make a decision everyday to give life all I’ve got. I chose not to let my mental illness cripple me. I decide everyday to keep going against insurmountable odds. You can do the same! Start from today and make all the decisions necessary for your life to never be the same.
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