How To Make Any Place Your Home

 

Home is where you discover what truly matters.

Home is where you feel safe enough to have scary but important conversations.

And of course, Home is where your homies are.

My home? It’s been in my parents’ basement for the past 3 years. (Womp-womp!)

Obviously, it’s not where I imagined I’d live as a 32-year-old married woman. But sometimes being a grown-up means making tremendous sacrifices in order to repair major mistakes in your past. (Like…oh, $28k in credit card debt, for example.)

I’m grateful for our successful sacrifice, but I’ll be honest– my husband and I barely survived this arrangement. Seriously, 3 years of not being able to walk through your living room in the nude can destroy your soul.

But tomorrow we are finally moving to a NEW home! Which happens to be in a new state because of my new job. That’s a whole lot of new.

So it is no wonder it’s 4am, and I’m typing these words between packing and panicking over The Great Unknown before me.

I wish I were like our cat, Punky, who is sitting next to me right now, curled up in a sleepy oblivious ball. She has no idea that tomorrow she’ll be drugged as we transport her from her New York City birth place to a town in Pennsylvania with a name I can barely pronounce. She will sleep soundly tonight, lucky thing.

I, on the other hand? I’m a little too aware of what the future may or may not bring, and my most addictive daydream is of the worst case scenario. For me, this would mean hating my new job, feeling miserable without my family, struggling to make new friends, and not having easy access to the essentials in life– Target, and excellent Thai food, obviously.

Maybe you’re in a similar situation, one in which you are about to embark on a journey that feels so unfamiliar and frightening.

To you (and to me), I have this to say: The landscape of our lives will always be changing. So we might as well get good at creating a happy and safe home within ourselves, no matter what life looks like.

Home is not a place; it’s a feeling, a kind of strength, a collection of fond memories, a commitment to self-care, and an unbreakable connection to the people we love no matter how far away they are. Home is a spiritual state of being. It is Love and Courage on the inside, no matter what’s happening on the outside.

Tomorrow we’ll pull our U-Haul truck up to our new home. I will unpack all the familiar things we love, and prepare the space for our new adventure. I’ll learn how to live well in my new apartment, in my new state, with my new job.

But most of all, my husband and I will take care of ourselves and each other, spilling over with gratitude for where life has taken us, knowing that the people and things we left behind are never really gone from our hearts. Because that’s what it means to be home.

 Your Turn: How did you come to feel at home in a new place?

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8 Responses to How To Make Any Place Your Home

  1. Pingback: How to Emotionally Survive a Year of Transition | a brave life

  2. Pingback: Letter To Ikea From The Very Worst Minimalist: Downsizing = Upgrading | a brave life

  3. Sheryl says:

    I’m slowly starting to feel at “home” with my living situation. Some days more than others, really. One of the things I’m learning is to find things about where I am that are completely unique to my current situation and utterly fulfilling. Right now that means to me that I can walk across the driveway and visit with my in laws any time I want, which is something that no other home would provide me. It allows me to develop stronger relationships with both of our families, even if sometimes its hard.

    • Kimberly says:

      That’s awesome. Glad your situation has brought about a unique blessing, and I hope you enjoy it to the fullest while you can. It reminds me that in every challenge, there is something wonderful to be grateful for in the present. What a waste it would be to only appreciate it when it’s already gone.

  4. Hannah says:

    Congratulations on your move! I have never done such a dramatic move myself but even little ones, like changing which parent’s house you are living at, were hard for me. The way I went about it was by jumping in feet first and avoiding over-thinking it or thinking much about it at all, because I knew it was the right thing to do. And it really is such a scary thing when you do think about it, your whole life needs to be re-mapped out. But knowing it was right got me through. That and patience as I adjusted.

    • Kimberly says:

      Thanks, Hannah! Your strategies for adjusting to a new home are great, and I’m glad they worked for you. I’m noticing a theme emerging from the comments under this post: After making a good decision, just let go and be at peace. Thanks for leaving your 2 cents!

  5. Your one and only FIL says:

    I knew this one was coming. It reminds me of the joke: “How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: CHANGE!!!! OMG!……CHANGE!!!!!!!!

    What does the future hold? Answer: The future holds the future. (How is that for Zen?)

    Your post holds quite a bit of wisdom where it comes to self-care. As a couple, your MIL and I have lived a lifetime of change and uncertainty. We have experienced and survived good jobs and bad, good economic fortune and not so good. We have sweated out our son’s relationship (particularly the first five years) with a little brown pixie that we prayed would one day become part of our family. You finally decided you would and we have been overjoyed ever since. As for us (as you know), our health ebbs and flows and every day brings a new normal (which really is the nature of life). We plan. We make choices. We experience the unexpected. We adjust to the consequences. As for tomorrow and moving day dear children….welcome to your new normal. May God bless your circumstances and give you peace. Talk to you soon and see you next month. Love, DIL.

    • Kimberly says:

      As someone who often struggles with anxiety about the future, your comment reminds me to stay in the present…but also to look to the past for reassurance because the evidence is clear: You can make good decisions even when you’re feeling afraid, and these good decisions eventually pay off in the larger landscape of life.

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