Being Homeless Helped Me Grow Up

The real benefits reaped from not having a home become far more apparent once you get into a home again. You’ve been without one for so long that you don’t want to ruin it.

I’m getting annoyed looking at my tumble of clothes across my room, but I simply have no where to put things right now. Three years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But three years ago I never knew what it was like to not know where I was going to sleep at night. I’ve never been too worried about it (when I’ve been transient), but there’s a certain edge given to a day that happens when you don’t have a specific place to go back to. A grinding, hot, drawn-out feeling that doesn’t allow itself to be dissmissed until you have a place to rest your head and body for the night. And when you do have somewhere- OH MY GOD it’s the freshest cascade of relief and comfort that washes over you. Shower. Laundry. These things seemed to me an annoyance several years ago that I put off until absolutely necessary. Now? I relish the smell of clean, dry clothes. Showering is a new-found nirvana. What people always say is true- You don’t know what you got til it’s gone.

Not living in a home has taught me that it’s polite to do your dishes when staying somewhere else. When couch crashing, you keep your things neat, tidy and out of the way. Bags must be organized when you are living out of your car and if it’s food that can (or is) going bad, THROW IT AWAY. There’s a lot that not living in a house can teach you about living with people. That’s because you’re always on your toes, always the guest that wants to maintain your friendship (and not lose it) through the course of accepting someone’s hospitality. In that way, you learn more about living with people when you aren’t actually living with anyone.


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