I’ve been homeless for a year and five months now.
Don’t feel sorry for me, because I chose it.
There’s been some ups and downs to it, but mostly downs. However, the biggest up is all the learning I’ve gained from it and how I can apply that to every step of my future.
I thought I would find freedom from it. Because I thought that I would have no upcoming bills to worry or think about and that I could just take each day as it comes and work to make my fortune along the way, so that the bills would never be a problem.
I was very wrong. I mean, I was completely right about having no bills to pay. And I was completely right about taking each day as it comes. But freedom definitely doesn’t come from magicking all the bills away, or having a whole day in front of you to figure out. The thing is, when you’re taking each day as it comes, you’re putting a lot of energy into figuring out the day and navigating each part of the day, because you know you only have sixteen hours to make the most of the day and it ends up being a bit of a strategy and you lose a lot of your spontaneity. Even if all the moving around appears quite spontaneous. So then, you end up using up a lot of energy into thinking about just looking after yourself in the most basic way. All of your energy goes into just the basics. You end up really drained and your work suffers and then you end up not having any money to get out of the situation and it becomes a bit of a viscous cycle until you’ve been at it for seventeen months and you’ve had a tonne of experiences, but no real time to stop the mind to appreciate them.
You start to realise that you’re in the same labyrinth you were trying to escape when you did have a home and rent to pay, except that your physical body and movement is showing you what was going on in your head the whole time. All of those logistics, you are implementing on the daily basis, are everything which was going on in your head, when you were thinking about bills and keeping everyone in your family and social group happy. So you’re not actually worse off than you were- you’re just exactly the same, you’re just a bit shocked and upset by seeing what was in your head (and still is). You’ve taken this route, to show yourself where you were blocking yourself from happiness.
And then you realise, that the key to your happiness, is to just be you and be creative in every moment, so that those bills and family members and the false commitments which you created for yourself, just take care of themselves. And it’s not ONLY about being creative and yourself. But about seeing and recognising those patterns, so that you can remove them from your mind and your situation will change around you.
I realised this, because I would get into distress and tears almost every day, about my inability to find a spot to just stop and be creative for a decent length of time- to write my blog; to really spend the quality time painting a painting; to sit for a couple of days and think up a new idea for an event; to know I was going to be in a spot long enough to make something and share it with the people around me. I was more overwhelmed about that, than the food or comfort part. Apart from cooking. I also missed having a space to be creative with food and come up with new ideas, as well as the finances necessary to choose. I realised, that once I went nomad, to forget the bills, I took that opportunity away from myself. I stole that happiness from myself. I never really did, because it never went anywhere, but I made it physically a lot harder for myself to feel safe and comfortable enough to be that creative.
When I lived in Barcelona I was probably the unhappiest I’ve ever felt in my life. (Followed closely by my time on a Tropical Island in Mexico but we’ll use that for another analogy, another day)
Not because anything in particular happened to me in Barcelona. But because I was living in, what has been described by almost every person who visits or moves there, “The Best City in The World.” And seeing just how I was surrounded by so much life and activities and people but that I couldn’t find what I needed, just made me wallow and feel terrible in my self, for not knowing how to make it better. The answer was in the part where I was preparing to make that move there. I was at my very upmost happiest in the months leading up to me moving. I was living in the middle of nowhere with my pensioner Grandma with no friends around me, and I had to find my own entertainment, and I had enough money that I didn’t have any worry about anything and so I just got creative, each and every single day, and it made me feel very peaceful and in touch with something greater than me. At the time, I thought I was just keeping myself occupied in my run up to my ‘better life’, but then once I got to my ‘better life’, I gave up, because I thought I didn’t need to do those things anymore and I should be doing something more ‘worthwhile’ in the city which I had held out so long to get to, and didn’t realise it was okay just to do those things out of choice, rather than out of a lack of anything else to do. But truthfully, there’s always nothing else to do. Nothing better or more worthwhile than that.
Fun, just doesn’t cut it any more. “Let’s go out and have some fun.”
‘No, let’s not. Let’s have fun and once we’re in our fullest element of fun, let’s go out and share that fun with others.’
Me and one of my favourite housemates ever, (Catherine if you’re reading this- Hiiiiiii chicken) both went on a night out once, and once we got out, we got really really sad and came home, got into my bed and cried together over the boyfriends we had both just broken up with. But we had been having the most amazing time, getting ready to go out. Truthfully, I don’t in any way think either of us were crying about those boyfriends, because we only started to think about them once we got out and weren’t doing anything any more, other than looking around bars and trying to find people to connect with. I think we were crying because we had gotten a bit lost from our joy of getting nice clothes on, doing our hair and make up and taking all sorts of funny photos, and we didn’t know what to do, once we got back, because it wasn’t part of the routine which was taught to us- to just come back home and carry on taking those photos, trying on other outfits, and trying out other hairstyles.
