For the month of April, I’m participating in Susannah Conway’s #AprilLove2016 and writing a love letter to a different someone/thing every day.
I’ve always been pretty good at making myself comfortable in a variety of places. Not only do I move about every 5 years just because I get the urge for somewhere new, but I don’t even have problems settling in to, say, a hotel room that I might be staying in for a week. I think it partially has to do with the fact that it doesn’t take much to keep me occupied; a decent internet connection, a book to read and music to listen to and I’ll be entertained. So, I guess in a sense, I carry Home along with me all the time.
I think it also helps that I tend to live my life all out in the open (which is a nice way of saying that I’m messy and don’t like to put things away) so anywhere that I can spread out my stuff immediately starts feeling like a place where I belong.
I remember the one time when home didn’t feel like home. I was in the midst of selling my house — the market wasn’t good and the house wasn’t getting much traffic — and along with my savvy real estate agent, I decided to have the home staged by a professional to hopefully draw more interest. I was told to stay away for the day and come back when they were done; they didn’t want me arguing with them, I suppose. The fact that for a long time I was pretty proud of the fact that I had an extra refrigerator in my living room was enough to make them certain that my opinions wouldn’t be of any assistance (true story!).
Once I was given the okay, I returned to the house and parked in the driveway since a lot of my belongings were now residing in the garage. I walked in and immediately felt a little spooked and uneasy. It was my house, sure, but it was no longer my house at all. I walked around, seeing everything beautiful and in its place and so perfect that I felt shell-shocked. Even to this day, I find it hard to explain my overwhelming discomfort just being there. It wasn’t even that they cleaned up my mess — it was already in good shape because I was keeping it picked up — but they had removed that last layer of “mine” and made it something that I felt like I shouldn’t even touch.
It was an awful place to live. It was no longer Home; I couldn’t make it Home no matter what I did (while still keeping it on the market, that is) and I ended up moving into my new place sooner than I had planned. It was too uncomfortable to be somewhere I obviously didn’t belong.
And once I moved? I was Home again. And it made me recognize the underlying truth to Home: it’s not only where I am, but it’s the place where I’m allowed to be me, without restriction.
So, Home, sorry for the rambling, but thank you for being the place where I can spread out, put my feet up, do some reading and writing, snuggle with the dog and not worry one little bit about dog hair on the furniture. You are the reason that I return from work and finally feel my shoulders come down from my ears. You’re the reason that I can fall asleep, content with life. You’re the place I can go to recover from any sort of outside-world trauma.
Oh, and while I’m writing, do you think you could also fix your roof so you don’t leak? You know, since we’re friends now?