“I don’t know what was going on at this point in my life, but I was attracting a whole lot of negative attention and negative people. I had a toxic relationship with my girlfriend at the time. I had toxic friendships, a toxic family, and my whole life in every dynamic was toxic and extremely negative. I don’t know if I was in a dark place, but I was certainly attracting everything negative that could possibly happen to me. I was attracting people who were holding me down, and every time I tried to do something for myself to improve and better myself, it was only destroyed by negativity in the end.”
At the time, I was living in San Jose, California, in Silicon Valley – the “Tech Capital” of the world – and it was terrible for me. The rent was ridiculously high, and the housing shortage caused a lot of competition for people to have a house to live in. Additionally, I had just ran from rehab and did not have much money. In fact, I had no money no money, which made matters even worse because this was a time where people began taking advantage of other people who were looking for places to live. If you wanted to live there, you have to pay one years worth of an an enormously expensive rate upfront.
Adding to this challenge, I had a terrible drinking problem. I checked into a detox center to get cleaned up, and afterward, I got into this environment where finding housing was outrageous.
In the end, I found a great place to live. It was on the beach, although a month after I got settled in there, the manager of the complex came around and kicked everyone out. He wanted to make it vacation housing to receive top dollar for his rent. As a result, everyone who was living there was displaced – including me.
This occurred during the wintertime, so when I left, I was essentially homeless in the winter. It was raining, it was freezing cold, and it was downright awful. A few months after being homeless in the winter and sleeping in the rain, I finally found a place to live and call home.
Nature taught me a lot because I was living in a secluded place in the middle of nowhere, and after moving in, my truck broke down. Yet another challenge to face, unfortunately. I had to rely on people to bring me food and other grocery items due to this, coupled with the fact that I was living in the middle of nowhere. Adding to the challenge, the hot water heater went out, which the landlord took a month to fix, and not having a working vehicle to go to a gym to shower meant I had to get creative. I boiled large bowls of water in a microwave, propane went out at the same time as well, and filled up a large Rubbermaid container so I could bathe myself. To make matters worse, there was a guy who lived next door, we were separated by a thin common wall, who brought ten people from china to live with him. With that said, all night I was SUFFERING through the sound of banging kitchen cabinets, vacuums, and hammering all through the night because the neighbors were now on China time.
I wanted to go to college at the time, too. But I couldn’t due to the expensive housing, so I couldn’t afford rent and college. After six months of living there, I got a knock on my door. It was my landlord to explain that she was sick on the verge of death and that she wanted to die inside the house that she built with her bare hands. With that, I was told to move again. I wasn’t going to go down that easy. Adding to the Hellish nightmare, I had just recently hit by a truck and going through intensive physical therapy and I could not simply put my life on hold at the whim of my landlords command.
I explained to her that I couldn’t move because I was in a contract. The next thing I knew, she started pitching a tent in my driveway to sleep in until I moved. I never moved because I knew I was legally allowed to live in my house that I was renting. With all this going on, I decided to go on a road trip with my mom, aunt, and uncle from Northern California down to Mexico.
Arriving back from Mexico, we stopped in a small town in Southern California called Indio, and it was like paradise to me. Palm trees were everywhere, there were luxury golf courses all over, people were super friendly, everything seemed affordable, everything was close together, and everything was high-quality with low prices. Was this a dream?
This was perfect for me – a college student without a vehicle. While I was there, I looked into a few places to live, and that same day I found a place to live, no problem. The luxury complex was half the price I was paying for in Northern California. Even better, there was a college campus less than 10 minutes away on a bike!
When I returned back to Northern California, my landlord and her boyfriend were gone, and the person living in the main house came out. I asked him where they were, and he said that the FBI came over looking for her to serve the documents that would take her to court for an emerald heist that happened in Brazil while she was living there, and she was the mastermind behind it all.
She was the co-conspirator of the disappearance of the largest emerald in history – the Bahia Emerald. Can you believe it? Neither could I, but it makes sense with what followed next.
Shortly after, the landlord and her partner came back, and they were all super-friendly, no drama. They started drinking and began to get quite drunk. Then, out of nowhere, the boyfriend pulled out a shotgun and started walking around the property. I was living in the middle of nowhere, and he began to threaten my life with the shotgun.
The more alccohol was consumed, the more everything was coming back. My landlord began saying that she wanted to die in the house that she built – remember? This was all just a lie she conjured to hide from the FBI and authorities. When my life started being threatened with the landlords and the shotgun, I had enough and decided to leave. I had to hide out until the next day, and when that came around, the city came and condemned the place so nobody could live there. She was renting out a house that was inhabitable, and no one was supposed to live there, to begin with.
I didn’t have many possessions because I had come there straight from rehab, anyway, and from being homeless. I packed up what I had, including my bike, and took off to Indio, California for a beautiful new beginning of my life where I was going to live the life I was dreaming of for so long.
I was going to go to college. Make friends. Escape all of the negativity and toxic relationships that were destroying my life. I would cultivate new relationships and create the life that I wanted to live.
After arriving at the resort where the cost of living was cheap, the manager explained that a brand-new college had just opened around the corner if I was interested. And of course, I was thrilled! My family and I went to the campus, walking distance, and they were enrolling THAT day. I enrolled in college, went up north, grabbed my few belongings, that I owned, got dropped off in Indio, and started at College of the Desert the next day. The rest is history from there. I settled into a new life where I could focus entirely on academics and have fun.
Here, there was open land, the streets were not congested, and everyone there was relaxed – nobody ever seemed to be in a rush. This way of life was so much more refreshing compared to my unhappy life in the tech capital of the world.
If you are stuck in a place where you feel as though you are constantly being dragged down and limited in your potential, then hear me out.
I encourage you to feel inspired by my story and make the choice to move on and find the better things that are out there in life. Discard the negativity and unearth the positivity that is waiting for you. Happiness is the key to living a healthy, successful life. Find it and never let it go.