The part of the title about not being “un-hinged” refers to that part of you that keeps you holding on. Call it stubborn optimism at times. At others you can call it denial. It’s very easy to imagine the worst about what happens once you become un-homed. So you kind of have to pull up some extra courage during those moments; Even if it seems irrational.

A lot depends on the support around you. I feel fortunate to have people that are caring about me so I don’t get too pessimistic. My former spouse is very understanding to the extent that she can, and I know my family is not too worried about me coming through this period. I took refuge in knowing this even as I made some difficult choices, as well as took some unforeseen yet inevitable additional hits.

But even then you can’t always ward off a night of anxiety and restlessness, finally falling asleep at 3 or 4 in the morning. That’s when the next morning’s rhythms become helpful, even if it is just the usual cold shower. I know that I also have work during the day and that helps me focus too.

And if you’re open you meet plenty of people who are suffering much worse: un-homed or not. Yesterday a neighbor to my acupuncture clinic asked about using parking on the weekend. The reason: His wife had passed away and they had a service planned. The look on his face was one of restrained devastation. I saw that and my heart broke a little more. We both agreed that this year sucked! But in the face of that much pain I knew that I had to keep perspective on my own predicament and be thankful for what I do have. Un-hinged is also a state of mind.

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About the Author

  • Joe Bright
    Joe Bright is a graduate of Iolani School and went on to study art at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and later Chinese medicine at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. Joe currently runs a small acupuncture clinic, Kama’aina Acupuncture in Kapahulu as the first dedicated low-cost “community acupuncture” clinic in Honolulu. Joe has a varied background that has included working as a bicycle mechanic, freelance artist, teaching calligraphy and Tai Chi, a nanny, and even a CEO of a small entrepreneurial company. He continues to create art, even having work recently appear at the Honolulu Academy of Arts as well the Bishop Museum. He also continues with entrepreneurial projects when possible and serves on the Board of Directors for a local Buddhist meditation organization, Vipassana Hawai’i.