Three unusual things happened recently:

1)   I lived out of my car for two and a half weeks while homeless (ok, not that unusual but considering that I haven’t had the car for a year, it counts)

2)   I started a job where I get paid to ride multi-thousand dollar horses on a 5,000 acre ranch owned by a billionaire whose name I’m forbidden by law to disclose. The land just happens to be situated at the at the base of  12,965 Mt. Sopris.

3)   I signed a year lease.

Whooooa, back up the train, a year lease? I can barely believe so myself.

What happened to the nomad? I used to be deathly afraid of any lease terms longer than one month. Where did the great idea to save money on rent by not paying it and using saved funds to travel around the world go? How can I stay in motion if I’m tied to one location?

But here’s the weird part: I wasn’t even that nervous. I didn’t sweat, get the shakes while scribbling my John Hancock, I might’ve even smiled. Brendan and I checked out the 1bd, 1bath with a loft early on a June morning and, days away from being kicked out of our current month to month situation (due to 30 days notice, not delinquency). We tromped through the overgrown yard, peered into the small kitchen (a gas stove!), bathroom, bedroom, wound up the wooden stairs to the loft where skylights lit the tiled floor and glass doors lead to a deck modestly adorned with a view of  Sopris. We’ll take it! And we did. The catch? We couldn’t move in until July 1, 15 interminably long days away.

The other two unusuals began simultaneously. On the day we moved into our vehicles, I began my ranch job. Suddenly I was thrown into 10 hour days in the saddle, spent wandering the aspen groves, open meadows, tumbling mountain streams and evergreen stands at the base of Mt. Sopris, but at the end of those 10 hours I had no place to go home to. Neither did Brendan after his 12 hour days setting up bear snares for the Dept. of Wildlife. And I realized two important things then about homelessness: it’s easier to be homeless when you are in the energetic naivety of your early 20’s, and it’s much easier to be homeless when you don’t add a boyfriend and dog into the equation of where to sleep each night. More bodies create complications.

But we made it through all 360 hours of the 15 days and here we are, in a home, collecting baggage, i.e. furnishings (ooh I cringe at the thought of owning furniture, mostly because I cringe at the thought of taking it with me to the next place), unpacking our boxes that have been packaged since California, and marveling at the convenience of having a kitchen once again (not only a kitchen but our kitchen, not our camp stoves or a kitchen shared among five). The weird thing: despite my phobia of commitment of belongings and lease terms, I actually kind of like this. I like the security of knowing I’m going to be in one spot, with one other person for a year. The loose structure of this arrangement creates parameters in which to plan, set goals and grow in a single location, single community, single space for a fixed period of time. Am I growing old? Maybe, whatever that means, or maybe I’m just growing up. And who knows, at the end of the year I could hop in my car and zoom off to the next location. Or I could zoom off for a couple of weeks and return right back to where I started. Motion is in the person afterall, not the place, and having somewhere to come home to isn’t so bad, not so bad at all.