I’ve half-joked about our family being gypsies or nomads. No, not even half. It was more 10 percent joke and 90 percent resentment.
You see, we’ve moved 12 times in 10 years. That I assure you wasn’t part of my life plan. My life plan consisted of a perfect home in a suburban neighborhood with beige carpet and a two car garage stuffed full of sports equipment.
Instead, we moved. With every move my discontentment and shame grew. With every place we landed I sunk under a sea of depression, because there were too many things wrong with where we were. We were in the wrong neighborhood. The house was too this or too that. Or it wasn’t ours. I mean, who can really be happy when we’re living in a rental?
Year after year slipped past while I gazed out my window wishing for something else. Waiting for something better. Despising that we didn’t have our perfect home.
Something better never came. Instead, I watched my husband walk out the door and my miserable kingdom crumbled to ash. My kids and I were forced to move into my in-laws basement. We hung fabric to make privacy for rooms and we made do with a mini fridge and microwave. By all accounts our existence was rubble.
Yet, something began to happen to my crushed heart. From under that pile of rubble new life began to sprout deep down inside of me — hope grew there. For the first time, I saw the beauty of right now. Sitting in my makeshift room I learned to cherish right where I was, and yet hope for a better tomorrow.
Standing on the chilly linoleum floor I let love back in my heart, and for the first time in my life I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with where I lived.
As our family was restored we moved out of our parent’s basement, and last summer we found a home to rent in the city. I immediately fell in love and held nothing back, I let myself decorate and make it our own. I could go on and on with things that aren’t perfect about it or why it’s not my dream home, but I’m learning to embrace the present, enjoy the present, live in the present, and never let go of my hope for the future.
June is next month. Our lease is up and our landlord, an overseas teacher, is moving back. We must find another home. Again.
These past few weeks, I’ve found myself slipping into my old ways. I can feel the fear, anxiety and resentment creeping back in as we begin, yet, another search for home.
That’s when I discovered the blog, The Nester. Myquillyn writes openly and honestly about her struggles loving where she lives and how she’s journeyed to create beautiful living space with no excuses. Her motto is “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.
She just released a book, which I highly recommend, called The Nesting Place. She talks about her 13 moves and she shares a very important life lesson: “all that moving and debt and non-white house living (I had a thing for little white houses, still do) and discontentment and guilt about feeling discontent and living in rentals when I wanted to own, I still got what I was looking for: a home.”
A friend gave her a canvas with all the street names of every house they’ve lived in. She said she no longer wanted to forget about all the places they used to live. It inspired me to embrace our past homes, to let them be part of our story, so I created my own display of our past street names, because every street tells a piece of our story.
If you will email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a list of all your street names or whatever imperfect pieces from your life. I’ll make you your own printable print. Seriously, email me what you’d like your custom print to say. 🙂