Building

I want to spill something I’ve had to turn around and face a few times too many, recently. Bear with me.

Almost exactly two years ago, at this very moment, I was preparing for my hiking trip to Scotland with four of the best friends anyone could wish for. I had just returned from a two month search for myself in Ireland, England, Norway and everywhere in between. A search that failed.

I purposefully got lost in hope of steering away from the depression I was sinking into. That too, failed. I was a mess. I missed everything I once had, with such heart-wrenching passion that for brief moments, it felt like I could have it all back through wishful thinking. Moments that ended all too soon and were, in turn, missed.

It was here, in this room, that I decided to “hang on until Scotland”- my exact words. Just cling on to something to live for and see it as my light at the end of the tunnel, desperately hoping it would lead somewhere.

Despite my rock solid philosophy that life should be enjoyed and my self-humor, the little but strong optimism that I have, I can honestly tell you that I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have that one trip to Scotland. Maybe that decision to find something to look forward to was a sign of re-emerging strength, or maybe it was my last hope before things would have gone really bad for me. Or, perhaps, I would have worked up the courage to tell my friends that I needed help, when the time came. I really don’t know.

It didn’t take more than two weeks for me to start my recovery.
What happened? Couchsurfing happened. Two American squatters stayed over and I showed them how beautiful my city is, how warm its people. And just like that, I started believing it myself, again. Summer was beginning and brought a new dawn that I had failed to see. And oh irony, all I had to do was show someone else before I saw.
Though they are utterly clueless, these two dumpster divers just might have saved my life. When I finally arrived in Scotland, all I wanted was to go home and spend time with my girlfriend.

I’ve hit rock bottom more than once and every time, it was something small that turned me around, something that seems trivial to others. Please, I beg you, keep this in mind. Some people don’t see the world like we do and all it might take are the little things that make life worth living. When you get a chance, be such a little thing. A light at the end of the tunnel. God knows how many eyes you’ve opened that way, already.


I decided to move today. The decision hit me like a train, and I can even tell you exactly when and why:

The cold makes my walls turn humid, because they were made in the fifties with the cheapest materials available and the previous owner decided to fuck them up royally in every possible way. But okay, I can live with that. It’s not overly obvious and only in one location. Shitty thing is, the humidity is wearing down my walls and the outer layer of material, whatever it is, is flaking off. In itself not disastrous maybe, but it’s right smack above my couch.

It has been more or less clinging on so far, but tonight I’m having couchsurfers (no less than four- a personal record) and one of them will have to sleep there. So I decided to get up there, armed with an industrial grade vacuum cleaner, and clean it up a little. It looks patchy now but at least I’m sure nothing will be coming down.

It’s bad, I know, but for a “cité” house like this, this is fairly normal and I knew what I was getting into before moving here. Mind you, the rent and location are about the best you can get in this town, so I had the feeling all this cancelled each other out somehow.

No, what made me go “fuck this” was that, while I was up there, I found mushrooms growing out of my wall- I am not shitting you. My wall is about as nurturing for fungi as a fucking forest floor. It doesn’t actually have any fungus growing on the inside thank Maynard, but who knows what the inside of the walls and ceiling must look like?? For all I know, I’m letting these people sleep smack by a flourishing biotope and before I know it, they claim to have been molested by some primate.

There’s no way I can afford a different place right now, but that’s why I’m in school. Although I’m still not looking forward to getting a “real” job, I am quite happy to finally be making a real living so I can find a more healthy place to live.

It seems my priorities have been shifting, but that’s no surprise when you literally see the walls crumble around you.

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