• jocelynaryder

Do I Deserve A Home?

January 22, 2020

Part 1

Even though Love and I had a great walk—we went up, up, up into the hills and got lost—depression is in full swing today. When I use chocolate as a self-prescribed mood changer, I usually have much more energy. But it’s raining, and I can’t get to the good chocolate until later tonight. So here I am, sitting in the daybed and feeling low.

My friends have offered me the vacant apartment in their house. And the conditions are all boogeymen in my head. There’s no heat, there’s a leak at one of the windows, rent is what I am paying now, I’ll likely need to move by May 1, and I won’t be able to stay there for the full month of February because the space has been promised to out-of-town guests. I love these friends. Yet, I am scared, as they have also expressed to me, of this arrangement creating friction in our relationship.

I am left with this feeling of dread at the thought of having to continually move again.

The other day, I was happy to have remembered my ability to earn money. And now all that confidence is in the gutter. Yes, even though I have found a place to teach my Listening to Racism workshop. Yes, even though friends have been so kind and supportive.

Part 2

You know the saying “beggars can’t be choosers”? I hate that phrase. It’s the warped, unreality of capitalism: If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in a financially related bind, then be grateful for this mold-fuzzy piece of discarded sustenance. Also, please be prepared to be grilled about your life and choices, and given advice by perhaps well-meaning friends who want someone to fix.

I have been considering what country would be a better place for me to live. Landlord Friend says that there’s a ton of space in Berlin. I could live there, but the only thing I know how to say in German is, “I have bugs in my room.” Thanks offbeat travel-phrase book from the nineties! Also, Scotland has always called me. But the rain!

Here’s a new idea: Perhaps giving poor folks more choices in a living environment would help them become more stable. For instance, if I had a stabilizing place to live right now, it would have a washer and dryer in it large enough to fit my duvet; a dishwasher; plenty of sunlight and fresh air; a cool, quiet place to sleep; groceries and public transit within walking distance; friends and church close by; new or updated bathroom and kitchen fixtures; and I’d have money to furnish the place. I would live there alone, since all of my room-mating attempts in the past five years have been traumatic for them and me. In that situation, I believe I could focus on my health, do what I need to provide for myself, and create a sustainable life.

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