mood: deflated | drinking: daily tea
I have learned a few things in the three weeks since we sold our house.
1: I am not good at being displaced. 2: I still do not find anything charming about drunk college boys cavorting beneath my window at 2 a.m. 3: Home is not the place where all your stuff is. That’s just where you live. Home is something altogether different…
Where the heart is. Where you belong. Where you feel safe. Where you go to get away. Where you long to be in the middle of a stress-filled day.
And while Boy and I continue our long and arduous search for the place we will eventually call home, I find myself getting a bit frayed around the edges. The lack of home is much harder than I imagined it would be.
I thought apartment living would be a lark. Like playing house.
Apartment living reminds me of all the things that I miss about having a home. And they’re not things, really. Because I have all my things, stacked in boxes all around me. What I don’t have is the feeling of belonging in the space that I inhabit.
What I don’t have, at night, after a never-ending day of deadlines and demands and divas, is a refuge.
Although that’s not true, entirely. I have Boy. I have LeeLoo, even (who hates apartment living as much as Boy and I do).
Here’s the thing I never realized until now, though… Growing up, I had a home. 497 Palmyra Road. That was where I belonged. And then I got older and I went away to college and I got a degree and then a job and then a succession of apartments and roommates and temporary living arrangements.
And then I met Boy and we had our own apartments and rental houses, and they were better. They were homier. And then, five years ago, we bought a place of our own. We settled in. We nested. We chose paint colors and carpets and dishes and drapes. We turned that place into a home. It was the first time in my adult life I felt like I had a place to go to, in a very specific sense, that was my home.
I didn’t realize until now how much that meant to me.
On better days I tell myself, or Boy, or both of us tell each other: “We will find a home. Soon. And it will make all of this worthwhile.” And I believe it.
Today is not a better day. Today is the end of a very long week in which I’ve wobbled along, hanging onto shreds of my former bouncy optimism. Today is another day in which I go to the place where my stuff is, the place where my mail is delivered, the place where I lay my head, and feel the lack.
I feel guilty, too, for complaining. What about the homeless, I think. What about all those who live in apartments like this and have no alternative, no other home on the horizon, I think. I have so much to be grateful for, I think.
And it’s all true.
But this is my reality, and it is true as well. And today is just… not a better day.
Maybe tomorrow will be.
-Lo, searching and searching and searching.