"The don't haves"

is an ongoing social project that attempts to share short stories and bring insight into a stranger's life, with a focus on some of the things that they either don't have any more or are in the process of losing. Materialistic, relationships, a type of mindset or emotion. Anything. Tangible or not, it is important to appreciate what we have. And one way to send this message is with the stories of others who have lost something.

We can learn from each other . How we deal with losses. How we think. How we stand back up. How we inspire. How we learn, Gratitude. Taking a personal experience and giving it back. It's communal.

*the length of each statement vary by the individuals' interpretation of the question "What don't you have?"

Do you know what a welfare check is?

I dropped out of high school in grade 10. I finished it. Did some drugs. Didn't really know what to think about going to university. 

 I couldn't get my welfare check this week. 

Last week I tried to do a construction job and I took a cigarette during break and my heart started racing over 200. It was just too stressful you know. I couldn't do it. So I quit. 

I don't really know what to do.

My mom just recently passed away.

She was 80 and had cancer.

One day I was in the hospital, with one arm under the pillow and the other hand wiping away her sweat and right then and there, she passed away in front of me

Just like that.

It was surreal.

My father in law just passed away too.
And it was a real shock. 
My wife always had pictures of him around the house and one day to see him just leave. 

It was cool that they took his ashes and sprinkled on some fancy marble stones in the ceremony. 

But I'm lucky. 
I've got great kids. 
Riley, my oldest son, whose studying psychology right now at UVic, second year, he loves it. 

I've also got 2 other girls going to Rockridge. One grade 11 and another grade 10. The older one got honours for her academic success last year and always seems to get some kind of fine arts award. She's real good with pastels. You know, the other day, it's crazy, kids with the Internet, my wife somehow got her hand on that snap chat thing and she started sending back and forth with my older daughter, and I looked at one of the drawings she did on snap chat and I was like that's amazing! You should frame that I said.

But my younger daughter, she didn't get honours for her academics last year, and we thought oh well that's alright. And this year she comes out under the radar with 98%!

That's honours of distinction. I was like wow you know!

But yea it's great, my kids are all interested in psychology, all want to go to UVic. We are actually planning to get them a condo there because it's a lot cheaper than getting individual dorms, instead just for them to all live together, and now my wife wants to move there with them too! Haha but it's nice to have the kids away for a while, quiet around the house. I've actually got another hour and a half here to just relax. I have a six hour break in between my next shift.

But my father, he's 88 right now and just got remarried! They are gonna live till they over are 100!

My daughter graduated from Ithaca College. She's 30 now and doing her own things.

My nephew went to school in Miami and Ohio. He is a very accomplished writer now! He published 10 books already.  

As for me,
I am already very grateful for everything I have.
I can't say I haven't lost anything, but I don't have any regrets because I practice gratitude everyday.

I moved here, to Surrey, from India last November.


A lot of things happen in life, but you can't cry about the things in the past.

That will only lead to more suffering.

You have to move on.


I change colours everyday. 

Yesterday when we met, it was purple.

I'm starting new,

And so far,

so good.

Well, I just got a job today!

I moved here from England 30 years ago.

It was 1980... Oh my,

That's actually 36, my goodness!


But I just got a job down the street and it's a weekly thing. I'm very grateful for that!

Nothing at all!


And no photos please,

I heard they steal bits of your soul. (smirk)

But feel free to take pictures of the flowers! (wide smile)

I moved here from Korea 10 years ago. I'm taking a break from school right now.

You know that feeling when you talk to your parents about school and stuff?

It's not really there anymore.

When you've been away from your parents long enough, you sometimes lose that.

What do you not have?

A year ago,

I would have listed out a number of monetary items: new wallet, handbags, clothes for that season.

But i'd actually like to respond to your question by asking myself "What do i have?"

I have a roof to live under, fresh food, clean water, a good education genuine, supportive friends and most importantly, a loving family.

what more could i ask for?

I'm 28.

I'm currently staying at a hostel around here.

 I just moved here from England two weeks ago.

I'm trying to find a job.

Marketing, or really just anything.

I just quit my job four weeks ago!

I did it so I can work on  a game.


But my old job,

it wasn't something completely unrelated. 

I was designing games for casinos.

And there's actually going to be a game released in River Rock Casino soon, and I was one of the first ones to help create it.


I've played a lot of games in the past.

One of them is League of Legends,

that is before I quit because it got too addictive haha.


Right now I'm making a puzzle game.

It's going to be free to play on mobile and tablets.

I've got the basic designs and functions down and just need to finish the programming and it will be on the way.

The real it?


Actually it's funny you say that,

because my brother has this entire philosophy around life that's pretty similar.

He has a tattoo that says "in search of." And there is nothing after that.

And you know Pharrell Williams?

The guy who sang happy?

