I'm in a strange state of limbo, but one that was a few comfortable layers of padding added by the community I have in Seattle.
I think I wrote this out - but I'm not coming back to Alaska right now like I had originally intended. I'm in Seattle for a bit.
The simplest answer as to why could either take the "answer for strangers" approach ("Seattle has more opportunities and I want to go back to school!") or the legit answer ("I didn't do too great handling a car crash and I have a full support team of friends, families, and professionals in Seattle as I try to become more stable."
When you move to a new place, there are two main concerns.
Where you'll sleep and what you'll eat.
Where I feel blessed is that, as I search out those answers, I never, ever have any fear that I won't have them. I can list of a dozen homes, off the top of my head, that would take me in without a minutes notice and feed me and give me shelter. This is not something I take for granted by any means.
I've patched together work. It's nothing solid, yet, but I've been working 30-40 hour work weeks which, to me, is solid enough. Their jobs on my own terms so, if things get peculiar, I can plan to have a day off. If I want to go hiking or camping, it can happen. If I need to go to Bellingham to check out the school up there, that's possible too.
What about housing?
I don't feel I'm really in a place where I can make big decisions like that and, to me, renting a place is pretty huge if it involves a lease which, most places do. I don't feel like I'm in a place where I can commit to community living. I'm checking Craigslist, but haven't especially seen anything that calls out to me. Rather than leap out at a not-so-swell option, I'm waiting for things to fall into place.
So - where do I sleep now?
I could always sleep at my folks' place, but that isn't the best of options. It isn't them. It isn't me. It's us together. We could work it out, but I dont' want to overstay my welcome an it's a complex dynamic that's been weaving together for 24 years. I was at their house for three weeks, which is how long I was supposed to stay with them over Christmas, and I decided it was time to move on. Nothing bad had happened at all and emotions weren't high - everything was chill, but I'd like to keep it that way.
The community of Seattle is loving and they have my back.
I did a post of Facebook. It looked something like this:
Humans - just throwing this out there. If you (or someone else) need a housesitter near Seattle anytime over the next few month-y-wiles, let me know. I like sitting on houses. And pets. I will pet your cat. I will walk your dog. I will not eat your fish.
Why? Surprise! I live in Washington again. I'm thinking of renting, but am not totally in a place where settling down to rent makes sense. Life is pretty up in the air. So, between couches, Tobbit (my sleeping bags are being shipped to me from Alaska and I have to prep him for winter-weather in Seattle), and spare-bedrooms, I'll be patching things together. If I can find a swell place to rent for 3 months, I will -- but currently, it's all a bit out of the budget as I work out working, counselling, emotional recovery, and physical recovery. I mean, I can fit it in the budget, but things get tricky with leases and what-not for a person who doesn't know where they'll be on a week to week basis.
If you know of a room in a chill place, for not too many dollars that don't need a 12-month commitment, let me know. If you've got a spare-room I could inhabit for a week, let me know.
I'm looking to stay in the Seattle/Kenmore/Kirkland-y area.
Low and behold, people responded. Kind, loving, gracious humans responded, not yelling at me to get my act together but saying, "Yo! We got a couch/room/bed/floor you can use."
I was in a state of limbo last year but, what sets that apart from this is that right now, I have a daily purpose-y job to go to. That's really settling. It's amazing what a small job can do.
Letting other people host me, right now, feels very humbling.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm super lazy and that's why I don't have things perfectly put together. Maybe I'm weak and that's why this PTSD (doc says...) is getting me down.
Luckily, those friends I've mentioned are good at reassuring me that the two above mentioned distortions are just that. They're giving me the space to heal and not shaming me for it.
This week, I've had an upswing for a few days, for the most part. Although that's what it is, swings every few days. I don't know what to expect. I like to think that everything is better now - but that's probably wishful thinking. I'll keep living as if that's how it is, for now, and I'll try to lay out a foundation to rest upon when things flip over the the darker realms that January has to offer.
And what about Tobbit? Why am I not living in my truck?
1) I have to waterproof him. He's horrible at keeping water out in this one corner I've patched at least four times. Ahhh.
2) Vandwelling involves a certain level of vigilance that I just don't have the emotional energy for. Those small noises in the night would likely cause me to over-think and wonder. I'd rather put my body at absolute safety at night so I can sleep soundly, which is really important.
So who's taking me in, this upcoming season?
But, if I were to strip away the "friendness" and just label how I know them, here it is:
Camp Boat. Math tutor. Contra dancer. Blues dancer. Another dancer. House show. Dancer. Elementary school. Dancer. High school friend's sister. Dancer. Family friend. The Forest. Childhood neighbor. High school friend's family.
I'm intrigued that only one family from the church opened up their house to me.
It's a bit hectic changing beds frequently but I've done it before (yeah.... remember that one year where I changed beds, on average, every three nights?). We'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll find a place to settle into over the next couple of months.
Or, more likely, I'll have to find another small town to settle in. Rent in Seattle is expensive and for me to live here, I need to learn to work longer hours. I need to work around 13 hours a week to pay for rent, up here. It's almost three times what I was paying in Alaska - at least twice.
Hopefully I'll get Tobbit a bit more ship-shape (that includes rebuilding his engine) and then can sleep in him around here. Honestly, that's the best option I can imagine.
I'm grateful, in all of this.
Limbo isn't my favourite, always, but I'm grateful to feel secure in a community and know that I am safe and loved. That's priceless.