Mid-way through 2014, I found myself homeless. Not like sleeping in a park homeless, but living off the kindness of friends, couch surfing for short periods of time to avoid any one friend becoming too annoyed with me.

Dude, that shit sucks. I can’t even begin to tell you the damage done to my root chakra during this phase of not having a steady place to call “home”. But I’m so grateful for the experience. Homelessness lit a fire under my ass.

I have worked harder since than I ever have in my life–the only exception being basic training, which was a different kind of difficult, but nonetheless prepared me for this experience. I learned in basic training that I could build myself up after ANY setback. I learned that life would break me down sometimes, and I am fully capable of pulling my ass up by my bootstraps–pardon the awful cliche.

I’ve juggled several jobs, literally working night and day, losing out on time with my kids, eating free (read expired)¬†gas station food because I couldn’t afford to feed myself.

Here’s the light at the end of the tunnel: it is paying off. Exponentially.

I have a roof over my head (no matter how small), I get a decent amount of time with my kids (we’re getting there), and I’m able to buy fresh (sometimes gas station) food.

And, most importantly, I believe in myself and my ability to overcome anything. THAT is invaluable.