It took me two trips outside to the faucet in front of my home to retrieve three gallons of water. I grew up without any running water in my home. That meant no such thing as a hot water heater. It also meant no such thing as a sink or bathtub. I only interacted with a real bathtub or kitchen while at my auntie's trailer or a friend’s house.

I placed my pride to the side every time in order to wash my ass or my hair. I knew that people who lived nearby knew we didn’t have any running water. They saw us filling up buckets, old milk jugs, pots, and pans with water. They watched us balance the water as we would rush with grace up the three raggedy terminate infested steps. My back would burn as I would enter our even ragged screen door with my pot filled with water to the brim.

There was always a sudden sigh of relief that I didn’t fall down or into the steps trying to rush inside of our home. To the gas stove, I would go with my pot that held two gallons of water. It took me three to five gallons to wash my body and hair. Whenever I was just washing my hair it took three gallons.

That was two trips outside to the faucet.

That was about five minutes watching my surroundings carefully through a torn screen window before racing to the faucet. That was an instant rush of pure adrenaline and nervousness combined. It took ten minutes to heat a pot of water on our gas stove. Then two minutes to use a big spoon to gather the film collected on top of the water carefully.

I use to use spaghetti stained bowls to gather the water from the pot to pour it over my head. We never had a dining room table. We never had a kitchen sink. I would wash my hair over a large plastic container as best as I can.

Pour the water.
Then wait for my low porosity hair to become saturated.
Pour more water.
Then start shampooing before my pot of water runs cold.

I then would follow up with the conditioner. Rinse it out and then style. My living situation made me numb. As you read this I am overwhelmed with tears. I can say that I have made it a very long way. I am overflowing with thankfulness. God has been good to me. He’s been mighty good to me. I can bathe in my own bathroom and bathtub. I can wash my hair in my sink or shower. It’s the little things that some people still take for granted that I am beyond thankful for. I have a survival story.

Yes, there is more for me to release.

However, I did not lose my mind. I did not lose my faith. There were plenty of times I contemplated running away from home. I knew I had nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. I had no one that I was able to trust. None of my friends knew my living situation. I also knew that running away was not going to change my reality. Running away would have made me feel weak and defeated. I did not run. I kept living.

I just want you to know that your adolescent years can haunt you. Your past does not have to make you feel weak. Your past laid out the groundwork for you to do better. Much better. Let me know how have you used your past as a weapon against your pain and current struggle. If you haven’t then it would be one of the best things to try doing. Count your blessings. Practice gratitude and thankfulness every day of your life.

Remember that it is indeed the "little things" the "everyday things" that many people take for granted.

Share your thoughts or even own experiences with me in the comment section or by email. We still have more living to do. Our testimonies aren’t sealed yet.

"They don't know my struggle so they can't feel my hustle."

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  1. Wow! This was inspiring Linda! I'm so proud that you took the high road and kept living despite your circumstances. Your transparency will help others. Your strength and faith will get you far. Keep trusting in Him.

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate you and your words of encouragement. I will keep on trusting Him too. I would not have made it this far without Him.

  2. Wow Linda . thank you for sharing abkut your life past and current with all that read your blog post. I am truly greatful to God for the roof over my head and all the little things that people take for granted all fay long . Some people are not as fortunate as me to have just roof or that bed , electricity . and im some thankfully to the almoghty God . i will say we never knew how we were gking to make it month to month . I'm currently waiting on God and ready to let him lead me to every moment of my day , that week or month . I try not to worry about the things that may not be in my immediate control . I also pray everyday for all those who are struggling because i know it ain't easy . You are truly an inspiration . God bless you

    1. Thank you so much! I think your gratefulness will carry you much further in life. It's a blessing to be able to appreciate the little things indeed. God will step in a guide your every foot step. Continue to keep you faith strong within Him and His amazing works. What is for you will not pass you by. I appreciate you as well.

  3. This is the best article I have ever read! Thank you for your inspiration, for your ability to make things easier and seamless.