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Monday, May 18, 2015

Home Is More Than Where You Sleep at Night

I believe it was in November, a few weeks before we had to sign our third lease, that I realized I actually live in my apartment. Before that, the apartment was never my home, but more like a storage locker, a place to keep my things and eat breakfast while I waited for a house. In a word, I was naive. I though houses just miraculously came into people's lives, just as had the houses I had lived in with my parents and the house I moved into about a year before my grandfather died in the living room as I sat with my father. I can really not think of a preferable way to die then at home in the house where I raised my children and loved my spouse, in the company of my son and his child.

That house had always been a place of safety for me, and I loved it there when I was young, but it was more than I could handle on my own. It was old. It needed maintenance. I had a small child, and my husband had a job that was much too far away. I could not envision buying it from my father though I ached when he sold it to another. And it felt like the past. Like my childhood. To grow up, I felt I had to get away. To set out with my new family into the great wide open. I needed to acquire a house of my own as quickly as possible in order to fulfill these dreams and not only that, but I had to spend my time waiting to make the largest purchase of my life before I could even be happy. I had to wait to be happy.

It took me three years to realize I was wrong. Wrong in so many ways. Wrong to think that I could not have continued my life in the walls of the home where my father grew up. Wrong to think that I could never find happiness in an apartment. Wrong to think that I had failed as a human being if I had not found and purchased a free-standing building on a square piece of land with a back-yard and a garage by the time I was 30 years old. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

So when I discovered I actually lived in my apartment, I had to "move in." I had to admit to myself that this is where I spend my time and where I am raising my children. This coupled with the endless toil of cleaning, rearranging, and organizing the accumulated possessions of half a dozen people was wearing me down. If I wasn't working, I was cleaning. And it never got clean. I needed that to change. I needed to take charge of my space and my life. I needed to make something happen.

To be continued...

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