Staying Strong Minded in Silicon Valley

I’ve have waited a long time to have begun this journey in documenting my life. It is because after today’s event that has really led me to step in and finally take action in writing about my daily life stories.
Today is Thursday, August 13th 2015 and it is probably one of the lowest times in my life with what I am about to write. But keep in mind, I consider myself a positive individual and I always try to find the silver lining in the darkest of situations.
Today, as I was at the gym in the morning, I was robbed not once but twice within three hours. As sad as it is to reflect on this incident, here are the details of what happened… It was 8:40am and as I was getting ready to go to work, I visited my gym to have my morning shower. I placed my backpack and belongings into locker #52. After a 10 minute shower, I came out to get my toothbrush from my backpack and when I opened the locker, it was empty. I asked everyone in the locker room if they might have seen it. An older man, Albert, immediately stood up and said that he saw the guy whom may have taken it and leave through the back about 2 minutes ago. Albert and I ran through the back door and I just started running around the parking lot looking for this guy. Nothing. After 5 minutes of searching, I ran to the front lobby of the gym asking the staff if maybe someone turned in my black backpack. They informed me that nobody turned anything in during the whole moring. Keep in mind, at this point of the story, I am standing in front of everyone with only my underwear and a towel. In my backpack were my clothes, my wallet, car keys, and many other valuables — it was all gone. My car was parked right by the main door entrance to the gym, so I could look outside to check on my car whenever I needed to.

After realizing that my backpack has been stolen, I was just devastated. The manager took me into the office and I explained everything to him. A million thoughts were running through my head, I need to cancel my bank cards, contact my job, keep an eye on my car, how can I find this guy, so many things! The first thing I did was called the bank to cancel my cards and then I contacted my office to let them know what was happening. Then the staff of the gym were kind enough to give me clothing from their gift shop, gym shorts, socks and a shirt. Afterwards, I called the police to file a report but they never showed up being it was only petty theft so it was lower on their priority list. During all of this, I remember that there may be a spare key inside my car and that I needed to get access to it. Albert was like an angel on this day for me. He called his AAA and was able to get a towing truck out to the parking lot in less than 15 minutes for no cost at all. The serviceman unlocked my car and luckily on this day, I left my phone inside my car because it ran out of battery. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a spare key and that was when I realized that too was in my backpack. I then grabbed my phone, passport, and social security card and locked all of the doors but one. Albert drove me to the nearest Wells Fargo bank so that I can get some cash in case I needed to tow my car somewhere. While I was at the bank, I cancelled all of my cards, and received a new temporary debit card. Once, returning the gym, I filled out some more paperwork with the security guard and reviewed the surveillance footage with the staff. I gave my information to the security guard and explained to him what happened. He then went outside to continue montioring the lot and my car. After that, I got on the phone with my fiance and explained everything to her. She was so worried and went to our Las Vegas apartment (where she lived) and grabbed my other spare key to ship it overnight to me.

And then, bam! The security guard comes running into the office and frantically yells "Your car is gone! The guy just drove off!" I sprinted outside and for the next 10 minutes, I’m running through the streets of San Francisco looking for my car. After realizing it was gone, I returned to the gym office furious and feeling so low. I called 9-1-1 again and this time they arrived within 2 minutes. I filed the report and the surveillance footage didn’t have anything helpful for the policemen to dig on. They said my car would possibly be recovered in 4-5 days but I knew that was unrealistic. They gave me the case # and went about their day.

As this is already a horrible situation to be in, to make matters worse, I’ll have to add another piece to give a clearer perspective of how bad it really was. Since March 2015, I was living out of my car and all of my possessions have been inside that car. The story behind that decision will be explained in another chapter but at this point, I was left with nothing but my phone and my passport. However, I consider myself very lucky and understand that it could have been much worse. I could have also lost my phone, my passport and my social security card. Also, that tow truck accessing my car to retrieve those items could have been $300 or more. I am so grateful that I was able to grab those items. Additionally, the memories in my phone are priceless. I can never put a dollar amount on them.

Here is where my positivity comes in and has helped me stay strong through this dark period. One of the goals I have in self improvement is to develop and maintain a strong mind throughout my life. I try to never complain about anything and I toughen out any situation. One of my favorite quotes is "Tough times don’t last but tough people do." and here is a true test of that. I came out to San Francisco to pursue a dream of being an entrepreneur and I am willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. And while I’m out here, I am put in a really tough scenario to get out of. One thing I always tell myself is that as long I am alive, and something doesn’t kill me, then I can push through anything. With whatever struggle a person may be enduring, I believe as long as it is not killing you, you can do and get through anything. An easy way to maintain a positive perspective is to understand that, somewhere out there someone has it worse than you and that you should count what you do have rather than the opposite. I’m grateful to still be alive, have my family and friends and the opportunity to pursue my dream as an entrepreneur. From this point, I plan to continue pushing forward and stay positive, and believe that I’ll succeed in Silicon Valley. The important thing now for me is to stay focused. Concentrate on the next steps to take in moving forward and finding a proper place to live. Maybe I don’t need a car right now and the more important thing is to be safe with a roof over my head. I’m now renting a place with friends (founders of En Route) and they’re helping me get through this episode which I’m really blessed to have.

Lesson: Positivity is the light that helps get through any dark tunnels. Just keep a mind for it and it will lead you out. Stay Strong Minded.