I experienced my first fire!!
The past month of my life has been quite a learning experience. My apartment caught fire the week before I had hip surgery. All of my belongings had to be removed from my house and repairs need to be made on the whole apartment and nothing yet has been started on the repairs still to this day. What I was left with was a backpack of clothes to get me through a week. My first priority was, where I was going to live. I was blessed to have been offered to stay at a friends house during the repair time of my apartment. The fact that I had hip surgery on top of it and have not been able to walk has only complicated things. I have needed a lot of help every day due to the disability.
In the past three weeks since the incident not once have I been lacking anything. I have enough clothes to get me by each day. I only have a backpack full of stuff but it is more than enough. As I think about all of my belongings in my apartment that were removed by the fire restoration company, I wonder how necessary all those belongings are. Everything I owned the clothing the knickknacks the books the toiletries and anything I have bought in the past are all boxed up and attempting to be restored at this time. Part of me thinks about things here and there and I wonder if this particular item will ever come back to me or this particular item will be able to be cleaned. In the bigger picture I look at the last three weeks and I have to remind myself have I really needed those items I am worrying about? I look at all the things I have and all the things I collected over the years and when it comes down to it they are only material items. I have been just fine without them. I have been living minimalistically with only the things that I need and I have not suffered once. In my situation I got lucky that everything was not burned to the ground during the fire and only smoke damage was done. In some cases people lose everything they have ever owned. For me, this was just enough of a loss to allow me to gain insight, because most things were salvageable, to remind me of what is important in life.
I want my goal to be to live the minimalistically. I have learned that I don’t need very much to get by. So why go out and buy one color of everything that I like or the latest and greatest version of anything I own. I have been Americanized and spoiled. Don’t get me wrong; nothing I have just come easy to me I have worked hard on my own for everything I have. The take-home is that I don’t need everything I have. Some people may never experience a fire to realize how quickly everything can be lost but I encourage you to re-approach the idea behind why you have what you have and why you buy what you buy and where your efforts can better be spent for a better purpose. That is one of the many lessons that I’ve learned through this fire experience. If I had two backpacks full of belongings right now instead of one I would still have too much,because I have been living fine with just one. So then; what is necessity and what is comfortability??
#detroit #fire #autobiography #liveandlearn #liveminimalistically #shopping
To read my autobiography “taking back the pen” on my crazy life experiences and wisdom gained visit: https://www.createspace.com/4271634
As much as we all like to give our own opinions and advice, we all need opinions and advice to move forward in life. With some decisions that we make in order to take the final step, sometimes we need a different person to agree or disagree and to give us sound advice on their opinion preference. This does not mean that we make all of our decisions based on other people, this just means that we admit that we don’t always have all the answers. It is important to have somebody in your life to go to in times of crisis or in times of need when you can’t think straight and you need somebody to help filter the thoughts. Wise counsel is something to be sought after. That is why it is very important to have somebody solid, credible and trustworthy to turn to at these times. Having a good mentor in your life makes a huge difference. Sometimes that person may tell you what you want to hear because it won’t hurt you and doing so they know that you just need the extra motivation. But sometimes they will tell you the truth and it is what you don’t want to hear and your reaction to it may justify the reason that you indeed need to take the advice. Everybody needs a mentor. I mentor people everyday. More than ever now, after publishing my book. Many people come to me for advice and questions and want solid answers. The more and more that I put myself out there for other people, the more I realize how important it is for even me to have a solid mentor to go to. If I continue to pour myself out and have nobody there to fill me back up I will burn out quickly. I highly encourage everyone to find somebody that is full of wisdom and good sound advice.
One thing that I see most often is that we tend to hang out with people that are just like us. It is easy to go to their friends and ask their advice. Being that our friends are typically just like us, we know they will give us answers that we want to hear. This is why it is important to have a broad scope of friends. Being out of your comfort zone is a good thing. When you hang out with people that are not just like you, you get a chance to learn about other people, other cultures and gain perspective. Insight is a beautiful thing when it isn’t selective. Because you choose to be a Republican does that mean you do not want democratic friends? Because you’re straight does that mean you don’t want homosexual friends??? It is important to be open and have a broad scope. When it comes to making the final decisions in your life, ultimately you go with what is in your heart. Having solid people around you to advise you and guide you does not hurt. It helps and heals. You cannot give somebody else something that you don’t have. That is why it is important to stay filled up and ready at any moment to help others because you know that you are at 100% yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. If there are people in your life that bring you down change your group of friends. Life is too short to miss out on opportunities and have bad days. Happiness is a choice.
Today I was notified that a man who lives in New York City that read my autobiography had published a review and it went live on the Huffington Post today. This has been a long road to get my story out there to inspire others and it was a balance of trying not to just whine about the bad things in my life but rather to overcome them and encourage people to move past the hard times and let them shape their future! The review paralleled my life story with the city of Detroit. It reminded me again of why I am investing in my city…plans for a hope and a future. the review can be read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-stimpson/taking-back-the-pen_b_4372731.html
The book is available https://www.createspace.com/4271634
For the longest time I have been struggling with the fact that I cannot cry. With as much trauma as I have been through, tears just don’t seem to come out anymore. The pain of not being able to cry is worse than actual physical pain. With this recent hip surgery I was in the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt. I was hoping that during that procedure I would be able to finally cry. When I woke up in a lot of pain no tears came out and I was just angry. The fact that my apartment caught fire and I don’t have a place to live right now did not make me cry either.
Tonight as I sit alone in the house in the suburbs away from my city of Detroit that I love my Bible study continued as it does every Tuesday in Detroit. I received a text message from a friend saying that they missed me. Then I received a message saying to get ready to face time. The last thing I want to do is be around people in my state of distress. I cannot walk. I am in a hip brace. I am in a ton of pain and can’t even get around on my own. But those people from my Bible study that are meeting tonight decided they wanted to face time me. When I answered the phone I saw faces of the people in my neighborhood group. These people have become my family. They went around the room and all waved and talked to me through FaceTime on our iPhones. I was trying so hard not to cry while this was happening. Then the pastor asked me what I was struggling with most. After I told them my biggest fears thoughts and concerns that are on my heart right now they prayed for me through FaceTime. Even though I am almost an hour away I still feel that I am a part of the group. I didn’t ask for them to contact me today…. But yet they knew that I had surgery last week and they noticed I wasn’t there this week so they reached out to me and blessed me in a way that touched deep within. My heart has not been the most positive during all of this but I have been trying to keep my chin up. That showed me love. Even when my attitude may not be the best God still used them in my life to bless me and show me that I am not forgotten and that there is a higher plan and a bigger purpose to all of this. That support group right there is the reason I can make it through every trial I face. I am constantly reminded that I am not alone. God said in the scriptures That He will never leave me or forsake me and that He will work all things together for the good to those who love Him. And He says He knows the plans for me plans to prosper me and not to harm me and that He will give me a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
With that being said, after I hung up the face time chat with my neighborhood group Bible study from Detroit while I am out in the suburbs healing, I set the phone down and I finally cried. They were tears of joy! Tears of thankfulness and tears of hope… There weren’t many … but there were tears. It was a breakthrough that I needed. I am so blessed to be a part of Woodside Bible Church in Detroit Michigan. Being adopted its not easy to not have a real family so as you go along and find out what family really means… It has a greater meaning than what is normally expected.