6 Life Lessons I Learned from (What Seemed Like) the Lowest Time of My Life

By Vishnu | Vishnu’s Virtues

It was 1:30 a.m.

I was startled awake by a loud knocking on the door.  My friend’s roommate had returned a week earlier than planned, and would be needing the room.

Yes, the very room I was sleeping in. That very night.

I hurriedly packed my things, cleaned up, and moved to the comforts of the nearby living room where a beaten-up sofa welcomed me.

I have been couch-surfing ever since.

After sleeping in spare rooms – and on couches – for the past 6 months, I’ve started reflecting on my life.

Can it get any worse?

I now own sufficiently few possessions that they can all fit in my car.  I’m equipped to travel with all my worldly possessions in tow: clothes, dishes, laundry basket, ironing board, lamps…

I’m also technically homeless, as I no longer have a permanent residence. My brother has been generous enough to provide a temporary room (and a mailing address) when I need it. My friend Diane kindly let me stay at her home on my last job.

I became jobless the day my last campaign ended in November. Although I should be accustomed to the fact that my employed life ends on election days due to the nature of my work in grassroots activism, it’s still unsettling and terrifying for the period of unemployment that follows.

I also became legally single more than a year ago after a sad – if amicable – divorce. Divorce changed everything I had known about my place in the world and my future and left me lost and searching for meaning.

During this time, I grew increasingly isolated.  I eventually stopped contacting my unsupportive parents, who couldn’t see past a wounded family name to be supportive during difficult circumstances.

So, yes, to sum up my life at the momenthomeless, unemployed, divorced and isolated. And don’t forget couch-surfing, with all my worldly belongings in my vehicle.  

Can it get any better?

Upon further reflection, I also realized that the four months I spent traveling in Central America last year were some of the best I’d had.
I lived on a luxurious Costa Rican farm, ate tantalizing organic food, and spent two months at my friend’s idyllic Costa Rican paradise.

When I returned, I started working on a series of independent and freelance jobs, work which I put very little effort into finding. In fact, a recent project that came out of nowhere might actually turn into a full-fledged business.

Not having a home has allowed me to travel up and down the beautiful state of California. I’ve been grateful to reconnect with friends of new and old who’ve take me in, treated me like an honored guest, fed me, and opened their homes to me.

Not having a spouse has allowed me time to seek out many old friends, family friends, new friends, and blogger friends. So many relationships which have been rekindled, refreshed and renewed.

I’ve immersed myself in weeks of Spanish classes, lived in homes with beautiful views….

I also attended nearly a month of Sunday church services at the Cavalry Chapel in Chino Hills, Baptist church services in San Diego and a visit to the Zen Center in San Francisco.

Are these the best of times? Or the worst of times?

I find it hard to think of myself as unemployed, homeless, divorced and alienated from my parents.  I’ve found, instead,  that the people in my life now bring me infinite happiness, the temporary housing has brought me into contact with wonderful people and places to live, unemployment has brought forth exciting opportunities, and spiritual discoveries have helped me uncover lessons of a lifetime!

Here are 6 life lessons I’ve learned in the process. 

1)      Change happens. Embrace it. I once hated change like you hate being pick-pocketed. It can be intrusive and inconvenient. One minute you have something, the next minute you don’t.

But I’ve realized that being able to adapt to changing circumstances makes you stronger, wiser and calmer. Change can be unsettling, but it also spurs growth. I’ve learned to embrace change, rather than shy away from it. Now, I welcome it.

2)      The universe knows better than you. Trust it. I used to demand that my life work out a certain way, always trying to be in control of the circumstances. When life took its own twists and turns, I realized I could no longer do that.  And the universe was infinitely wise in bringing me opportunities that were a perfect fit for me.

Do your part, then trust the universe to take care of the rest.


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  1. drpriyankathakur2010@gmail.com' Priyanka says:

    I too feel d same

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