David Green, Minneapolis
Going through my first divorce when I moved here in ’78. I was homeless for a while, and the cold kinda took a toll on me.
What were the things you were needing to get used to?
The same things people are struggling with now. Crime in the city. Drugs. No family base, and no opportunity to do anything. That was back then. Now, it’s not so much of that. I’m retired, and living my life peacefully.
How did you manage to get through it?
Through family values. You know, do the right thing. Basically, just be a good person. I was taught values, I wasn’t one of those people that was raised without values. I’m not sayin’ that I haven’t done wrong in my life, but I stuck to my values, and that’s what got me through a lot.
There have been many, but the biggest is my husband passed away eight years ago. I went from being very happily married to a single life. We were on a trip overseas and he passed. Since we were overseas, it was a matter of being in a strange setting, not having any family with me. We were on a tour, fortunately. The organizers of the tour were very helpful in arranging passage for me back home. But it is a challenge whenever your life partner passes, and being alone at that time, and it being so sudden, was challenging.
What kinds of things did you find yourself needing to adjust to?
I had been single before in my life, but becoming single again, particularly at an older stage in your life means that you have different ways to connect with people. So I realized that I would have to find a new normal as far as friends and activities. And that’s really what I’ve done…One of the things that I’ve noticed as being the most challenging is the fact that when you have a partner and you wanna go somewhere and do something, you just go. You have someone to go with. And when you are alone, you either go alone, which I have done many times, I’ve traveled alone, I’ve gone here and there alone. But if you wanna do it with someone else, you have to plan. … It just takes more planning.
Kiara Jones, Minneapolis
Coming into adulthood, that was the biggest transition. Identifying myself, who I am as a person. Knowing that I was different, and that it was OK to be different.
Mashing everything together was the hardest thing, mashing all of what I liked. I like Metallica, but I also like Bootsy Collins. I like gangster rap, but then I like Queen. I liked all those types of things, and I had some friends who did, some friends who didn’t. But when I got out of high school, it was kind of trying to find my place.
I got my white friends and my black friends. And it’s, like, separate. It never mixed. … A lot of my friends would make fun of how I would dress. I went through my punk rock phase, I went through my hippy phase, and I went through some weird phase, can’t label it.