The last few weeks I’ve been back in the Bay Area after ~9 months away. In this time I’ve done a lot of crashing on my friends’ couches or spare rooms. Partly this was about saving money, but I could have found a reasonably-priced sublet much sooner. Why didn’t I?

Community is about gifts. (This is a preview to my review of Sacred Economics.) The bigger the gift, the closer the relationship. By asking for favors, especially fairly major ones, I’m re-establishing my place in the community, and reassuring myself that I’m part of one. If I had met my housing needs through the market, I don’t think I would have felt as re-connected to my friends here as I have.

I didn’t realize this at first, but I think subconsciously it was a big part of my motivation.

But you can’t take forever. I feel in some way that I’m using up some social capital, accumulated over years, and that at some point I will need to work to regain it.