It occurred to me this weekend that I have achieved somewhat of a milestone this spring. As of May 2019, I have been living in the same house for four years!
On the surface that probably doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Growing up, I lived in the house that my parents built from the time I was two until I went to college. For nearly two decades that home was my rock. Even when I first left for college, it was a place I could return to and feel safe.
Throughout my college years, I moved in and out of a variety of dorms and apartments. These places varied in degrees of quality, and square footage, and really were everything I think one would expect living spaces in your early 20’s to be.
I think the apartment I really hated the most was the first apartment I had with my ex-husband. It was in a city, and small. A one-bedroom third-floor walk-up. Seeing the cops there was a regular occurrence. I begged to get out of that apartment, and in the spring of 2010 we ended up buying our first house together.
I remember being lonely one night and calling my mom. “When,” I asked, “Is this gonna feel like home?” I don’t remember her response, but I do remember longing to return to a place that felt safe and familiar. I never felt that in that first house (which we stayed in for about three years), nor the following.
My current home has no frills. It is a solid little ranch, built in the 1950s. The basement is partially finished, and my King size bed takes up about 80% of the master bedroom. There is no designer kitchen, no “open” floor plan, and we don’t even have central air, we alternate sharing the one car garage. When Joker moved in, we struggled to integrate two full households worth of items in the small square footage.
Despite all that, this is the place that feels most like home to me since I moved away from my childhood home all those years ago. A place where I can find safety and refuge. A place where my family lives and loves. A place where I feel like I belong. And that is the best a girl can ask out of life.