I wrote about it on Facebook, but I haven’t talked about it here yet. (perhaps I should Facebook less and spend more time on my blogs) But a few weeks ago I was able to take a trip to North Mrytle Beach. I was tagged along with a friend to a condo with a last minute opening. That’s how I got to hang out with the fine young ladies of home-ec101.com for a couple days, along with their young charges – 5 kids total, ages 8 and under.
Something happens to a person who lives homeless for an extended period, like I have. They develop the ability to remove themselves mentally, or perhaps spiritually, from the environment they find themselves in, on the streets, in shelters etc. The homeless environment is ugly and depressing, and so to survive being in it, mentally, you have to create some distance between yourself and the place in which you find yourself.
After being homeless for so long, the mentality of “removed” becomes more permanent. It becomes the default your default mindset. This mindset is in play even when you’re not in the homeless environment, and long after you’ve left it.
But, being so out of my element, into the beach, that homeless survival mentality has started to shake itself off. The sand, the surf, the cool water, the waves, the taste of the salt water, and then the bit of sunburn, started bringing me around, to feel myself as being a part of the world, and not just a reluctant observer.
Today, back in Nashville, as I stand at my front door, feeling the hot summer sun on my face, and the cool A/C air from my apartment escaping to the outside, I really feel myself in the moment, and in the place. I’m starting to feel alive again, and it is good.