One Year Later...Almost

I had told myself that this chapter of my life is over and I should focus on the future. However, every so often I get an inquiry on the street or an e-mail describing another homelessness horror story and I feel a strong pull back here to the blog.

Coming back now after nearly a year away is, well, like revisiting the house where you grew up, or climbing into a musty old attic where so much of your being is stored. So much that's familiar, yet so much that feels new simply because you haven't seen it in awhile.

But soft; let me take a quick moment to update everyone on our (mis)adventures:

After my last post in 2007, I plunged headlong into the dual business of keeping a roof over our heads (no small feat) and discharging my duties at work without landing in jail (an even larger feat). Mike graduated from high school in June (we're still trying to figure out how), but isn't in college yet becuase frankly we didn't expect him to so we weren't scouting out any campuses and instead were focused on yet another year of high school. He's chomping at the bit to enter school, so we're shooting for this coming fall. Ness made her grade with flying colors and is now in 5th grade. She's developing some talent in music (she can play keyboard, violin and guitar, her favorite) but she's at the point where we have to watch her grades lest they slip. Mama went for job training this past November and passed as far as we know -- she's still waiting for her final test scores. The Trusty Steed is still ferrying us back and forth, although she's beginning to show her age and cantankerousness. We've been adopted by two of the neighborhood cats, a mother and her kitten. We can't actually take them in due to lease restrictions, but we keep them relatively well-fed and ear-scratched. Maybe I should take some time to find them a good, dry home.

I seem to have fared worst of all of us. Although the nightmares of being homeless finally stopped, the Beast hasn't been idle. In fact, after reading a book on the subject, I'm convinced that I have full-blown clinical depression, but that's a downer for another time ("Yes, I'll have the Prozac with a Zoloft chaser, please." Brrr!) Somewhere in a dark corner of my mind, he's cackling to himself and rubbing his claws together with glee... Money is still tight and nowhere near the level I enjoyed in 2000-2002, and the job? Well, the less said the better (some future employer might be reading this, so I have to keep it wound tight.)

Still, it's not all bad. I finally got off my lazy duff and returned to school last fall. Broke straight As my first semester back and I'm now in the midst of my second (out of 4). My major? Why graphic design, of course. It seems to be the only thing I'm good at that also 1) makes me happy and 2) offers the prospect of letting me pull down some good money for a change.

I occasionally keep up with news on homelessness but not to the degree I did when I was in it. For one thing, the old feelings resurface and they feel just as unpleasant now as they did then. But mostly I'm too busy to devote much time to it. As I mentioned above, though, I still occasionally get posts from homeless people in the midst of their own personal hell. Sadly, all I can do is offer words of encouragement but maybe sometimes that's enough, neh?

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