A Woman's Touching Story Of Why She Spent $25 On Candles When She Was Homeless

Chris Mottram 15 Jan 2019

People thought this woman was crazy for spending $25 on candles when she was homeless, but she had a very good reason for doing it.

Homeless

Unsplash | Matt Collamer

A woman named Arella, who writes under the name parisianqueen on her Tumblr, shared a story from when she was going through a very hard time in her life. She was homeless, and says she had been fighting for months just to get food and attempt to save enough money for an apartment.

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The Candles

Unsplash | Mike Labrum

During this time, she decided to make a purchase. Bath and Body Works was having a sale, and she spent $25 on candles. This made a lot of people who knew her situation very angry -- why would she spend what little money she had on candles. But she had a good reason.

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Source of Comfort

Unsplash | Daiga Ellaby

She put those candles next to wherever she slept on any given night. She carried one -- "one of those big honking 3-wick candles" -- in her purse. She never lit the candles, but used them as motivation to get to where she wanted to be in life. When she felt down, she opened them up and smelled them.

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Future Goals

Unsplash | Grant Ritchie

She'd been working tirelessly for about a year to get out of the hole she was in, and was so burned out she says she was shaking all the time. That's when those candles helped:

But I could get a bit of relief from my 3-wick “upper middle class lifestyle” candles. They represented my future goals, my home I wanted to decorate, and how I would one day not be in this mess anymore.

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Finally Lit Them

Unsplash | D A V I D S O N L U N A

Eventually, she finally moved into an apartment and her financial situation improved. That's when she finally starting burned the candles every day. And when they were empty, she cleaned them out and turned them into an organization system.

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Don't Judge

Unsplash | Austin Schmid

The important lesson is not to judge people for the purchases they make.

So whenever I hear about someone very poor getting themselves a treat - maybe it’s Starbucks, maybe it’s a home deco item, maybe it’s a video game… I don’t judge them. I get it. I get that you can’t go without anything for that long without it making you go crazy. You need to pull some joy, inspiration, and motivation from somewhere.

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Find Normalcy

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

People in the comments on her story are sharing stories of their own hardships, and the things they bought to make themselves feel better:

When I was homeless, someone actually got in to a massive argument with me because I bought myself hair dye and a 24 ounce can of awful cheap beer.

I was feeling awful about myself and wanted to find some normalcy. So I wanted to dye my hair and drink a beer while I did it. This, to me, made me feel normal. I didn’t even have gloves so my hands were dyed for weeks. But it felt so damn good to do something that was normal to me. It gave me a boost that lasted for weeks because every time I saw my hair in my relflection it gave me a little more pep in my step.

Even now, I have my own place. I support family members. I barely have any extra money for ice cream after a hard day. But I still find time for little things like this because sometimes a little bit of your normalcy is what’s really needed to get you through those hard times.

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Deserve Nice Things

Giphy | Tennis

Another person pointed out that poor people deserve nice things, too:

poor people deserve things they want, too. it is unfair to expect poor people to only buy things they “need”.

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Comfort

Giphy | bubly

Another piggybacked off that thought:

also a comfort item IS A NEED!

Staying positive and mentally stable in a dire situation like being homeless has to be extremely difficult. So finding some little source of comfort can certainly go a long way.

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