In the next few days I will move into what will be the fifteenth house that I call home. This includes one residence that I can’t remember at all as I was very young at the time but I have no reason to doubt those that tell me that I definitely lived there.
When you have lived in that many houses it gets to the point where a new place is not really a new home, it’s just a place in which you are currently based. But what is a home and is it important?
Homes should have some kind of permanence about them and privacy. It should be a place you can come back to, not matter how far and how long you’ve been away. It should also be a place where you can close the door and take respite from the outside world. There may be at various stages in your life be one, two or three places that you call home but any number higher than that and it can become a little difficult to really call it a home.
There’s a whole generation of people now who permanently share with other adults and move every year or two and for more and more of us, a home to call our own seems unlikely to ever happen.
It would be nice to have a place of mine because I want a place where I can do what I want. It would be nice to sit around in my underwear and play computer games. I’m not saying I would (though I definitely would) but it would nice to have the option. Oh sure, I can put on some shorts BUT WHY SHOULD I!? I’m 30 years old and it has become increasingly likely that I may never have a place of my own.
It seems a wrong that we expect people to not have a home, it’s like a family and job; it’s a right. Maybe it’s impossible to guarantee it for everybody but we should make it available to as many as a possible.
When you think about it, it’s a little weird that so many people these days have to share a house with strangers. I’ve lived with some great housemates and some not so great housemates (and I know that I would be in the latter category for many of the people that I’ve lived with) but I want a place that isn’t a house but a home because it’s just right that everyone, everywhere has one place in this often complete-bastard-of- a-world that they can call their own.
We may share to choose with a loved one or with our offspring (not that they mutually exclusive) but that’s not really the same as having to share with people because of financial necessity.
I used to love my bedrooms) when I was a kid. I thought it was the greatest place in the world. I had my books, toys and eventually computer games and I could engage in all these activities from my bed! But it was also a place of refugee, somewhere safe for when growing up and life got a little too difficult.
Now I move from place to place usually every 12 months although my current abode got into semi-permanent status with me being there for 23 months.
It’s not that not owning a place bothers, it would be nice but hey, a lot of things would be nice. The thought of spending all my money on a mortgage so I can own it in 40 years time doesn’t really appeal to me. I also don’t really see the point of scraping and struggling to get my own home only to finally relax and look about my own place only to realise that I can’t go out because I’ve got no money.
I’ve worked out that I’ve now lived with just over 50 people. That’s loads and now I can’t even remember a lot of their names and am certainly not in contact with more than 10 of them and half of those I’m related to.
Why has a society have we not made cheap affordable housing a major priority? Instead we now have a situation where people think they are rich because they have an expensive house. Great, sell it and you can have loads of money and no home. We have a housing marker which is about keeping people off the housing ladder, and it has to keep people off the housing ladder if it’s all about making those who are on the ladder even richer.
I’ve learnt a lot through living in so many places and with so many people. I’ve learnt to wash-up and to not mind other people not washing-up – there are more important things in life. I’ve learnt to get along with people and that I would really like a place of my own.
I’ve also learnt that this generation is becoming increasingly shafted.