Updated: Jun 25, 2019
I was sitting at the bus stop waiting to go home from school after a long day. I was distraught. It had been a bad day. I had a presentation that went south. I made a fool out of myself in front of the class, my professor hates me, and I am about to get a horrible grade that is going to keep me from graduating; or at least that is what my mind thought.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a resident of Hospitality House coming up and he plops down right next to me. He tells me I need to talk about something. He can see it in my face. This man has only known me for a month and he can already read my face! For the next fifteen minutes, this resident sat silently and listened to me pour out my heart about this presentation that went terrible and my fear of failing while we waited on the bus. Once I was done, he told me that I was a smart girl and I have made it three and a half years and that I can stay strong for three more months. He believed in me.
When someone believes in you, everything can change. He really helped me to focus on the positives. When I was so quick to focus on my faults, he reminded me of my strengths. He encouraged me and told me that I could finish strong no matter what challenges were thrown at me. It just takes one person to believe; to illuminate your good qualities.
Afterwards, I felt selfish. Shouldn’t I be the one listening to him? I know he would do anything to be in my shoes. He is always beyond fascinated with anything I tell him I learned in class. How could I just unload on him like this? He tells me of his struggle with his ban from the house and how he will get a bus down the mountain to stay with his mom for a bit. He goes to get on the bus and holds up three fingers and says, “You can make it.” Once he got on that bus, I haven't seen him again. I would like to thank him for his compassionate listening and advice.
As I run to catch the bus, another resident yells to the bus driver, “WAIT, HOLD THE BUS!” I knew I had made lifelong friends. Friends who were willing to listen and even hold the bus for me.
Hospitality House is more than a homeless shelter. It truly is a home, to anyone who needs it.
I realized that I had become a part of the Hospitality House family.
These individuals see past my shortcomings. They pick me up when I am down. They love without expectations or judgement. They have taught me so many lessons about life and about myself with massive amounts of patience and understanding.