Here I am, finding myself in an all-too-familiar place. I am home. Bay Area roots keep me close to my family. Faces are different, of course, but the smells, trees, and sounds are all the same from when I grew up here. I decided to leave home for the first time in 2007; I was running away from a lot of pain. I wrote my memoirs about that painful journey. I did return home in 2008, but I decided to go to school instead of back to the streets. I moved away from home again in 2010 to continue my schooling. After graduation, in 2014, I left Oregon and hit the road where I spent a year on a homeless, but protected journey. The book I wrote was about my life’s voyage before my college experience. Of course, I needed to experience my college journey before writing the book. Well, I spent 7 years in the college university system and now I’m back home.
I’m preparing for the next journey. Not only am I preparing for my own journey, I am preparing for my man’s journey too. It’s interesting to see how things have progressed over the years. As I traveled through the university system, he traveled through the prison system. As I worked on finding myself, he worked on finding himself. Now, we’re back in contact after about 12 years of knowing each other. You see, writing my book brought him and I back together. I keep telling people that he is the main character in my book. He is whom I fell in love with. He is whom I watched get married. He is who helped me realize being a prostitute wasn’t something I wanted to continue doing. I needed to leave. So, I did. Yes, the man I am in love with now is the same man I was in love with years ago. Yes, he is the main character in my book and he knows it. He honors it. He takes pride in it.
The thing is, however, that exact character in my book isn’t the same man I’m in love with now. The character in my book is a combination of about three or four different clients. All the characters in my book are a combination of clients. The way I wrote my book was from the eyes of a damaged young woman who was fighting to keep her pain hidden. I was in no position to love anyone because I didn’t love myself. I now find myself wanting to strengthen my body, mind, and spirit. I now find myself loving myself on a deeper level then ever before. I know I am worthy of love. I know I am worthy of a relationship full of respect, honor, and trust. I know I am worthy of being the kind of woman my man needs so he can grow and strengthen his body, mind, and spirit.
My book has brought us back together, and we are preparing for a life that will not only benefit each other, but also benefit others. The love we have created is going to shine so bright that we’ll touch the lives of people we meet. I want to help others. He wants to help others. I’ve spent many nights reading articles, writing research papers, and busting my ass to graduate. He has spent many nights alone, reading books, and simply thinking about what was and what is. I spent my time in college connecting with people and encouraging growth. He spent time in prison keeping to himself and staying clean. I learned so much about myself and how the world functions that I am ready to take this knowledge and put it to use. We want to combine what I know about my time in the university system with the knowledge he knows about the time spent in the prison system. Together, him and I are going to create something so unique.
I’m ready. He’s almost ready. There is much fear involved with the huge transition that’s coming our way. But I am preparing. He is preparing. We are both scared. We are both full of God’s grace. We are both encouraging growth and understanding. We love with respect and honor. We love with faith and prayer. Our journey hasn’t even started yet. Him and I are still working on our individual selves. We have a lot of work ahead of us. I am home again, where I belong. I’m not running away this time. He’ll be home soon. Together we will build a castle with roots that dig deep.