I stood looking at my nearly empty apartment. The date was 01 March 2015.
The only thing remaining in the place I called home for four years were the last few things I’d be taking with me to Ohio and a bit of garbage. Outside, the snow was starting to fall. At first a light flurry and then harder, like an over-eager waiter grinding far too much salt on a city of french fries.
(Where you go that is fancy enough to have grounded sea salt that also serves french fries I do not know, but that’s what it was like.)
The snow would continue to fall, racking up inches of accumulation, making my planned drive to Cincinnati that day a risky proposition. I’d have to start my journey the next day.
I stood looking at my nearly empty apartment. The date was 02 March 2015.
The only thing remaining in the place I called home for four years was a bit of garbage my super had agreed to put out for me on trash day. The last few things I was taking to Ohio were already in the rental van. Outside, there was no snow falling.
As I looked out on the dusty, wooden floor that I walked on for the past few years, Salsa music played from the restaurant underneath me as the workers prepared the grills for the day. That music, starting every morning at 8am while I, a definite non-morning person tried to sleep, was one of the prompts for wanting to leave the apartment.
An ambulance with sirens on full blast screamed by outside. The traffic was another noise contributor that had started to bother me in my apparent “get off my lawn” old age.
I started thinking about my upcoming adventure as a nomad. My first trip wasn’t all that exciting–back to Ohio to make some final preparations for my new nomadic lifestyle, then back here to NYC for a day or two before flying to Switzerland for my first “real travel.”
The Reality of the Situation
It started to sink in. As of that day, I was homeless.
Yes it was all a bit dramatic. I still had the most important stuff I wanted to keep, I had friends and family who were willing to let me crash with them, and I wasn’t unemployed. Though I am self-employed and sometimes I think the only difference between unemployment and self-employment is the illusion that us entrepreneurs are doing it on purpose.
But I no longer had a place that was “mine” (or even rented at astronomical prices so I could pretend it was “mine” so long as my check cleared each month).
And yet, I didn’t feel nervous. I felt confident about the decision. I had a little anxiety about what was to come, but the good thing about being a speaker / comedian is that any experience can become a story.
If it’s a phenomenal experience full of adventures and excitement, it’s a great story I can tell that hopefully people can learn from (myself included).
If it’s an awful experience full of calamities and dread, it’s a funny story I can tell that hopefully people can learn from (myself included).
One Last Look
I stood looking at my nearly empty apartment one last time.
I saw the place where I’ve lived for the last four years, the place that witnessed me leave my job at P&G and start Humor That Works full time.
I thought about the great times I had in the apartment. It had hosted a number of events, including my annual I’m Still a Kid Party that would celebrate my birthday, numerous ComedySportz NYC Townhalls, and more than a few viewing parties (even though we had no cable and relied on an Over-the-Air antenna and *ahem* things we “found” online).
I imagined myself in the final seconds of a movie, where the main character is looking at their place one last time and then dramatically turns off the lights and the credits roll (only to come back in a sequel later on).
I reached out to turn off the lights and … the lights behind me went on so I was doubly lit instead of in the dark. I never could remember which light switch turned on which lights.