My current apartment is about the same size as the first apartment I ever rented by myself when I was working my way through college, a one-bedroom apartment.
It still looks the same, even though the roof was leaking into my third-floor apartment back then, thirty years ago.
Nowadays, I am not accepted as an applicant on my own, even though I have an excellent credit score and way more money, accomplishments, and knowledge than I had three decades ago. My ex-husband, bless his heart, signed the lease so I could live here. I, along with so many other PhD-level scientists, have been long-term unemployed and shamed about it as if it is our fault that greed and corruption took over. Meanwhile, everyone thinks I am privileged because I am white and I look good. But I do not look good enough to rent an apartment, even though I have the money. “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” they say, but people do anyway.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12 KJV).
I have lived in Canada (where I was born), New Mexico, Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Switzerland, and Minnesota. I have visited even more places. Now I am moving to Nevada. In Las Vegas, more than anywhere else I have lived, I could go from tourist to local in one day, like a fish taking to water, only harsh, scorching hot desert. It is a doctor’s dream come true, there is so much opportunity to help people here. Why, one can even save lives.
Divine providence of the Lord prepared a place for me in the wilderness, indeed. It is where I am most comfortable, with the oppressed, the impoverished, the desperate, the pariahs. I see them and they see me. I am home. I finally sleep. The excessive heat leaves me no other choice anyway.
I avoid the most sizzling of the sun’s rays like a vampire. I wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and I drink lots of water. I condition my hair much more than shampoo it. I moisturize my skin with organic jojoba oil, actually a wax, that is most like the oils naturally produced by our skin.
Making money and having money are two different things. I never got any handouts or assistance; I earned everything that I have despite violent opposition. I saved money by always living below my means, even during the times when I made a lot of money. I work hard and smart. I do not waste money. I hardly got any retirement income during my career. I always made less than the men.
I occupy the same size space that I did thirty years ago, but my collection of stuff is infinitely more refined and complicated in reflection of my work and abilities. I did not have children of my own, which allowed me to be always generous towards others. I have most of the one bedroom empty so I can do yoga and dance there. My bed is in the living room. When I arrived in Vegas, all my bank accounts were put on hold. I had to straighten it all out.
Most importantly, I can finally preach the truth, free from any conflict of interest. And since I know what the truth is, that makes me simultaneously the most powerful and endangered woman on earth.
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (Mark 8:34-35 KJV).
In the last neighborhood I lived in, gentrification removed the cock. But not here, thankfully. My neighbor is a real cock.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5 KJV).