I don’t know where to begin. Literally.
You know, some people are just bursting with beginnings and by saying “I don’t know where to begin” they are in fact beginning. Who knows if that’s what I’m doing now, I can’t tell. I figure if I go long enough, a beginning has got to show up sometime or another.
Well, I am sitting in the Portland Community College Library. There’s a sort of beginning. I have a to-do list open on another window. Why am I here? What do I want to share with you? What do you want to know?
I want to share with you where I’ve been, where I am, what I’ve been doing and what I want to do next. Yes. That it is.
Here we go.
Seriously, this whole beginning thing just isn’t my forté .
I am in Portland. Before I came here, I was in Olympia, WA. Before Olympia I was in Ashland, OR for a little less than a week. Before I was in Ashland, I was in Santa Cruz, CA for a little while. Before I was in Santa Cruz, I was in Ukiah, CA. Well Redwood Valley to be specific. There, I stayed on a small home-steady farm and did different sorts of things in exchange for room and board. I had originally planned on staying on that farm for 6 months or so. As you can tell, that’s not what happened. I was there for a little over a month. The place itself was great and I really appreciated what they had going on, but unfortunately it simply wasn’t a good fit, so I stayed at a different farm up the road for a bit until I felt comfortable enough in taking the next step. I could go on for a while about what I learned there, not only about “sustainability”, gardening, food preparation, goat and chicken care, cob building, herbal medicine and community living/dynamics but also about the inner-workings of myself and how I interact within a group or community dynamic, BUT along with being unsure of how to make all of that even mildly relevant in the coming text, I’ve not yet found an effective way of articulating my lessons in a way that I feel others will fully understand. (WHOA, run-on sentence)
Before Redwood Valley, I lived in a tipi outside of Ashland for a little over a month (The later end of the month of January, on through February). I lived out there in a fifteen footer, across the way from my Cousin Kayla and her husband Ande’s tipi. Occasionally my “niece and nephew” Rowan and Isla would meander over and join me for cheese and crackers, or a little puzzle.
After all of that, here I am. I don’t know if that was follow-able at all (it’s all a backwards puzzle), but forgive me. In my year of not being in any sort of formal English education, I fear I’ve lost what little knowledge I had of proper writing. WOOPS!

I am currently “homeless”.
“homeless |ˈhōmlis| adjective
(of a person) without a home, and therefore typically living on the streets”

I’m living out of my car, have been for a while, and now I’m growing weary of it. I’ve recently tried to recall the last time I had my own comfortable space. And I wasn’t the only one shocked when I realized that it has been over a year. Let it be known: it is taking its toll.
I’ll begin attending EMT classes this fall at PCC. I applied for FAFSA, but I don’t know what kind of financial aid I’ll be awarded or if it will cover the cost of everything. I’d like to apply for scholarships, but it seems that many of them require knowing how much I will be awarded from the FAFSA before I can submit an application. I am late in the game. – Two weeks ago I had no idea where life would lead me, and now I’m enrolled in college and will be registering for classes at the end of the month. Everything is happening so quickly and I have this constant feeling of grasping for something just as it disappears. A close friend of mine described how she was feeling as reaching for a smoke ring, grasping it and then opening an empty hand. I feel like that’s an appropriate analogy for my situation as well.
Everyone I know here in Portland and whose couches I’ve been sleeping on have said that the crashing economy has definitely affected the job market in Portland in an unfavorable way. I am doing my best to listen to their words of experience without allowing them to rain (“Rain”. HAHA. Portland. Rain. Get it? HA) on my “parade” if you will.

Irrelevant Side-note: I seem to be addicted to parenthesis and quotation marks. It’s simply how my brain works. I apologize if it’s caused you any frustration.

I have a clear intention. I know what I want to do, and I think I have an idea of how I want to get there. What I’m experiencing as a drawback at this point in time is my lack of personal income. Thanks to the wonderful people I have in my life, I continue to have a place to sleep at night, but how to get there will soon become a problem if I don’t find a job soon. My bike needs breaks, my car needs gas and I need new shoes.
• I’d like to work at some sort of camp this summer, but I seem to be late in the camp employment game as well. • I’d like to work at a rock climbing gym, but I have got less than a year of experience, and gyms generally look for people with at least 3 years or so. • I’d like to work at an outdoor retail store, but what does a Wilderness First Responder certification do for store work? Nada.

Next week I am taking a Challenge Course Certification training. They’re allowing me to do work-trade for more than half of the cost, but I still need to manifest $300 to cover the cost of the training. Taking this training means a lot to me and I feel like it will be a catalyst in getting me to where I want to be.

I’d like a place to live and I’d like that place to have engaging people. I’d like to have a job, and I’d like for it to be outside. I would like to not be titled as “homeless” because that is not entirely how I feel. I would like for money to not be a constant obstacle.

I would like to feel like I have a shot.

The End