April 8, 2014 | Posted in:Uncategorized
I’ve been more or less homeless for the past three months. That is to say, I have a roof over my head, except for those days where it is by choice, the roof just doesn’t happen to belong to me. I’ve been mostly okay with the lifestyle: for a while, I was crashing at a friend’s empty apartment, where I became relatively comfortable telling people I was “housesitting” while I search for a career and pick up the occasional miscellaneous freelance job.
Then the friend came back and I could no longer live there. Almost in a sense of defeat, I rented a storage unit so that I could move around more freely without the extra baggage that comes with what equates to my entire life’s possessions. So now I’m staying in my sister and brother-in-law’s spare bedroom, sleeping on their couch with my sleeping bag, because it is more comfortable and easier than pulling out the hide-a-bed and putting on the sheets that have been offered to me several times. Regardless of the hassle or the comfort, there’s a sense of permanence about it. Sleeping in my sleeping bag is a temporary thing and it helps ground the fact that I will not be living in my sister’s spare bedroom for long.
The idea that I am in fact homeless really dawned on me not too long ago – when a friend sent me an email asking me how the job search was going and what my current address was (I presume to send a wedding invitation). To which I was able to respond: bad, not to say that I haven’t been trying, and sorry, but I don’t currently have an address.
Even the few people I know who have relegated to living out of a van or a truck, and yes I do know people who do that, have had enough foresight to set up a PO box, or work out a friend or relative to whom they could have their mail delivered.
It took me a while to realize it, but not having a home is a little bit stressful. I should probably qualify by saying that I am by no means worried about going hungry or cold anytime soon. By any measure, I am still a long, long ways away from homeless in the more traditional sense and I have no intention of letting this stint of my life drag anywhere near that point.
Not having a home makes me feel like my life is completely out of my control. That lack of control is immensely stressful. When was the last time you had to think about where you would be sleeping next week? Tomorrow? A home is grounding. It is somewhere to call your own – somewhere, short of a natural disaster, will be there at the end of the day.
I’ve fallen into this world of semi-homelessness entirely by choice. It seemed like a smart decision at the time, and it probably was. I’ve had the luxury to be picky during my job search, and this freedom has allowed me to make numerous missteps in marketing myself as I try to figure out what I want to do. So that’s the hidden cost of being picky, stress and uncertainty.
I can only hope, that soon I’ll find a job that I’m excited about and with that, maybe go ahead and find a place of my very own to live.
For now, I’ll continue to be just a little bit homeless.