I’m a 34-year-old woman living, most of the time, in Colorado, United States, though I’m able and eager to live anywhere in the world. In April of 2005, I left my full-time job as a proofreader/junior copywriter/administrative assistant to try out the freelancing life. At about the same time, I got fed up with the management of the cheap apartment I was renting, so I decided to leave that, too. I put most of my possessions into storage, and with a few of my favorite things (my laptop computer, Tori the guitar, some clothes, some toiletries, Emily the stuffed monkey, some books, and a lot of yarn) packed into my Chevy Metro, I’ve been moving from house sit to house sit ever since. I care for cats, houseplants, gardens, and homes, moving to a new place after as little as two days or as long as six months. Not having to pay rent makes the uneven income of the freelance life much less frightening. For my daily bread and other expenses, I write, copyedit, proofread, act, and design knitting patterns … so far, though I’m always adding to the list. I’m open to any scheme that is legal, ethical, and fun.

In short, for over three years now, I have been homeless and unemployed, by choice. For the most part, I love this life, and I intend to stay this way. Of course, there are many things I could do better: For a start, I’d like to travel more widely, earn more money, accomplish more, live more frugally, get rid of those possessions I’ve never taken out of storage in the past three years, and find a way to date when I’m constantly moving around and I don’t have a quick, impressive answer to the icebreaker question, “So, what do you do?” My life is an experiment. I’m always striving for a better balance of freedom, accomplishment, creativity, authenticity, simplicity, and lifelong learning—and fumbling a lot along the way. I like to think that I’m always fumbling slightly upward.

About my photo: Don’t I look lovely? Don’t worry. I don’t always look like that. In everyday life, I’m much messier, and much dorkier. This just is the most realistic picture I have of myself that doesn’t require a novel for explanation (to answer questions like “Why are you wearing a Batgirl costume? That is a costume, isn’t it?” “What’s with the angel wings?” or “What is that thing on your head?”). One of the many things I am is an actress, and this is my acting headshot. Since how actors look is as important to our getting hired as anything else about us, we send these photos out along with our resumes whenever we beg for a job—they’re like visual business cards. The goal is to look as good as possible, of course, so directors will be dying to hire us, but here’s the rub: It’s very bad form to show up at an audition and not look like your headshot. So, while it’s possible, in these days of Photoshop, to send out a headshot that looks absolutely perfect, if you can’t achieve perfection on your own face, you’ll only piss off the people you want to impress. My point? I really do look like that … sometimes … about twice a month, when I get all spiffed up to go out on an audition. The rest of the time, I look more like this: