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25 September 2014

September

Classes are okay. I'm taking two history classes, which I wouldn't necessarily call "easy"-- but they're not computer science or math classes either. They are manageable without a whole lot of managing, at least so far.

I'm not really moved into my new place yet, as September has been busy. I've been to hackathons at the University of Michigan (MHacks) and the University of Waterloo (Hack the North), so my weekends and associated Fridays have been booked up. On the weekends I haven't been at hackathons I've been working, and either way Monday is usually a Day of Recovery in my schedule. Take away class time and normal life stuff and that doesn't leave much.

Strangely I'm okay with not having all of my stuff moved into my apartment. Part of what's going on is that it feels really strange to not have to worry about where I'm going to sleep tonight. It's strange to look at the clock, see that it's 2330, and think about it being time to go home and relax, time to go home and go to bed.  My body is used to looking at 2330 and making sure I'm either somewhere that I can hang out all night provided I stay awake, or finding a place where I can sleep and have a good chance of not getting arrested. I'm used to grabbing a large Dew or a cup of coffee at midnight to make sure I stay awake if I'm going to be someplace that I can't sleep for the next hours until dawn.

It's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. This can't be real. I don't want to go through moving all of my stuff into a new place only to have to go through moving it all back out when I get myself evicted again. I think I'm strong, but I don't know if I would make it if I had to go through that whole process again. I certainly don't want to try.  I've also trained myself to not miss the things I have in storage, so it's just normal now to not have the things that a lot of normal households have. So, my stuff is still sitting in my storage unit on the other side of town.

I am, in a sense, semi-retired (or so my Vet Center person says). I'm taking classes at a slow pace, because even though I only need 18 credits for my degree I know I have to take them one or two classes at a time to get through them. I'm on disability, so I don't have to work the full work weeks I used to work on top of being in college. I've been able to travel quite a bit to hackathons in the past year, far more than I had been able to travel for several years prior to that. I hack, I study, and I work. I wear sandals because they are comfortable and I sit in coffeehouses like this one because it's comfortable and it's a short walk from home. I live downtown, almost within sight of my state capitol, in a nice neighborhood. Things are actually pretty stable for the moment

That's what it's all about right now, really-- stability. The operational goal is to have a stable place to live, to do well in classes, for a year. Then I'll worry about getting back into the harder computer science and math classes. Then I'll worry about who I'm going to work for when college is done. It's within the realm of possibility that I could spend the rest of my life on disability, just chillin', but I won't. That's not me. I need to do something productive, I need to build shit, I need a reason to get up in the morning.

Someday I'll finish college, and then I'll find a company to work for where I can contribute and be an asset, in spite of the PTSD and other crap that makes it difficult for me sometimes.

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Some loose ends to tie up: my Senator's office didn't do shit about my issues with the VA's homeless program. As soon as I found a place to live on my own, and signed a lease, I ceased to be a homeless issue. The local VA homeless office said they'd refer me to an organization that might be able to provide moving assistance funds, but that never led to anything. They did say that if I become homeless again, I'd be "chronically homeless" and that would put me at a higher priority for getting help with finding permanent housing.  So that's one Senator I won't be voting for come next election.

I don't know what the solution to veteran homelessness is; the VA says it will have the problem fixed by next year, but 2015 is coming up real soon now. I still see veterans sleeping on park benches and in doorways outside the state capitol every night on the way home. I wish I had an answer, I just know that the current system is broken. 


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