Out and AwayLast week I packed all of my belongings in a storage unit and left my house of 10 years. I've been paring down my possessions so that when I left I could comfortably fit all that remained in a 5x5 ft (1.5m) unit. I stuffed all of my clothes, a few important books, and electrical gadgets in a duffel bag and carry-on. That is what I will live out of for the foreseeable future. I've chosen to roam and I don't know when or where I'll stop. I have some preliminary plans to stay in Europe for most of the next eight months or so, but who knows where I'll be when. I'm in Dublin, Ireland right now, will be at DrupalCon San Francisco in April and intend to live in Copenhagen, Denmark this summer. That's about all I have sketched out.

The last year has been intense in a lot of different ways. I've also been in a deep depression for most of it. No need to get into lots of details, but one of the casualties of all this was my relationship with Colleen. It ended in October, after nine years together. Needless to say, we are both deeply saddened, but determined to work out a lasting friendship. I stayed in the empty house for as long as I could while we figured out what to do with it. Neither of us has any desire to stay in the shell that used to be our home. Aside from the ghostly experience of living in the house, Maryland itself doesn't have much to offer me these days. Most of my good friends from the area have moved away. The house is a quiet place of trees and memories, which I do love, but it also makes me feel cut off, adrift. And sad. Maryland is simply no longer a home for me, and returning there makes me feel empty instead of comforted. More has changed here than my relationship in just the last few months (not counting all of the shit from last year); the deeply wooded lot next to me has been ripped up (every single last ever-loving tree!) for new houses, my cats moved out to live with Colleen, and my elderly next-door neighbor killed himself on his front steps (that image is forever burned in my skull). The time has come to move on. I feel like I am living in a parody of my "home." It has been a good home, a great home, but my definition of home is changing. Or maybe my definition is the same but there is nothing that matches it any longer. What it is changing into or from, I don't know, but I know "home" is no longer here.

So I'm heading back into the world of experience and exploration to see what I can find. I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, but I will try (try, try) to have faith in my self that I will know something when I encounter it. That I won't continue to make fatal mistakes (ha!). I will need to work hard to be open on this journey. I'm beat up, fed up, exhausted, and oftentimes not very amused by all of this muckity-muck when I had a perfectly respectable life going on. But there is also a flame in me that is fascinated and pulls me forward in hope, gasping at fresh air. There is excitement mixed with fear and (self-)loathing. I choose to believe this is a cocktail for discovery and growth instead of despair.

So. I am homeward bound but homeless. And I'm OK with that. Let the journey unfold.


Hey I'm sorry to hear the hard time you've been going through. It's always hard to pull yourself out of a deep depression, but I think you've made a great stride by taking the first step to recovery and happiness by packing up and moving on. The change of pace and scenery will no doubt give you new perspective and enlightenment on your new journey in life. I wish you the very best and just keep your head up.

I went through something similar about four years ago. It can be very painful when your life takes an unexpected u-turn. It is proper to take time to grieve for your lost future and to be a little depressed is normal in a situation like yours. You are a good person and all those people you meet around the world like you, and indeed I'm sure many of them love you. You are with good friends now and when you are ready you will be able see a new, if somewhat blurry, future that will be joyful.

Time is your friend.

So sorry to hear about all this, but cheered by the fact that you have left behind the useless stuff and chosen a path. You're taking with you some of the love and care and goodness from the past, by the sounds of things. Good companions.

I really hope that this helps heal your heart, I had a year something like this a few back (tho I hazard to say yours sounds a fair bit worse), but it's funny how things work out. Once the haze starts to lift, and you start finding pieces to put together and make a new life of, it's a miraculous thing how you can find yourself even more at home in places you never expected.

I know how terribly hard it is asking for help, but there are lots of people all over the place that care about you, and are here for you to lean on whenever you need.

Safe and happy travels, and there's a big squish waiting for you in SF.

it is not easy being homeless yet seeing the side where you are about to face the world and explore is always great.
good luck.

I'm sorry to hear the hard time you've been going through.