About Kingston’s Short Stories: In this series, I’ll be sharing one story from every year of my life. The stories may at times seem mundane, but its these day to day occurrences that define us. A lesson is then pulled from each story.
Another Step Towards Independence
The first time I really lived on my own was when I was 19. Living in a college dorm freshman year when I was 18 was a first step, but as many can attest, college life isn’t real life.
Dorm prices are overpriced because of a variety of factors, among them is all the luxuries it comes with.
Well I was renting an apartment for the first time and it didn’t have all the accessories a dorm has. From the dining hall, to a 24 hour desk, the ease and convenience of being close by and a variety of other factors. But food was the big one.
Sure I could buy all the packaged food, for 3 meals because I didn’t cook much, but I’ve always just been a cheapo so I skipped on food. That and I felt guilty about spending so much money. I was working a couple jobs but it was just enough to cover rent.
Suppose it was the guilt of spending money combined with a new dietary environment that led to me not eating enough.
“I Don’t Need To Eat”
I remember I would go to bed telling myself that I wasn’t hungry, trying to trick myself.
It was the first time I went without enough food. I had been sheltered by my mom growing up and by the meal plan I had at the dining hall as a college freshman.
3 months later when I made the trip back home for Thanksgiving break, I had lost about 7 pounds in that time span going from 140 pounds to the low 130’s. My mom was very concerned and as of this writing close to 5 years later she still tells me I need to eat and stop being such a cheapo.
This was the first of many times I wouldn’t have eaten enough. Your body just gets used to it and losing weight gets more difficult subsequent times (I eventually did lose more weight though when my global odyssey started.)
What I Got From Going Hungry
No one got to where they are in one big leap. Whenever learning anything, it’s all a process, from:
- Learning how to feed yourself in a new environment
- Finding a roof over head
- Making new connections
- Learning how to speak in public
This is especially true when you are in a new environment. From different cities, to different state/province, different country and continent.
Think of it as a staircase, you can’t get to the top in an instant when you are still on the bottom, but there are steps to getting there. It’s all just a matter of starting, no matter how humble.
For me, living independently involved knowing how to take care of the food situation. It sounds spilling but it is undoubtedly a necessary skill (which is why I refer to it as a humble step).
And this applies to practically all great endeavors (with “great bring defined by the beholder).
It’s a matter of starting to step.