Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

January
13,
2013

Everyone should get to a point where they are uncomfortable with being comfortable. 

 
Have you ever been homeless? I find it interesting how we scoff at those who ask for money or food from us when we live with mountains of pleasures. Relying on the love and generosity of others is not an easy life to lead. For me, I knew something had to change in my life to get me to where I knew I needed to go, but going homeless? I knew it would be a challenge.
 
I'm a social person. I know a lot of people. I knew if I left my home, I'd be ok. Between my office, my upcoming travels, and my friends, I'd have a warm place to sleep each night. Looking back on it, it was probably one of the most exhausting experiences of my life. Although it was an incredible adventure to find out how many people would take my dogs and me in, it was a never-ending day-to-day strategy. It was ceaseless. Oh, and throw in a cross-country trip to make it even more exhausting.
 
I've done this before… left my life. I've packed all my things and moved away. From one coast to the other and back. I've changed my life, given away my things, only taken the necessities. But this was different. This time, it was time to leave. After 6 years in DC and 5 years in the same house, the longest time I'd been anywhere, I packed up all my memories and walked away from them. 11 weeks ago, I lost all of my comfort. I gave up simple things, like a bed and shower, and a private bathroom. I left it all in search of myself… the girl I lost.
 
When I left, I moved everything into a storage container and took only the things my car's  trunk could hold. I lived out of a suitcase and a travel bag. I posted my need for places to stay and, let me tell you… people are incredible. While in the DC area, I stayed with close to 30 people in 40 days of my 9 weeks of homelessness. (More on that later.)
 
Over the next few weeks, I'll share of my adventure. I feel it's been too long since I shared anything about "Melanie on the Run" and I'm ready to divulge the life of a girl on the run.
 
As I was about to leave, I knew I needed a plan in order to be sure I kept focus. I created a list of 10 things I had to learn while on walkabout: 

1. how to ask for help (and let someone help me)
2. how to be quiet (meditate, yoga, something quiet)
3. how to listen
4. how to be alone
5. what I really want out of life
6. who my friends are (they're awesome, I know... refer to #3)
7. how to pra(again, refer to #3)
8. how to love myself
9. how to travel across the US alone (liveyourbrandtour.com)
10. how to go with the flow (everything won't go exactly the way I plan)

Interviewing friends, family, coworkers, and those I stayed with, I learned a lot about the human race. I gave myself over to listening and writing in my notebook (yes, pen and paper!) Although this chapter is over, I am still learning and my continuous learning has caused me not to write… but I fear there is no end to my adventure. 
 
I am a blessed woman. I've known this for a long time. Now I know my blessed life has taken new heights. And it's time to share my adventure with you. You are part of my adventure, whether you took me in or are just reading this. 

Thank you for being a part of my adventure.

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