Photo of a woman and her family
Habitat for Humanity

I was homeless off and on for over 18 years. When I was growing up in Arkansas, life was heavenly to me — even though it was the 50s. They didn’t have cotton-pickers and chemicals to remove weeds from garden farms. So when we worked the fields in the summer, we had to do it by hand.

In the fall, the state would suspend school at the end of October so cotton could be picked. To me, it was fun. Well, except for the stinging worm or snake that came around once in awhile. When my cotton sack started to feel a little heavy, I would stretch out and rest on it. The cotton in that sack was very comfortable.

What I am trying to say here is that life was heavenly to me even though it might have seemed just the opposite to someone else. During junior and senior high was a lovely time for me. Anything I wanted, I manifested. For example: In ninth grade I joined the band. However, I was late getting to practice and most of instruments were gone when I got there. The only one I could get was a trombone. It was the best of choices and the worst.

I really wanted to play the flute. It had already been chosen, so no luck for me! I needed something easier to do. One day I looked out the band room window and saw one of my classmates practicing. He was the drum major: I decided that was the job for me, he could handle this trombone better than I could!

I decided to walk up to the band director’s desk and make this proposition: I wanted to be the drum majorette. He quickly agreed. From that day on, I knew I could bring into my life whatever I wanted.

Then there came a turn in my life when I was about 32. Relationships, anger, frustration and other pressures entered my life. I became like some other person. I lost my ability to manifest.

The worries of life shifted my view and I started looking at life through a different window. I was now in a shelter and remained there for many years to come. I even worked at the shelter for a time.

Then, at some point, it occurred to me that I should be working on myself. In May 2013 I was staying in my cube, on my bed, and began seeing myself going into an apartment with a key; I would say this over and over again, with easy certainty and without strain or apprehension.

I moved out of the shelter 10 months later into my own apartment. I have been here for 3 years.