I would like to ask if any one out there has experienced what I will describe.
The “adventure” I am about to embark upon is a journey that is unusual in that typically the pilgrims on this voyage are alcoholics, drug addicts or mentally disturbed.
Some may claim I am mentally disturbed but as practicing painter and photographer, it is a kind and gentle way of being but I feel I am in complete control of my facilities.
In the interest of brevity, I will keep the story to simple facts and save the juicy stuff for a novel. Two years ago, my Long-term partner/girlfriend and I had what most would call the American dream. Each of us earned over six figures, received bonus’s and due to our children in school, we never felt wealthy. Perhaps we were more than comfortable.
We had a great-shared ski house in Whistler, are children were either out of college or soon to enter and doing well. Our jobs required skills and specific knowledge of technical processes. We saved some of our earnings; we had 401K retirement funds, we worked incredibly hard. I like working hard and always have.
Fast forward to unexpected death, a closing of my company, twins starting college and the bottom falling out of the real estate market followed by the stock market. I have experienced a few layoffs in my life. Prior to attending college, I learned a few trades such as Carpentry, painting, and drywall finishing. I do all very well. I assumed I would just get a few painting or carpentry jobs. This time was different. What was different?
The people in my area who usually have the homes requiring upkeep were crushed by the market crash. They were in trouble as serious as what I was wading into. There where shrinking construction opportunities with all my unemployed brethren fighting for scraps of work until the reality of the situation set in.
Ok, I have had a couple short-term consultant positions, since my long-term job evaporated, but the bills keep mounting and downsizing in a dropping market wasn’t working well. I collected unemployment for over a year with all the extensions.
I have borrowed, as much money as I was comfortable doing knowing repayment was questionable. I have explored family, friends done the networking route then government agencies as a last resort. I have hit the wall. No income, late rent, late car payments
Realizing I cannot continue like this and I now reach out to see if others have faced this before.
I am planning on getting my REI dome tent, store my belongings, bring enough supplies to paint, a couple of guitars, and my laptop and a big cooler? I don’t know what is really important. I have a cat who is my friend and partner. I don’t know what I can do with him as I love him.
My inclination is to point towards Jackson WY or Bozeman MT so at least I could ski after what? Instructing? Dishwashing? But OMG, its too cold!
I believe there is a growing group of educated, talented wonderful people who may feel discarded by our society. From watching the numbers of the unemployed grow and knowing that those who have expended benefits would or could be homeless.
This is the adventure I am embarking upon. Urban camping is not attractive. What are the real pioneers doing?
I never thought I would be in a situation like this.
When I was young, I didn’t have the bills and defaults that nag me, nor the family and friends who empathize but are so horrified by my situation (knowing it could be them with one bad stroke of luck) that I make them uncomfortable. I lived dirt poor in America as a young naive hippie renouncing my parents middle class values. I was the equivalent of a homeless person in 1970. I know how the downward spiral proceeds. I understand how appearances are so very very important to instill confidence in others.
I want to get some feed back. I need answers.
Please let me know as some times I wonder if when a normal person hits the skids due to no fault of their own, is that when one starts drinking?
I don’t want to…Are there options?