Looking for a place to live can be a terrifying thing. Recently my roommates for the past three-plus years announced that they were going to have to move back to Florida and reset their lives there, which meant that as I am fairly attached to my life here in the Pacific Northwest that I would have to find new living arrangements, especially since our landlady is planning on selling the condo where we now reside. So, in addition to everything else that I do, I have been hunting around for a room to rent, since my small number of material possessions, apart from a reasonably impressive library, and more importantly my income, do not support my living in high style by myself. There are at least a few matters that make it difficult and unpleasant to look for housing as a single person of modest means, and I would like to discuss at least a few of them, in slightly comic fashion.
Among the more obvious places to look for rooms to rent is Craigslist. When one browses through the listings there, one sees that people who are leasing out rooms understandably are looking for people who can move in right away. There are rooms available for people under a certain amount of income that are at least somewhat reasonable. There are rooms for people looking for weekly rentals, which is far too unstable, and often pricey because the short-term nature of it encourages those leasing the rooms to charge more. There are rentals for people who are LGBT or 420 friendly, a lot of them, in fact. There are activists who live in co-ops that want like-minded people, and there are more than a few listings that are looking for women-only, often with the implication that domestic help and/or sexual favors are a part of what is expected, sometimes expressed in a classy way and often not. Moreover, a high percentage of advertisements for places that seem reasonable are instead clickbait for places like Roomster, which offer rooms but seek to charge people for sending messages to others.
Aside from the unpleasant nature of having to send out a lot of messages for only a few replies that are serious prospects, with the high percentage of fake advertisements for the like, some of the messages and runaround can be kind of scary. After all, one is dealing with perfect strangers, and it is hard not to feel paranoid about getting attacked in searching for a peaceful place to read books and write lengthy blog entries. To be sure, one may know that one is a generally peaceful person who is not particularly frightening, but given the way that looking for housing is the sort of situation that opens one up to rather serious vulnerabilities, it is hard to be entirely trusting of others who might all too easily take advantage of such a situation. It is stressful enough to move to wonder about one’s neighbors, or one’s commute to work, or moving a particularly large library , or other related matters, like making sure one has the right library card for where one is moving to. It is an entirely different matter to wonder if one is putting oneself in harm’s way, to the place where one might fall through the cracks altogether and wind up in a hole in the ground in someone’s backyard. It is certainly not the most enjoyable or comfortable of situations to be in, for sure.
And yet one simply has to do the best one can, to listen to one’s intuition without being paralyzed by fear, and to walk in faith, hoping that one can find the right sort of fit. It is a very uncomfortable thing to be a rootless wanderer and vagabond on the face of this earth. It is pleasant to know where one belongs, to have a settled place to dig one’s roots into, to be able to rest from one’s weary traveling for long enough to know what life is like when one is not constantly moving along. And so I fall asleep, not knowing where I will be living within the next two weeks, going about my duties with a distinctly provisional air. This is not the sort of life I wish for myself, but I suppose sometimes it is necessary for me to know that God is looking out for me, even when conditions are not at their most ideal. And, to be sure, conditions are not at their most ideal.
 See, for example: