No one said it better than Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” – “There’s no place like home.” It’s great to be able to wander off for a while, travel near and far, go off to work (mostly because you know you’re earning the money to pay bills and then to go travel near and far) or do whatever it is you want during the day, or night as the case may be. It’s a huge comfort to know where you’ll be sleeping that night though.
I come home from work, take off my shoes and get comfortable. It’s nice to have my own space, not to have to worry about dealing with roommates. I have plenty of elbow room. It may be hot in my apartment and I can either turn on the A/C or if it’s cold, I can simply turn on the heater. It’s a small place, so cooling off or heating up doesn’t take much. It’s a little thing and yet it really isn’t.
I don’t have to worry about decorating my place based on what someone else wants to do. I like to keep my place clean but I can let things go longer than usual because I don’t have to placate someone and that’s nice. It’s my space. I can listen to my music when I want; I can write my letters in peace or watch the shows I want when I want all in the comfort of my apartment.
There are so many people who have to sleep on the street. There are some stories that indicate there are some who choose to be homeless but it’s hard to imagine that they’re in the majority, especially when so many homeless are veterans or children. There are so many reasons people are without a permanent place to stay. We think we always know the reasons, but we don’t. There’s a judgement, a stigma, that follows homeless folks, but truth is, that’s not our place. We don’t know their stories, so who are we to judge or assume?
There are many families these days who are a mere paycheck or two from being homeless. I think about this and I’m incredibly grateful for the fact I can be self-reliant and take care of myself; that I am able to pay for my apartment. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be going from place to place and not knowing if it’s safe or if I’ll be safe. I can’t imagine trying to make it through a cold night with nothing but newspapers for blankets and pillows.
For me, it’s also just nice to know I have a place to be. I want to travel and see lots of places but in the end, I want to have one place to belong to, one place where I can be totally comfortable. That’s my apartment. I want a place where I can express myself and not worry about being judged, etc. Having an apartment means I have a place to keep my memories. I build memories here whenever I’ve had to deal with some oddity or inconvenience like when there was a large mouse in my apartment. Eek! That was an experience, but I dealt with it.
My apartment is my home. It’s where I can be me. I’ve learned many lessons here. I’ve had to overcome heartache here. I’ve dealt with loss here. This is my home. I’m not sure where I’d be if I didn’t have a place where I could collect those intangibles and remember them. I’m not sure what I’d do with all that “luggage” if I didn’t have a place to store it all. There’s clearly the obvious advantages of having a home, but there’s also the intangibles that really make life what it is and I’m grateful for that.
Here’s something to chew on – a great tune by Robert Cray, “Night Patrol.”