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When I lost my job, I felt the same old feelings of abandonment. I was alone without family support, and all those cues came knocking on my basal ganglia. I felt worthless and devalued. The only thing I could think about was how I was going to survive without a job. The old thoughts of “Nobody likes me,” “No one wants me,” and “No one cares” crawled in like ants on a powdered doughnut. Those thoughts kept me from getting a job, and the longer I was immobilized by those thoughts, the closer I got to destitution. Finally, I woke up homeless in the backseat of my car.

My savings quickly disappeared and I began to get anxious, panicky. I needed inner peace. How was I going to make it unless I appeared okay? Who would hire a desperate person? And thrashing about in the backseat of my car, twisting, turning, and crying my eyes out in a pity-party for one was not going to work either. Those street lights became the horrible spotlight of enlightenment beaming through my car window at night. They unrelentingly exposed me for who I had become. They said, “Look at your life. What are you going to do?” Thinking and thinking about my situation gave me a series of ten-minute catnaps in the backseat of my car. I had to change my thoughts and fast.

Positivity

Video:

Living out of her car in San Diego

Nica Taylor talks about her experience living out of her car in San Diego.

Nica Taylor talks about her experience living out of her car in San Diego.

I joined a church Bible-study group because it was free. Everyone seemed nice, and I had a regular place to go on Wednesday nights. But during one group study about Jesus, a pastor’s wife told me that I was lucky, as she talked to a lady about getting her nails done. She stretched out her arm, hand, and fingers to look at her polished fake nails. She said she had been to Africa, spreading God’s word. She turned her attention to me and leaned over to have a private conversation. “And they didn’t have cars to sleep in,” she said to me. Duh! I guess you get instantly stupid when you are down and out. I would not have told my fellow derelicts that they were lucky to have grocery carts as I walked into the gym to take a shower.

Even on the street there was a hierarchy among the less fortunate. I had a mid-sized car, others a bus or van, and some cardboard boxes. I showered at the gym, others in the restroom at the park or library. The pastor’s wife may have had a point about being grateful to have a car, but I didn’t feel very loved. The one thing the pastor’s wife neglected to notice was that I was without family. I wish I wasn’t so judgmental, but she was in the business of helping people. She really didn’t give me the time of day. I was on my own, which was a harsh reality for me. The law of attraction seemed to be the only thing left to try.

The first step of the law is to be appreciative or grateful. I must “feel good” in order to make changes in my life. I had to ignore the negatives and dwell on the positives. So, I wrote a list. Here were all the things I loved about being homeless.

1) I didn’t have to pay rent or utilities anymore. Yippee! No landlord.

2) I got free beachfront property because I parked my car at the beach to sleep. Only millionaires have beachfront property.

3) Life was a picnic at the park… literally! I ate there every day.

4) I went to the gym every day...to shower, groom, and feel normal.

5) I didn’t have to buy shampoo and body wash. The gym supplied it.

6) I enjoyed more of what San Diego had to offer. I walked on the beach all the time and enjoyed the ocean.

7) I loved my car. It was spacious. The trunk held everything I owned. It was luxurious yet inconspicuous. It fit right in with the other parked cars on a suburban street.

8) I didn’t have to cook. I had personal chefs... McDonald’s and Roberto’s.

9) I didn’t crave fast food anymore.

10) I found out who my true friends were and where I stood with my family. Being homeless was a true eye-opener.

11) I noticed when someone was polite, like a man opening the door for me at the grocery store. A little politeness went a long way. It gave me hope in mankind.

12) I noticed the little things, like a smile and returned it. It was the highlight of my day.

13) I became more spiritual without material items to worry about.

14) I started to believe in miracles, because that was what it was going to take to get off the street.

15) I was thankful for being healthy, because I couldn’t afford to get sick.

16) There was a lot of room for improvement. Anything would be better than nothing.

17) I didn’t have to live with annoying roommates.

18) I didn’t have to do house-cleaning once a week.

19) I didn’t have to worry about home repairs.

20) People didn’t knock on my car door selling things or come over unannounced.

21) I didn’t have annoying neighbors. And if something bothered me, I could drive away.

22) I didn’t have to complain about never going out. I was always out.

23) I went on Sunday drives, every day, looking for a spot to sleep.

24) I saw the sunrise every morning.

25) I regularly communed with nature, even if it was mostly flies, gnats, bugs, ants, and bees.

26) I read more, since I spent a lot of time at the library keeping warm and using the internet. Funny…I used to help the homeless at the library, now I was the homeless at the library. Libraries do change lives.

It felt good to write a list and laugh about my situation. But the money didn’t roll in, and I wasn’t offered a job. “Show me the money!” I yelled to a universal God. I never was a money-hungry person before my stint on the street. I changed! It was all about money. It became my God. I went to church to discover that they were spreading the word about money on that particular Sunday. They were asking for money. Wow! The law of attraction does work. The law states that whatever you think about shows up in your life. Your thoughts are always validated. And the pastors of that church wanted money, just like me. The pastors went on and on about how they helped people. They tried to convince the congregation that they used the donations they received to fund important projects to help the needy.

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Comments

teachersetup March 2, 2014 @ 8:26 p.m.

Nica, the fact that you were working with children and you were living in your car shows responsible individuals the following; #1 is not an excused to stop living

2 it is not an excuse to become a negative charge to our society

3 it shows will power #4 in spanish your story illustrates

No escusas, no disculpas y no pretextos.

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arbedeycal March 4, 2014 @ 4:28 a.m.

As an ex-homeless person, am I allowed to say that homeless persons with cars are lucky?

I did not have one.

I am glad that your story has a happy ending and I hope it gets even better for you.

I would have gone mad without books and the public libraries that provide them, since when I was homeless, I certainly couldn't buy them. (Making up for lost time now )

Never give up as the wheel of fortune will rise again.

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dynamicifiction Aug. 27, 2017 @ 10:36 p.m.

ME TOO!!!

Masters in Physics - fatalistic, self-sabotaging behavior, etc. Fitness membership for cleaning up, short sleep periods spread out within the smaller, sedate neighborhoods, and being unable to find a satisfactory and affordable living situation. Searching online for ANY affordable living solution... Everything except the no family nearby, though there is so much violent dysfunction built into my sibling relationships due to being raised in a psychological-hell-environment that it's almost like not having any family.

And the church hypocrisy thing seems to be very constant throughout the entire nation, at least in the dozen or so churches I've tried.

I still fantasize about how nice it would be to find a decent place that has less problems - noise, people who break the no-smoking rules and smoke in their apartments and constantly having their second-hand smoke fill my own apartment, secure parking and building security - these are major problems in each and every place I've ever lived.

I HAVE ACTUALLY GIVEN UP SEARCHING FOR A PLACE. Now I can understand why so many homeless choose life on the streets instead of a "home" - and some places are putting surveillance cameras everywhere - LIKE THAT'S A NON-ISSUE, A-OK FOR PEOPLE WHO ALREADY DON'T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT...What can these benevolent providers be thinking!?!?

On the other hand ... the place I'm currently leaving has a dozen dog-owners who let their dogs relieve themselves on the walls in the hallways and even in the elevator. GROSS!!! A lot of tenants are simply gross and inconsiderate - a vast majority of tenants seem to be that way. It's just not fair to people who want a quiet, secure, clean and calm residence.

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