Jay, I am so very sorry to have affected you that way. When I read your stuff, I felt like you were personally hoping bad things would happen to me, and I have had my share. Lots of Americans have. Sure, there are people out here who seem to live charmed lives; people who aren’t touched by the bad stuff. But those people aren’t going to be hurt this time either. Not in any way you or I would ever know about.

I have little sympathy for them, either. But, also, I don’t walk in their shoes. More than once, I have been wrong about someone’s experience. People can look great on the outside and still be living their own personal Hell. So, I try not to assume anything anymore.

I don’t know why you lost your home, but I know you’re past the age of retirement and that has to be terrifying and so opposite of what you thought you’d be going through at 66. You said something about finding another house. I am not sure what you meant by that, but please consider if you are in the shape to do that, you are experiencing an option I’ve NEVER experienced and probably never will. My daughter started high school this year. I never thought I would be the kind of person moving from apartment to apartment at 43. Until August, I hadn’t slept in a bed for over 5 years. I couldn’t afford a bedroom of my own.

I don’t want to minimize what you’ve been through. And again, I apologize for having such a negative impact on your day. I know, though, that when I let myself obsess about the miserable parts of my life, things just keep getting worse for me.

Like they say, when I focus on the problem, the problem increases. When I focus on the solution, the solution increases. There is ALWAYS a solution. It may not be your ideal solution, but it’s there, and it’s not waiting for the destruction of other people’s lives so that somehow, things will seem more fair. They won’t. And you won’t feel better.

I was in a shelter a few years back. I’d lost my home, marriage, car, job, and kids and I asked my counselor (who is now a dear friend) if anything was ever going to be okay again.

She said,

It IS okay. It just doesn’t LOOK like you think okay should look.

She was right. My needs were being met each day. Maybe not in the way I would have preferred, but I wasn’t starving. I wasn’t cold, or naked, or sick. I wasn’t dead. I was okay.

I know now that I can be okay no matter what, as long as I wake up on this side of the dirt. It’s all in how I choose to look at things.

I am sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I hope you have a better day tomorrow.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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