22.10.14 (Day 304)
“I hear them saying, tomorrow’s just another day…”
Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of all of this starting. It was one year ago that I split from the love of my once-upon-a-life and returned to Tonbridge, having been away for 12 years. Nothing much had changed, except me perhaps. A month after that, we realised we were still in love and I returned to Sidcup.
Then it all went wrong.
So I came back to Tonbridge again and it continued to go wrong. Relationships, beatings (both given and received) and everything else that’s been recorded here over the last ten months.
Last Christmas was spent in hospital with a turkey sandwich for Christmas lunch. My family would have been gathered around the dining table, enjoying their roast turkey and forgetting about me. I don’t even like turkey, so that’s fine. Ugly fuckers when they’re alive and dry and without taste when dead.
A lot has changed over the last ten months – for better or worse – and a few things have remained constant, including the wife and my current host family.
I really don’t want to spend this Christmas with the host family. I’ve imposed enough and if I were them, I wouldn’t me encroaching on what should be a purely family occasion. They are a second family to me but I have no real family at Christmas. Although bridges are being rebuilt again and despite being the season of goodwill to all men, my real family won’t want me around. I have gifts planned for them, despite us being estranged. Finances are limited but thought is not, so myself and the host mum are making something home-made and personal for my family. And it’s a nice thing which we have planned. I expect nothing in return.
Some things don’t change but I have in some respects. It’s all about helping others for me now; not so much about myself but I’ve not forgotten me as so many others have. I was hoping to have been moved on long ago and certainly way before Christmas but the moving on situation is another one which hasn’t changed.
I’m trying to move on. I’m trying to not outstay my welcome. I have the green shoots of a business emerging from Restaurant at Home with a few tentative enquiries already. No firm orders yet but I’m trying to remain positive. These things take time: I’ve done it before. And like before, it’s frustrating: technology which doesn’t work and constant interruptions from people who think they need me. If you text me and I don’t respond immediately, please just assume that I’m busy and let me get on with what I’m trying to do, which is to work and move on. Don’t keep sending me messages asking if I’m okay and why I’ve not replied; don’t simply ask what I’m up to as I don’t have time to explain. I’m just busy. If you really need to know what I’m doing, RTFB! There are other things I have to deal with. I can’t always be here and one day I’ll be gone: moved on. I do care but there’s only so much I can do. If only I got paid, for orders which aren’t yet coming in and for the work I do just being me.
It’s at this time of year that suicide rates among the homeless are at their highest. It helps the system which works against us to reduce their burden of numbers of people they won’t help.
I may check into Winter Shelter again this year. I made a lot of friends there last year; mainly males of a certain age – like me – who are classed as low risk and therefore receive no help. I know that at least three of them won’t be there this year: one was murdered and two took their own lives, through depression and frustration. I may join them yet.
Other losses were of my own making, I admit.
“I need a moment to reflect, on the friendships I have wrecked…”
I might help in a kitchen at Crisis or Shelter. Business is partly about referrals and giving things away. I don’t have much but what I have, I will give. Maybe I’ll get something back. But I expect nothing in return; I don’t give to receive.
Have I changed? I believe so. For the better? Others will judge. I feel better about certain things in life and remain remorseful over others. Perhaps one day those who’ve not already found it within themselves to forgive me for what they perceived to be wrong, may actually find it.
I’m a person. I’m a trying person. People buy from people, so if the business does indeed take off, who is this person that people will be buying from?
I could go back out in the world and deny everything I’ve done. I could pretend; I could act; I could lie. But I don’t do that, honest. I have a past that I’m not proud of and although we all have baggage which should be left at the door (forgive and forget), I carry mine like a life’s burden; a self-imposed life sentence to make amends within myself for what I’ve done. I don’t deny nor hide my past. People will have to deal with the person. That’s why I’ve not separated the business from this personal blog. People then know who they’re dealing with and either trust me or don’t. Those who judge wrongly are those I’d never want as customers anyway.
So who are these customers dealing with? An ex-con? A recovering alcoholic? Or perhaps someone who made mistakes, fell on hard times but didn’t give up? A reformed character maybe? Someone who picked up the pieces and tried again: maybe someone worth taking a gamble on and placing some faith in?
Tomorrow will tell. Tomorrow is yet another day. Despite the last ten months, I maintain my faith.