Learning Independence from CA
There’s so much I have grasped over the years of being in the Transitional program at CA and a few that I still need to improve upon. Some of the ones that I have conquered are how to cook my own meals, do laundry, communicate with others, live in a social environment with other people, expand my social network, and so much more. CA has helped me learn how to make calls and even helped me get an internship with their office. Over the years, I have learned how to improve my relationships with people and figure out the differences between what a healthy relationship might look like, and an unhealthy relationship might look like.
Since joining the program, there are many things I have learned. My growth from when I was 18 and graduating high school to where I am now is leaps and bounds away from the person I used to be before moving out of my parents’ house. When I graduated high school, I became a client with DARS. They helped me to start looking to find me a job and life experience; however, there wasn’t much that I could do, living where I was and not being able to drive. My brother was living in Richmond at the time and through some connections, he found a location that would work for me. The house was a good fit for me for many years and now I’m living in an apartment.
When I was living in the house, I learned how to cook and do laundry. Once a week, everyone had to pick a meal that they would cook and serve to other people that lived with them. This experience helped me learn how to diversify what I made and what options were available to me at the time. There have been a few times I’ve surprised my family and friends with my skills in the kitchen. I went from toasting Poptart’s and making sandwiches to being able to make more complex dishes like paella and curry. Time management at the house was a top priority as well as communication. There were times when I would be out of the house on the days when I was needed, and I would have to let someone know where I would be going and what time I would expect to return to the house. This wasn’t a frequent occurrence for me as I wasn’t usually out of the house for more than a few hours after work or volunteering.
My time at the house and learning to live on my own has taught me so much about myself and what it truly means to be independent. While my journey has been a work in progress for me, it shows me that there is still so much growth to be had in my life. I look forward to my continued journey on the road to progress.