Saturday, June 4, 2011

REBUILD: Awake From The Fairy Tale

I wanted to paint a picture for my job fair, which is now less than 48 hours away. The universe had something else in mind though and I was directed to meet a man in the shelter who is an artist and he painted this picture for me.

These past few days have been filled with lots of angst and happiness. If you're following me on facebook you can tell my moods have been flip flopping. I'm having a tough time organizing the next part of this project in my mind and I'm still hurting over the death of South Florida's leading man of poetry, Will Da Real One.

It hurts. I can't stop my chest from hurting. He was such a constant presence here on the poetry scene and no matter how much I floated in and out of it doing whatever interested me at the time, he was always there. He was dedicated. The last time I saw him he said that he was beginning to get burnt out from poetry. I sent him a text that said that he could transform his skills into something else and that I believed in him.

I'm always trying to encourage someone to believe in themselves and when I do, it encourages me. I needed it this week. When I originally crafted this fairytale of a project, I saw myself become homeless and sleep in the park, covering myself with newspapers and fighting off attackers in the night while eating leftover food from strangers. I figured that it would take about 2 weeks to get the 30 businesses and about a month to be able to find a job and then another 2 weeks to get an apartment and be done with this project.

Nothing turned out like I expected, nothing at all. I chose the number '30' arbitrarily because it sounded like a nice round number yet I had no idea that it would take this much money and effort to get the participants. I had no idea that there would be a shelter right down the street from my house that took care of homeless people.

I had no idea that the men would be so nice. I had no idea that some of them would be cute. I had no idea that I would laugh so much and learn so much about business and the nature of people.

But I'm stuck. I'm stuck because of that NUMBER that I chose. I accomplished the essence of my mission. I worked HARD to get the 17 businesses that I now have and these businesses have agreed to give interviews to the women I refer. Most businesses are corporate though. They have to go through so many hoops to get approval. The smaller businesses don't have openings. The media coverage is sparse. No one seems interested in this project here in South Florida. I blame myself. It's hard not to.

And then, another problem is, I have not met ONE woman yet, who is willing to let me help her. They come to me asking for help and I tell them that I will help. I give them information about an interview and I call ahead to tell the manager that I am sending a young lady over and the woman doesn't show up. At this point I have ONE woman registered for my job fair yet I have 17 businesses who want to help.

I have a plan to help women get out of abusive situations and move into their own homes but the woman that I met that fit the criteria refused to go to the interview I told her about. I told her that I would be there being interviewed for a job myself and that I would introduce her personally to the manager and speak well of her, if she showed up.

She didn't. She didn't even call me back. I went. I was offered the job.

Who am I helping? No one.

No one really wants the help.

What am I doing this for?

My main focus of this project was to show women what their biggest fear of losing everything looked like and teach them how to jump out of it with specific strategies but this job fair has me stuck on so many levels. Trying to organize a project of this magnitude BY MYSELF, which includes all of the administrative tasks that cost money plus trying to maintain a healthy attitude in the midst of so much despair at the shelter is overwhelming. I'm beginning to lose my own faith in me. I'm beginning to feel stuck just like everyone else.

I find that my anxiety is increasing again. All day long I'm apologizing to myself saying, "I'm sorry," over and over again to myself for not meeting my potential and not meeting my goals. I apologize to the God within for not making better decisions and not being the woman I envision myself to be.

I keep thinking about Will's death and how he lived a grand life. He accomplished so many goals and was so honored in everything he did. What if I died tomorrow? I haven't accomplished much. I haven't been honored for my gifts.

If I die, I want to leave something behind that will help others to be better than I am. I don't want any woman to feel unloveable like I feel. I don't want any woman to wish for direction or instruction. I don't want any woman to feel like she's alone in this world. I don't want any woman to go years without hearing positive words like, "You are valuable. You are a gift to this earth. You are a queen. I appreciate you. I love you."

I want women to have a better life experience than I have had and to feel cherished and powerful and fearless.

If I die, that's what I want to leave behind.

But I'm stuck behind the NUMBER 30. If I let this job fair go on and move to rebuild my life then I haven't accomplished my goal yet this project isn't about being homeless, it's about moving up out of a bad situation. How can I show that if I'm stuck chasing a NUMBER when there's really no one who even wants the help?

That doesn't make sense.

I just don't want to be a liar. I don't want this to seem like a stunt. I know at first to people who are critical, this seemed like a ploy to get readers to my site and get donations but if they would just take a look at my videos they would see that I am teaching very real survival skills and mental strategies. But if I don't meet my NUMBER 30, does that mean that I lied and manipulated the public?

I am very critical of myself and I check my own motives quite often because of the extreme guilt I feel about not meeting my full potential. I don't want to be perfect, I just want to keep my word and be proud of myself. I want to help women to understand their value so they won't end up like me, all bitter and defensive and feeling like they aren't worth much.


I'm sorry. I just had to let all of that out. Writing helps me sort through things and I'm glad I had the chance. Even if I failed at my goal, I can still teach how to move up out of homelessness. Even if this project is a partial success, someone can still gain from it.

Even if I am never the success I envision myself to be, someone, somewhere learned something that will help them to rise. I am deciding to focus on that instead of my shortcomings and I'm trying to forgive myself in the process.


I think the job fair should include more than just homeless women, but women, period. Isn't that what you started out trying to do? Show ALL women who feel as if they're stuck where they are that they can strive for more and they can overcome, even when thrown curveballs?

Sadly, many homeless women you come across want to be in that position. It takes the pressure off, and the longer they're homeless, the less likely they are to want the responsibility of a job, a home, debt, etc. You're witnessing this firsthand. These particular women got there because of things they weren't willing to do or did and decisions they made or failed to make. And that's not to say all, because that wouldn't be true. But it is true of a great number.

If you were to try this with the men, you'd find the same reluctance. Those in the shelters have a roof over their head, food and companionship. For many of them, that's enough. Somebody is doing the fishing for them, so they don't have to learn to fish and they like it like that.

I do not see any failure in what you've done. You did the best you could. To consider it a failure is to not give yourself the props you deserve. You gave up everything for this, so even if you got 10 businesses to see your point of view, you succeeded. Failure is not in doing, it's in NOT doing.


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