Homeless and Unemployed


Where once there was a home…

I moved out of my apartment today; I’m now staying in my parents’ house (though they themselves are not here – they’re off in Europe), and will for the next week or so. I know I’m not actually homeless, but this is the first time since 1996 that I’ve not really lived somewhere (that time it was because we were moving back to Sydney from Atlanta, and spent a couple of weeks staying with my grandparents in New Zealand). So it’s weird: I don’t have a place that I call home. Nothing is mine. I’m… camping out, more than living here.

More than that, too, it’s the saying goodbye to an apartment that I chose with someone; lived in, with someone. It doesn’t matter that it was also the place where our relationship ended– the point, for me, is that it was a place that had those memories, for better and for worse. I’ve largely ceased contact, and now I’m letting go of this, too. Fresh, clean slate. New beginnings. A life that is mine: paths chosen by me, all successes and failures owned by me, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to be sleeping in a bedroom that was once mine, in a house that was once mine. It’s a big house for one person; I’m used to being on my own, now, and I’m not lonely, but it feels strange to have this much space. It makes me much more aware of noises – and houses are full of noises.

It’s a relief, though, being out of the apartment. I feel so much more free, knowing I don’t have to worry about furniture or belongings anymore. Everything I need fits into two suitcases (er, mostly); everything else is just extra stuff, whether I’m storing it or not. I’ll be even happier once I’ve handed the keys to the apartment back in (hopefully Tuesday lunchtime, after the cleaners have been through)– one less thing to worry about.

In another week, I’ll also be unemployed, and that’s another new experience. The last time I was without a job I was nineteen, and had been let go from my part-time reception gig because I came down with glandular fever and wasn’t going to be able to work for a month or two. Back then, of course, I lived at home; it wasn’t a big deal. Now… well, it’s not a big deal either, in that I have money to support myself for a while, and some contract work to tide me over, and some leads on work and plenty of opportunities to generate more. But. But.

It’s not surprising, of course, that I’m feeling sentimental. I’m about to leave so much behind, and the farewells have already begun. It all feels right, but there’s still that fear of… what if it isn’t? What if instead of being the next positive step, it actually takes me out of this really good, happy place I’ve been in? Inevitable, I’m sure, to have doubts. And yet… not as many doubts as I thought I would. Which is good, right? If nothing else, I’m so glad to have made a decision, and now be in the process of turning that decision into reality. Whatever happens, I’ll have that knowledge: I did this.

For now, I am going to enjoy what is likely my last few days in this house that was once my home. After I leave it, next weekend, I’m unlikely to ever come back. Weird feeling.

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