I remember the days when I lived on the kindness of friends, and of strangers. And the days when I lived week by week, scraping together my pennies, saving up for a month to buy a frying pan. I remember when I wore clothes from a charity shop because I had no other option, not because of ethical principles.
I remember being so scared that one day, The Dude would realise who I was, and that I was not worth the trouble. Or that social services would turn up on my door and take my child away, because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I remember thinking that I would live out my days, sad, and lonely, and afraid. Sad, and lonely, and afraid, and surrounded by wealth and the noise of the crowd, and nobody would ever know the truth.
I remember. I hope I never forget.
These days I live a prosperous life. I am doing the things I was meant to do. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back. Tragedy comes close enough to remind me of the fragility of life, and I hug Little Person and The Dude a little closer. My family has grown, and my heart with it. Trials and troubles come, and I face them with the steely determination borne not just of faith, but of the knowledge that there is more to life than this.
I never want to be satisfied with a prosperous life.
I want to live big and change the world. I want to give to something bigger than my own comfort. Food on my table is excellent – but I want to help you put food on yours. A smile in my heart? Brilliant – but I want to put a smile in yours. But that means, I need to know that there is no food on your table, or smile in your heart.
How can I help you, if you won’t let me in?