I missed posting yesterday because I had some stuff to do with one of my roommates and when we got home I just didn’t feel like writing. However, when we got home we had some conversations about our living situation, and it got me to thinking about my life and just how many times I have moved, and how little (or no) control I have ever had over where my ‘home’ is.
It is bad enough having served in the Military. When people ask you “where are you from?” the answer can be confusing. Even AFN (The Armed Forces Network) that controls TV and radio services for service members overseas has a commercial about it where a Soldier walks into a bar and someone asks, “Where are you from” and the Soldier replies, “Do you mean where I was born, where I grew up, or where I am stationed?”
My therapist actually got excited for me when I told her that I eventually wanted to buy a house somewhere. She got this huge smile and said, “So you are ready to plant yourself somewhere?” Yeah… I am. I guess. The problem is that I know it isn’t anywhere here in Philadelphia – so I will have at least one more move in my future at some point. I just have no idea where I will end up. The answer to that will probably be wherever I get a job, and I don’t care too much where that is. The older I get the scarier that becomes.
In my 40 years of life I have moved 28 times. “Home” to me has become wherever I am currently laying my head down to sleep. I can stay at a hotel for a night and when it’s time to go back to the hotel, I don’t say “let’s go back to the hotel room.” I say, “let’s go home.” Home for me is wherever. “Home” is an idea that I don’t quite grasp. My possessions are scattered across the world. I can’t even remember where all my ‘stuff’ is. Currently all my ‘stuff’ is boxed up in the crawl space and when I eventually dig it all out an unpack it will be like Christmas I don’t even remember what is in there.
I have lived alone only twice in my life – once was in Italy where I had my own apartment, but it was really the Army’s apartment, and when I screwed up and put my Jeep in a ditch, the Army made me move back to the barracks (which sucked more than anything has ever sucked in my entire life) and then an apartment I had here in Philly before I moved into my current home with Kitten and our other roommate Puddin’ (that is obviously not his real name). Kitten and Puddin have lived here for about 17 years and it is Puddin’s house. I am a house crasher here like I have been many other times in my life. It isn’t MY house though, and while it is my current home and the people here love and welcome me – it still isn’t MY home. It’s just where I currently live. Technically, if Puddin decided he no longer wants to live with two girls – could just kick us out (he wouldn’t) I am not worried about that actually happening, but in my mind I know it is always a possibility and so my sense of security is always in question, no matter how harmonious my life here actually is. It’s like my history haunts me, even when there is no direct threat to my living situation.
Money has stopped me from seeing my therapist (I have $20 to my name and I got that from Kittens Mom for graduation) and I really need to discuss this with someone, hence why I am writing this post. You, my dear readers are now my therapy.
So I am at this point in my life where I want a home. I want it to me mine (or ours). I don’t care if it is just me and Kitten, or me and 100 other people – I want my name on the deed. I want a lease. I want security. I want to know that if someone gets tired of living with me – THEY have to move. I want to have some say in how my home is decorated, or which bedroom I sleep in. I want control. I want security. I want a home that is just as much mine as it is whoever else I am living with. I guess, I am just tired of living in others peoples homes and acclimating myself to their life and way of living and working everyday to not be a nuisance or a burden.
At 40, I think that is a pretty realistic goal. Of course, I have to find employment somewhere before my credit score is destroyed to the point where even the slums won’t sell or rent to me. I am close to that now. As of the 15th of this month, my bills are overdue for the first time since I got out of the Army and had to try and survive on unemployment and had to pick and choose which bills I could pay. I finally got myself out of that hole, and here I am again. It’s unsettling at best, but moves my dreams of owning my own home so out of reach I feel silly even entertaining the thought. It is going to take YEARS to get over this hiccup in income. Credit scores take a few months to destroy and several years to recover. So for now, I am stuck. I LOATHE feeling stuck.
I am also completely dependent on my roommates. I don’t mind being dependent on my partner Kitten – that’s how relationships work. I feel bad about being dependent on Puddin. He isn’t my partner, he is just a very nice man who lets me live in his house. He shouldn’t have to pay my bills too. I guess that is really where all my feelings right now are coming from. It isn’t fair to him to have a virtual stranger living in his house and asking him to be patient while I try and find work. However, the fact that he lets me not pay rent right now is both a relief (because I can’t pay rent right now) and I am glad that I have this man in my life who is willing to let me stay until I get my shit together; but it also sends my mind reeling as to how I can eventually make up for this time or how I can get out of his house so he doesn’t have to care for me. He should be able to have his home back or at least have people living in his home that can make his life better – not worse. I guess I just feel bad not being able to contribute in the way I have since I moved in here.
So therapists – what do you think? Any advice for a wanderer? Am I the only one who has lived like this? How many times have you moved in your life?