Having raised the idea and let it percolate through me for a week or so, I know now that I really do want to settle for a while but I’m not sure how to do it. I need to switch gear somehow and start doing things differently. I trust that I’ll get direction by putting it through the same process that I’ve been using all along, which is to say here what I want and the options I can see, ask you all for help and go with what comes back. On Friday night I was singing the praises of this process, which did get me all the way from San Francisco to New York City in a month with lots of fun and adventure along the way, but somehow I’d forgotten that it can be applied to whatever I’m doing.
So, what do I want?
I want somewhere to live in London for the next two or three months, starting as soon as possible (yes I could move in tomorrow) and on to mid-February at least. After all, for the last two years, in March I’ve been setting out to conquer the USA, so that feels like a good window. I also want a reliable income that covers my basic needs.
I’ve learned that there are certain minimum things that I need above and beyond a roof over my head:
- I’m not highly fussed about location as long as it’s safe, clean and warm. I can live right in the middle of the city but have found that living any further out than Zone 3 means too much of a commute for me. I use public transport a lot and I like the freedom of being able to purchase a weekly travelcard. I do prefer being in the South and West of London because that’s where my beloved and a lot of my support network is, but I’m glad to say that in the last year I have shed much prejudice and strong attachment to the area in which I live. Before, I felt very identified with having a postcode that started with W or SW…
- I need at least the privacy of a space with a door that I can close. I live best when I can sleep when I need to and not feel obliged either to stay up later or to get up earlier than I feel like in the day. I also live best when I can comfortably practice prayer and meditation in a private space.
- If there have to be animals around, then count me as a cat person. I am not a dog hater, but I don’t really get them. Dog-sitting would feel like very hard work to me. To the best of my knowledge I have no allergies to any type of pet.
- Much of my work and social activity is internet-enabled. Access to a stable, fast and relatively high-capacity internet connection, beyond that provided by my phone contract is important.
- I need regular exercise above and beyond walking. I like to swim. I’d love to be able to swim most days.
- I need to be able to make music and make a noise from time to time. I get very cranky if I spend more than a few days without getting my ukulele out and singing without worrying about what the neighbours will think or whether I’m disturbing anyone.
- I have found in the last four months that I need an absolute minimum £2,100 (before tax) a month to live comfortably. That includes travel and storage of my stuff, which would reduce if I were able to find a place to pause and unpack for a while, but it doesn’t include any rent or utility bills.
- I have no regular income or savings at the moment, but I’m in that chicken and egg position of finding it difficult to commit to regular work without a regular home and vice versa. So the opportunity to gain either one would help.
To me, the ideal solution sounds like a 2-3 month house-sit for someone who’s going somewhere for the winter and some work that provides me with a basic income but also time to write and create (I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to download from my brain from the last few months!) However, I know that my imagination in these circumstances can be severely limited, I’m up for all sorts of suggestions.
I’m going to stop worrying about this now and let you do your thing.