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September 23, 2010

Tammie had a great post the other day, summing it up with: “Plant yourself where you can bloom.”

I think we’ve done that.

I came home a bit early yesterday, feeling utterly exhausted and like I was catching a cold. The new commute is not going to be my favorite part of the day, but it’s not terrible. Anyway, all I could think on the way home was, “I can’t wait to be home.” And when I walked in, there I was. Home. Not some temporary apartment, ruled by a mercurial landlady who would never let us forget that we lived in a place that belonged to her. No, I walked into our cozy house which feels like a hug, with Terri and the kitties in the back room chirping happily at me. Our light-filled, warm and snug house which I adore and which truly feels like home.

When I left my home in Oregon so many years ago, I really had no idea how deeply it would affect me to feel so aimless. I am not well-suited to be a renter. I like to do things myself — I don’t like being at the mercy of a landlord who may or may not deem your problem of worthy importance. I don’t like knowing that things can change at anytime and there you’ll be, having to move again (landlord sells the building, upstairs neighbors become unbearable, apartment turns out to be a refrigerator…). I hated spending money on places that weren’t good enough to call “home,” but couldn’t justify spending more in rent because what’s the point in that? I felt like I was living in a museum: you had to keep things perfectly the same the entire time you lived there, or you’ll be out $1200 when you move. Again.

Over the years, this deep unsettled unhappiness just grew and grew, seriously threatening to color my entire perception of the world. It was my deepest wish that we could own our own home, and my deepest fear that because we live in the insanely expensive Bay Area, this could never happen. It was a terrible feeling to be stuck inbetween those two poles.

Ahh! So now here we are, finally home. I feel the difference in every new purchase, large and small. Instead of numerous temporary fixes, now I am seriously contemplating the quality of the item I am considering, because it’s coming home with me. I want the sturdier stepstool, because it’s not just for this one apartment, it’s for our real home. We’ll have it for a long time. This makes me unspeakably happy. I adjust the shelf height in the cupboards for us, because they are our cupboards. I inspect the sad, sick roses with concern, because they are now our sad, sick roses. I love this.

I was driving to work this morning, listening to The Hound of the Baskervilles, watching the harvest moon set on the other side of the valley (we live in a valley now, which also feels very home-like to me), sipping tea which Terri had made for me, and feeling completely content even though I was in fairly decent morning traffic. I thought about our little house, sitting back there in our little neighborhood, filled with little beings that I love. That deep sadness and longing has lifted. I won’t say that I won’t be unhappy ever again, but an essential piece of my puzzle has fallen into place.

Grateful does not even begin to describe how I feel about this.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 10:12 am

    So well put. I always shed the worries of the world when I walk in the door of my own house. You’re making me appreciate it more. It worthwhile remembering that longing for a home of your own — lest your forget just how special a home should be.

  2. September 23, 2010 10:24 am

    I am deeply appreciative and I hope I hold onto that for a long time. It feels great to walk into your own home. Amazing, in fact.

  3. September 23, 2010 11:24 am

    im so happy for you. and i really do feel that, in our own very different ways, we both accomplished the same thing: getting to a place where it’s easy to be happy. its a wonderful feeling.

    • September 23, 2010 2:32 pm

      I agree… now if only the house we bought had been YOUR house that you are trying to sell! Then everyone would win! 🙂

  4. September 23, 2010 2:29 pm

    This is positively poetic. I’m happy for you–kitties, roses, stepstools and all.

  5. September 23, 2010 4:33 pm

    That’s how I feel about our home. This is actually our second house that we have owned, but the first that has felt totally and completely ours.

    It’s nice, huh?

    • September 23, 2010 4:48 pm

      Better than nice. I think about you and your house sometimes and how I never thought I would have a house that felt really truly like home. It’s pretty much awesome.

  6. September 23, 2010 4:53 pm

    Grateful is a good start! I am so happy for you both that you have your own place. There really is no substitute for having a place that really feels like home. It makes even the worse day so much better.

  7. September 24, 2010 7:13 am

    It’s so nice to know when you say to someone “I’m going home” that you really are. I never felt like places I rented were home either and while I liked the townhouse I owned before we bought our house, it felt nice but it didn’t feel quite like home. Glad you finally found yours!

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