dirty and free

I took to the streets because I was starving for the world, because I was restless and desperate

Because I always wanted to break free of the group home walls, so when I got my taste of freedom at eighteen, I flew as far and as fast as I could

Was I running away? Fuck yeah I was. Booking it from foster care, from my uprooted family tree, the broken mirrors, the people who expected me to fail and those who had high hopes.

I laughed at my perceived fate - a child of the state, kicked to the curb after passing the age of their concern. So I made the curb my home.

But I was dirty and free. The world was bigger than I ever knew, and I wanted to shake hands with everyone in it. There were others like me, dark brown from living under the sun, eyes that saw through the darkest and still managed to track the light, smiles wild with abandon.

I reclaimed my life on those streets. If I was never supposed to live to adulthood then why wouldn’t I drink down what I had stolen? And if the statistics said I would be homeless, drug addicted and pregnant by 20, then why wouldn’t I find the humor in it?

The streets chewed me up and spit me out, but I crawled right back into it’s gap toothed mouth. I’d rather sleep on the pavement then a bed, because I never had a home in the first place.

And eventually, I got what I needed and settled down. I thought that I was a coward for running from normalcy, never staying in one place long enough to put down roots. But now I realize I was awfully ballsy. Because foster care hid me from the world, and so I threw myself headfirst into it with only the clothes on my back.