Well, here I am again. The first night in my new house. It feels like I just did this, quite possibly because it’s been just over a year since I actually did.
But this time is different.
I want to preface with a disclosure on how darn tired I am. I have done a lot of things in my 28 years – worked multiple jobs, played multiple tennis matches in a day during tournaments, campaigned in the summer heat, but construction work is the hardest. My shoulders hurt from the paint rollers, I don’t smell anything but chemicals anymore, and my knees just ache from trying to keep living through it all. I’ve painted, caulked, cleaned, hauled, smashed, scrubbed, flung, mowed, trimmed…you name it. And I’m just tired.
But it really is different this time.
This time I can throw the boxes away, I can hang the pictures, and I can paint the walls. I’ve picked a place to put down roots, and I have all the choices in the world to make it mine. Sometimes too many choices, but choices nevertheless.
It hasn’t been an easy transition and I certainly have a whole blog’s worth on ‘The Home’ by itself, but the scattered boxes and the cluttered freshness of new paint and new floors have me about as excited as one person can be after 26 trips to Lowe’s.
Last fall, not long after moving here, I wrote about “The Ownership.” I talked about wanting to own my own land, to acquire something tangible – and that’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. I wrote:
What is it about owning something that feels so good? You can’t touch stocks and you can’t feel bonds – unless they’re crashing. You can feel the heck out of that. Your money sits in a bank, but on any given day, it could be gone. You can touch land. You can stand on it. You can do something with it. It isn’t going anywhere. It’s yours.
After almost a dozen moves in rentals, I was tired of it. I was tired of living amongst other people’s stuff, living at their mercy, and hoping my rent wouldn’t be hiked…again. This time last year, I wasn’t sure where I wanted it, or how I would get there, but I knew exactly what I was looking for. So I found it.
Today I moved in. Just 45 minutes after the finished the floors, the movers were backing the truck up to my front porch to dump all of my junk in rooms not corresponding to the labels on the boxes. I went from ‘Look how fresh and clean!’ to ‘Start a fire, I don’t want any of this stuff.’ in just a few short minutes of unloading the truck.
I’ve tried not to be selfish, vain, or materialistic about it all, but being reunited with my things – after taking only a few suitcases to Atlanta anticipating a week or two at the most and was there for nearly 8 weeks – was like Christmas morning all over again.
I scurried around this evening trying to make some rooms somewhat livable among the chaos and I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with my reasons to be thankful. Thankful for my job, for the people who helped me, for the people who didn’t help me and forced me to work harder (especially the ones who thought I couldn’t make it down here or those that figured some elected official would run me off)….my cup runneth over.
It was long after dark before I closed my front door this evening and even the blinds stayed open much longer than they should have. I just couldn’t stop looking, I’m almost in disbelief. This is what I wanted and this is what I’ve worked for.
It’s quiet out here, and maybe tomorrow I’ll have enough energy to be a little concerned about the stillness and the pitch black, but for tonight, I’m tired enough to sleep in the yard.