the week i lived in my car – part II

Before I continue, this is not a reflection of my family, friends, nor my qualifications to get any old job just to pay the bills. This was something I felt I had to do and experience on my own. It has been difficult to ask for help, especially when there often doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Accepting and receiving support is something I’m working on. My faith in myself, my journey and the process continues to be challenged, especially since I left my full time job in November of 2020. We live in a society where we have been programmed to believe dreams are for children, and burn-out is part of being a grown-up; even though there are many successful entrepreneurs and artists who are making millions pursuing something they love. As I said before, I am determined to find out why I am on this planet and how I can best serve Spirit, my community, and myself. So with that being said, this is a story that was part of my journey. Each path is different. And as a writer, I am choosing to share mine. Thank you for being here. I hope it inspires you in some shape or form.

heart shaped tree hole

After two, maybe three days and nights living in my car, I decided to book a room with hotel points at the DoubleTree Orlando. What I did not factor in was $14 parking. I asked the check-in clerk if there was any other parking nearby, and she explained it was possible to find some in the street. Then I remembered how much stuff was in my car and concluded I was better off hiding in a garage. Exhausted, yet thrilled to have a hotel room all to myself for nearly 24 hours, I marched toward my room, carrying way too much stuff to find my room key didn’t work. After several attempts and with some hesitation, I left my belongings by the door and went back to the front desk. She swiped and typed some more, but when I tried again, there was still no luck. Now I was becoming frustrated. All I wanted was to lay down in air conditioning.

living out of car trunk space

It is important to remember that sometimes when we are being rejected, it is in order to be guided towards something greater. The front desk clerk was super perplexed, but also apologetic and upgraded me to a suite! Happily, I trotted down the lane with my belongings toward a great room I didn’t even pay for. It was then that I was reminded how divinely guided I was, and how I was being rewarded for my efforts. Even if it didn’t always seem or feel like it.

DoubleTreeOrlando Hotel Suite

After taking a much needed bath, I began to unpack. It was then that I noticed my wallet was missing. Panicking, I raced back to the front desk to ask if I left it there. I hadn’t. I was beginning to feel insane. Already I was in my head about what else I could do for money, if the little that I had did in fact, disappear. I retraced my steps with no luck, until I was finally back at my car. And there it was, just lying on the ground next to my car door. It was then that I truly realized how much of a frazzled chaotic mess I was, after living like this, that I vowed to lie in that king size bed for the rest of the day and never leave it.

Lost Wallet

It was wonderful living this way and I relished every second. Ironically, this happened on the new moon in libra, and I imagined I was getting a taste of a life I would soon manifest into my reality, as I already had at the moment I needed it most. I was sad to leave that room the next day, but I got out of paying the $14 for parking. I used my old key that didn’t work for the room it belonged to, but apparently everything else. It scanned me out of the garage and didn’t charge me. Or perhaps, the desk clerk lifted that charge for me as well. Either way I was blessed.

Double Tree Orlando king size bed suite view

But quickly I was back to the dense space of heavy traffic and confusion on where to go and what to do next. After feeling so lifted, I felt so down and began to sob. I cried a lot that week. I imagine once a day, if not multiple times a day, every day. Running out of money, but having way too much time, I decided to lie in a nearby park, Cypress Grove. There were tons of families, children, dogs, and staff surrounding me, as I was the girl lying on her yoga mat, in the middle of an empty field.

girl lying on her yoga mat

Some of the days I interacted with the park goers. One day while filling up my water bottle at the drinking fountain, I overheard two niños talking in front of the vending machine. I asked what was going on and realized it wasn’t accepting their dollar bill. I had leftover quarters from the laundromat that I recently visited and offered to trade. I took the loss of a quarter as it was $1.25. When they pushed the button for what they wanted (Mountain Dew) not one, but two came out! They looked at each other in glee, waiting for approval, and I encouraged it was a nice surprise for their recent issue. They ran off, giddy with excitement and I laughed to myself, imagining their parents reactions.

Miracles occur every day. But sometimes they can seem so small, so minor, that you can miss them if you’re not paying attention.

Cypress Grove Sunset view

There was a lot of Orlando I explored that week. Parts I had never seen before. It made me realize and appreciate the city I have lived in for most of my life in a new way. Orlando continues to expand, much like the rest of the world. I even began to find a routine within living out of my car. Blessings and signs continued to flow to me. One in particular was receiving a free drink coupon at a Foxtail Coffee Shop, that I used the next day.

