This I Believe

Richard - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 20, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

It was hot and uncomfortable all night, so I had not rested well that night. Sleep hadn’t come easily since I had been kicked out of my father’s house. Bleary eyed I awoke to the rising sun and a middle school student shaking my foot and yelling at me. This was not entirely unexpected as in order to have a little comfort sleeping in my Ford Festiva, I had to hang my left foot out the window. In fact I came to rely on children messing with me as an alarm system.

Ignoring the various obscenities hurled at me I calmly looked in the rearview mirror. Looking back at me were the determined eyes of a young man whom had worked hard to keep from losing hope although hope had been in short supply over the last two months in which car had been home. This young man looking back at me had tackled each day as they came, with single minded determination to accomplish his goal. Two months of sleeping in my car, showering at friends’ houses and truck stops, and eating only food from work had done nothing to cool my fire. That day, this young man attacking my leg like some rabid Chihuahua could not destroy that either.

That afternoon, after work, I was going to sign my first apartment lease. I would no longer be a vagabond, a Ronan warrior. I would be normal, I would have a home. This accomplishment might seem meager to some, but to me it summed up everything I had dreamed of and worked for. Two months of hard work and determination were finally bearing their fruit. This was also the first time as an adult, that I had achieved anything through sheer hard work and determination.

Certainly, I was not the first, nor had I achieved anything grandiose, yet for a few minutes out of everyday when I wake up in my home I feel on par with some great men whom had themselves accomplished through hard work. Bill Gates built Microsoft from his garage. John Schnatter realized his hard work in the form of Papa John’s pizza. I knew how these men felt, at least to a smaller degree. I often strive for that feeling; it is one of the driving factors in my day to day life, to feel the accomplishment of hard work. To this day, whenever I feel overwhelmed by life’s obstacles, I simply remember that I’ve done this before and will get through it with hard work. After all, I still have my roof.