I think he was also part of this group that was also called "in search of."


I studied business in university and right now I'm doing YouTube networking.

Basically we help promote YouTube channels.

It's kind of like marketing.


As for gratitude,

I'm not sure.


But there's actually this app that I use throughout the day that constantly reminds me of gratitude.

So how it works is that when you wake up in the morning, it asks you three questions.

One of them I think is "I am grateful for..." and then you fill in the blank.

It can be the sun,

feeling its warmth,

or anything really.


Once you acknowledge the simple things to be true, it will make your day so much better.

Because now, you realize all the things you have.


And then at the end of the day, it asks "what could you have done better?"

I think in a way, it's important to constantly challenge ourselves to be more mindful.




What do you mean "anything else?"

Just nothing!

I don't have anything to say.

Other than this Metro uniform...



Maybe now is not a good time.



I didn't used to be like this.


Trust me.


When I was a kid, I was always like "hell naw, I'm never gonna be homeless!"

But you never know how it's going to be.


The stereotypes these days,

I see ladies walking down the streets scared of homeless people,

 and they don't even know us.


I used to play in a band.

I was on tour.

I sold drugs to an undercover cop and did 8 years.


But the point is,


it's about the kids.

These kids.

The ones on the streets.

We need to help them.

Show them that their actions will have consequences.


It's about the kids.

The drugs are going to sell. The liquor is going to sell.

You can't hide that away from the kids.

Don't be teaching yo kids that robot ass shit. Parents these days be teaching nothing. We all knew that when grandma left the house, we were gonna party. You can't control them.

Kids gonna do what kids gon do.

You know what I'm saying?


Keep it real.

Also let me just put this out there, 

that the people on the streets nowadays got more talent than the hip hop industry. 

I'm just saying. 


Theres a lot of crap out there, 

and a lot of talent right here.


I'm trying to get playing again.

Hopefully it will be soon. And when I do, I'm going to donate to the charities that can really help the kids.

Because that's what's important,


The kids.


Also, when u put this picture up, put my name as Dr. Juice

My English is not very good.  Korean?  Chinese?  Korean, haha.     Money, cars, house.  I'm already retired, long tim ago.     Now, I just learn.  Everyday is about learning!

My English is not very good.



Korean, haha.


Money, cars, house.

I'm already retired, long tim ago.


Now, I just learn.

Everyday is about learning!

What don't I have?



That's a hard one.




Ok, I got it.


Someone to come home to. 


And not enough of it.

You need to pay the bills,
pay for your expenses.

But I think I already have a lot of things.

I have a lot of other things I enjoy.
I have enjoyment.
I have joy.

And I wish you all the best.


It doesn't have to be long right?

"of course, length doesn't matter"- Me

Privacy and respite.

A relationship haha.
Well I have a relationship with my dog!

Let me think.
Well I recently moved here from Minnesota.
And when I first got here,
I felt like I didn't have much.

But now, I feel like I pretty much have everything!

A functioning memory. 
I have Transient Global Amnesia (TGA).
It's a neurological.


I'm getting better at it,
but I would say patience.

I wish I could be more patient with other people.

It's just that I already know what they are going to say,
even before they say it.

It's not that I'm trying to offend anyone, 
but save your breath you know.

So I guess I'm pretty intuitively connected,
but I should give others the space to say what they have to say.

A million dollars?

A car you know.

I'm 17,
I'm trying to get something that I value,
A car

Through putting in something that I value,
My hard work

Materialistically, I don't want anything.
Intellectually, I want a better understanding of math.
Spiritually, I want more balance. 

I ain't got my mom no more.
She recently passed away.

I got my friends.
I got my dad.

And that's about it.

I've been on the streets for 15 years.
My main problems were alcohol and drugs.

But I'm cleaning myself up now.

Getting myself in a shelter.
Getting myself a job.
Change is going to happen.

A car man.

Any car.
Just get me a car.

My mom is really sick right now.
All I want is to go home and take care of her.

To be with her.

Write this:

Ask me again in 50 years.
I hope that i will still have no answer.
In the meantime, I will enjoy the process of life, with all the good and the better moments.

*difficulties are irrelevant. I take them for granted

Time with my family.
My family is from Mexico.
I have two sisters.

Today is my first day on the job.
I've just been standing here doing nothing.

They tell me I'm not allowed to sit or do anything.
Just standing here for 5 hours.

How I see it is mental toughness and where your mind is at.

If your mind is in a good place, then it doesn't matter where you are.
You vision will be clear.

You gotta life yourself up. 
Life isn't gonna life you up.
You gotta life life.

Put this on Facebook!

I'm studying quantum mechanics,
The study of everything, being made up of each other.

That's already been done.
Now, I'm going to find the key to life.

The best part of learning is that you get to learn about everything.