No Fixed Address

New (as of July) Gypsy-Scribe-Mobile in Calgary

Sometimes it all feels a bit heavy? Having no fixed address doesn’t fit with the society we’ve built. It seems no-one quite knows what to do with me?  Everywhere I go, it seems, there’s a form to fill in and someone is asking you where I live. It’s tempting to give up…

Is this similar to the sense of un-easiness – ghost feelings – that clients experience during change and growth? Of course… Similar to what we all experience when we’re doing something different?

Hard to smile and say proudly  “I don’t have a fixed address” when it just seems to upset people?  I don’t like to upset people. Without a permanent address, giving you service seems to cause confusion? Even getting a cell-phone was tricky!? This is particularly true if you spend time in different provinces as well as out of the country. For example, people in the US nod knowingly when you say “I live in Canada”. Try saying that to a Canadian without their trying to pin you down to the exact street!?

One of my favourite images

One of the exceptions was, believe it or not, Revenue Canada. They made it OK. Maybe?  Because you file taxes where you live on Dec 31st or where you lived for the most number of days in a given year. If you pay Canadian taxes even though you were in the US for a few months, they don’t seem to mind?  If you spent time in various provinces, that’s OK with them. So long as you file. You are still Canadian.


Sometimes it gets heavy…

BC Care is quite another thing.  Every time I write to them and explain my situation they simply send me a cut-n-paste of their posted website rules! Which just don’t apply to my situation and do not answer my question?!  I only go to a doctor when I’m in BC. I like my doctor. I want to keep my doctor. If I needed hospitalization I would go to BC (near my Mom!). Still BC Care won’t get off the fence and commit to covering me if I pay their premiums!

They won’t even tell me “You have to decide where you live – based on our posted rules – and buy insurance accordingly”. “To be on the safe side” I was told, “you must buy our insurance. You have to… When you have a claim we may – or may not – pay you?! But at least you’ll be legal.”  Which is what ICBC (vehicle insurance) told me! Thankfully where my vehicles are based is not in question and I don’t need ICBC. Right now anyway…

I seem to have to fight for the few comforts I want simply because I’m not accepting all of the comforts offered?  A kind of control thing?  Hmmm…  Theoretically we have the freedom to choose. But do we really?  Certainly there’s a cost. Daily I feel like a misfit and uncomfortable sometimes… And sometimes I feel wonderful. Some days I just curl up with my down comforter with a good book and wait for tomorrow.

Adventurous journeys

This is interesting because some of my good friends also push the envelope and strive for their dreams, rather than finding their happiness in ‘the norm’.  Life is heavy for them too at times. I guess “if you buck the system, be prepared for the going to be turbulent”. As it is when you want to change the emotional patterns of your life.

The rebellious, freedom-loving, long suppressed autonomous part of me still wants to travel and explore my emotional world. And I will. I love having my home on my back, spending a little time with each of those I love, finding a few answers to this life and writing. (And I like spending the winters sitting quietly – and warmly -in the sun?!…)

Blue skies ahead…

Is this still the free West?

Yes. Thankfully. I’m a Canadian. I can travel and hang my hat wherever I choose. For now…

I don’t have to decide yet.

So hang in there. Smile.  Until life feels ‘comfortable’ again, I can distract myself – just a little. I can snuggle with my baby granddaughter, find joy in my youngest son’s music and videos and take myself off to a dance tonight.

Imagine the hardships that the explorers and adventurers who came to the West first, in horse-drawn wagons with no roads, must have endured?  What a wonderful new world though, that they seeded for the generations after them to enjoy?  Us ornery, adventurous sorts – or women seeking to find their new ‘place’ in this changed society – are still OK?!

I can be a  gypsy-scribe for a while longer after all.






2 thoughts on “No Fixed Address

  1. Hey Julie,

    Love your musings. It struck me that the gypsies, early explorers and adventurers didn’t come with all the expectations and indeed entitlements that we’ve learned to just accept, so was it really as much of a hardship as we might imagine? What we forget as we have always taken it for granted, is that these expectations, services and amenities really do have a price. We are fortunate to have it all because we do pay the price as normal course without really thinking about it.

    Sooo, you are discovering for us all that when we choose not to follow the rules ( permanent housing, at least an address, with the accompanying taxes, staying within the borders, buying into all the amenities (and payments) ….hydro, phone, license& insurance, health care, etc. Yes there is a control, bargain, negotiation ” You do this and I will repay you with that.” It is all quite fascinating to see what it really is in practical terms that we have to leave behind and what “reasonable ?” risks we have to take in order to know the freedom that allows us to come face to face with ourselves.

    Most of us would not be willing to give up too much for too long. I love it that you are doing this; so reminiscent of younger days with a suitcase/backpack and a one way ticket; before I came to expect the weight of “amenities” that are now a normal part of my life.
    Haven’t rambled like this for a while. Thanks Julie.

    • I knew there was a simple reason behind all this?! I remember watching my friends go off backpacking when they were 18 and I couldn’t go – I was pregnant with my oldest son… I always wanted to go explore life! Now I am!! I’m 18 again… You’ve made my day! Thanks! xx

      As for ‘social contracts’… I wonder how many there are that we have unconsciously entered into? And is ‘the other side’ as innocent – ignorant – as we are? Or is there ulterior motive? Scary thought…

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