No Longer Homeless

Most people move in an orderly fashion: They pack their things (more or less neatly) into a truck, drive to a predetermined destination and unpack. That’s how normal people do it. I am not normal. Instead, I pack everything into a truck, drive it to the general area, unload it all into a car port (because keeping a U-Haul for several days after your move gets pricey), then spend a couple weeks finding a place to permanently store yourself and your stuff before finally divvying it all into some smaller vehicles and then driving it to your final destination to be unpacked.

I’m not complaining — the three-step move is predictable, yes, and simple, but it lacks the romance of going somewhere and figuring out the details when you arrive. So, it took 17 days from the day I drove west from Flagstaff to the day I opened my first box in my new apartment in Tacoma.

The wait was worth it, though. Instead of ending up in the big, impersonal apartment complex in a sketchy neighborhood, I landed in a quaint little four-plex in North Tacoma’s hipster district. Hours of people watching await me.

I spent the weekend working through a mountain of boxes, opening each one with the excitement of a kid on Christmas. My belongings all felt new and strange; like going through someone else’s books and furniture. At the same time, it was nice to see my things again. For the first time in weeks, I was home.

I think that’s all anyone ever wants. Home isn’t a list of amenities; it isn’t covered parking or an in-home washer and dryer. Home is that tiny corner of the world where everything is a reflection of who you are. So, even if it’s a little mildewy and there’s a cracked window in the bathroom, it’s still a refuge for you and you alone — a place to write in solitude and a place where your journeys always end.

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Jonny Eberle recently left the Southwest for the Northwest. He is a writer and photographer. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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