Foxtail Coffee Shop Drink Coupon

On another occasion of having a meltdown about where to go or what to do, a squirrel just stared and chirped at me. Long enough for me to get a video of it. I knew he was trying to tell me something but I didn’t know what. I had a feeling it was to move. So I let my subconscious drive me somewhere and found myself in a Planet Fitness parking lot. They offer free day passes, so I ended up using two separate facilities simply to shower. One of the times I did get a workout in. It felt good to move.

Planet Fitness Parking Lot
Planet Fitness Workout Gear

This bar of soap I also received for free with a purchase of laundry detergent at Buff City Soap South Orlando. It is a plant-based company and everything smells so good! I believe this one in particular was pumpkin and felt divine using an entire hot week in October. Again, I had zero expectations for any of these blessings, but energetically I was open to receiving. Even while experiencing poverty, I often felt abundant.

Buff City Soap Orlando SODO

During this week, I also had book club. This was created by a group of new friends I made through another friend. It was one of the few times I experienced joy during Covid and all my other hardships so I didn’t want to miss this meet-up, despite my current circumstance. Luckily, this was when I got ready at a Planet Fitness and drove downtown to park at the very top of a garage. Again, I was still too prideful to let anyone see or know what I was currently going through. I was glad I went. We dressed like witches at a Halloween Bar and talked about a book that I really liked. If you haven’t read it yet, The Once and Future Witches is a really good read!

Planet Fitness shower selfie
A Once and Future Witch

For nearly every night, I found myself back in an empty parking lot in Wadeview Park, across from a church. This image reminds me of a tarot card, the 5 of pentacles. This card represents lack and homelessness. Quite literally what I was going through. However, with this sight for sore eyes, I found peace. Until one morning, the 8th day, I had apparently attracted someone’s attention and the cops found me.

Wadeview Park Church

This is a hard story to share.

living out of car at dusk

It was still dark out, but suddenly there were lights all around me. If you ever watched The Walking Dead, it reminded me of the scene when Negan and his followers kidnap Rick and his crew. (Spoiler alert) Yes, the episode where Glenn dies. They’re so blinded by light they can’t see anything else. All that was missing was the whistling. Mind you, I am also half asleep, unsure what’s even going on. I’m disoriented and not moving as quickly as I did the first morning I woke up in a church and a car came. It’s a few moments before I realize I should drive away but I’m too late. A voice yells, “Stop! This is the police!” and I surrender.

I’m in a crop top and underwear with the blanket from my Aunt Betty that passed, barely covering me. The cop is nice once he sees me and my plants, but I’m still on edge, grateful for my aunt’s protection. After giving him my ID, another cop appears on the other side of me to return it, and I flinch in my seat. Their lights never turn off and the nice one is still holding a flashlight on me. They let me go with the knowledge that I can’t be there anymore and I drive away to count 7-8 cop cars in the same lot as me. Seven to eight. I’m sure they were relieved and perplexed to see me, rather than, I don’t know a bomb threat. (Sorry for saying the B word). But either way I drove off to another nearby park and cried. It was now sunrise and I realize I’m at Boone High School when school is starting. I try to hide myself as kids with backpacks glare into my windshield.

I live that whole day waiting for another miracle that never comes. Around 10 PM I realize I can’t sleep in another church lot and scare my baby sister when I show up late in her bedroom. The next day I admit to my parents what had been happening. They are sorry for me and let me be. It is now the day before my 32nd birthday. I take a bath for two and a half hours. I don’t force myself into a toxic positive state. I allow my emotions and experiences to flow, process, and integrate into me. My heavy heart lifts as the next day I celebrate the simple joys in life. Turning another year older with family, friends, a dog, and funfetti cupcakes.

funfetti cupcakes

Living at home that day and all the days that followed provided me with security and stability I could no longer provide myself. It also was a joy to have more days with Nala, our dog, before she died this past January. We celebrated birthdays, and holidays as a family, and again I was reminded sometimes you are rejected, to be guided towards somewhere else you are needed.

A mom and her dog

My story doesn’t end there. It just starts over.

Thank you again for listening to my story. And a special thank you to everyone who has donated. You can buy me a coffee or tip via Venmo @megbfly. The donation feature disappeared, as my premium membership for this website expired and I don’t have the finances to renew it. But I will continue to write so, if you’d like to receive updates for future blog posts, subscribe to my blog here. See you then!

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