Leaving Home and Finding it Again

When Michael and I first got married, I moved into the condo he had been living in for the previous two years. It was a “guy’s apartment,” in every sense of the word. I’ll leave to your colorful imaginations what that might mean.

Suffice it to say, I had my work cut out for me as its first female occupant. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to invest in the making of a home, as our family’s domestic CEO. Over the course of the first year of marriage, I transformed our old, slightly run-down apartment into a home. I invested time and heart into it. I thought we would live in it for many years to come.

That ended up not happening as expected. About a month ago, we picked up all our possessions and moved into a home that became definitively “ours.” But suddenly, I found myself in a strange space, vast and empty. Yes, our living quarters expanded. I had all I’d thought I wanted: hardwood floors downstairs, carpet upstairs, and granite kitchen counters to boot.

And yet there were times when I longed for our little, cozy apartment–even with its leaky faucets, broken ceiling fans, and tendencies toward moldy walls..ok maybe not that last bit. It had begun to feel like home: a safe, familiar place that I could find my way around in the dark. The new house is undoubtedly a nice one, but it still feels like somebody else’s house.

“It would be lovely to be able to have a home, that place where history, family, friends, and a house collide without explanation.”
Coconut Radio

What makes a home, and how could I recreate that here? How do I transform this cold, unfeeling building into a place where we can anchor ourselves and retreat to from the world? It’s been a month now, and I am still figuring that out. Maybe one of these days, I’ll be able to reach for that ingredient and cooking utensil I need without having to search through every drawer and cabinet. One of these days, I’ll walk through the door and breathe that sigh of relief because I can finally unload the grime from the world outside and find rest within these walls. One of these days..

Until then, I will keep working to surround us with things significant to us–things to remind us of what we love, what we value, what we pursue. As the days pass by, we will continue to create new memories in this new house. We will do life together, grow together, until one day, this feels like home too.