How many of you have ever come home from a night or evening out and done the getting ready to go out part, all over again? Probably no-one. Not even me, and I AM that person. How lovely does that sound though? Rather than the part where you feel hopeless and despondent because none of the marvellous things you were expecting to happen, from that wonderful feeling you had whilst getting ready, happened.
Why do we force ourselves to have an excuse to be creative and happy? That’s a genuine question I haven’t found the answer to. We WANT to be happy. We know we do, because we create those excuses to create the pathway to it. We love ourselves enough to create that reason to be creative and step into it a bit. So why do we not just be happy, why do we always give up once we start to feel that happiness coming in? Maybe we just don’t realise. Maybe there’s no deep scientific , psychological answer, except that we just don’t realise what to do. Maybe when we stumbled upon happiness we just misinterpreted the root of it, and attached the thought we came up with once which said, “Let’s go out.” But maybe we didn’t really want to GO out, but we wanted to come out. The part where we initiated going out, was just the starting point to get ourselves to finding what would make us happy.
How many of you, really wanted to stop taking selfies and get in the taxi when it turned up? How many of you knew that sinking feeling when you were playing with your hair for the twenty second millionth time that night, and you’re friend says, “Come on, we’ve got to go, so and so is waiting.”
I hear people say time and time again “I wish I had an event or nice party to go to to get all dressed up for.” Just get all dressed up. It doesn’t make you vain. It makes you you. If you’re shy, but want to share it, take a photo, so you can share it with others. If you’re not so shy, go out anyway and find a party to crash. Of course you were invited if you’re already wearing all the gear. You know that horrible phrase which bitchy people say, ‘all gear and no idea.’ It’s false. You ARE the idea.
So if the part where you have to go to the party, makes you feel rotten, and the part where you don’t have a party to get ready for, makes you feel rotten, the solution is in the very centre of the two conundrums. That’s how you find your balance in life. Line up and compare the situations with a common root, which are making you feel low, to see where the desire lies. In this case it’s the want to be able to get ready and take delicious photos.
Just keep getting ready forever, and you’ll never be lonely or feel that sinking feeling again.
Someone told me once “Life IS boring, your day is spent doing things like brushing your teeth.’ And I replied “But you can have soooo much fun brushing your teeth. You can dance in the mirror; you can make it into a game where you challenge yourself each time; you can pull silly faces at yourself.” My dilemma at the time was that I was focused on how to get the people around me to join in with the fun stuff, so I felt bored and lonely when they didn’t want to. Slowly, I learned that you have to do it anyway. Pull those faces and dance in the mirror. Even if the people around you are rushing and knocking past you in their rush to get to their job, appointment or something else the believe will bring them joy.
I believe we need to take it a lot easier on ourselves for not being happy. I think we have to accept that we just don’t know and when we figure it out, we figure it out. No-one told us, right!?! No-one was really happy before us (except maybe only ever the fictional version of Marie Antoinette in the film of her life eating pastel coloured cakes), and not many people are happy around us. We can’t force anyone else to figure it out either because you can’t jam logic into someone else’s head, or they’ll never be really happy because they won’t have experienced figuring it out for themselves to know the proof and feel the accomplishment of it.
You know those games you play in groups where someone has a riddle or a cryptic game and everyone has to figure out the answer by themselves, and there’s always that one kid at the end, who hasn’t quite figured it out? That’s your unhappy relative. You can tell them. But once you’ve felt the joy and satisfaction of figuring it out, you KNOW how important it is for them to have that feeling of figuring it out. You know how crucial it is for them to feel part of the gang, and not want another riddle to solve, so you can only wait and throw them a few pointers in their way of thinking, until they get there. And if they still don’t get it, you’ll be there with them and wait. So they can be in your state of mind with you.
And that, my friend, is how you achieve patience.
This came on whilst I was really in the thick of the feelings of this post. They’re at home doing the chores, being the most creative they could possibly be, and I reckon they created a LOT of happiness for everyone around them. You don’t go anywhere to be free, you create freedom, where you are.
*picture credit, some dude on Google Images
*After-thought of the magic behind this post: Whilst writing this post, another girl who lived in the same house before me, in which I got creative with Catherine, popped up on messenger, having not heard from her for a good year or so, and she told me that in that house she learned ‘putting thought into action and not relying on others as a source of happiness.’ It’s also the house where my spiritual awakening began and the word which I associate with that time, just flashed up on a screen in the bar I’m hiding out in to work, which is called Ted’s Hide Away, the name of my uncle whose house in which I always manage to get a lot of work done. Oh what a lovely cube of creativity I feel like I’m in right now.