I’ve been saying since I first saw it that the inside of the house I’m renting is not impressive. I’ve been saying since I first saw it that the interior is shabby, dated, and not particularly appealing. So why, when my mom and I arrived this evening and entered it did I suddenly feel like crying at the sight of it? Why was I so disappointed driving back to the hotel?
It’s not like the reality of it is any different than my memory of it. The location is still great. The backyard is still great. So the kitchen cabinets are hideous and the bathrooms look like something out of a motel. It’s not the end of the world–not even of my small world. But tonight, it felt for at least a little while, like it was.
My mother assures me that with a carpet shampooer and some TLC we can make it better. I was never more happy to have her here than on the drive from the house to the hotel, and that woman was a rock star when it came to packing and cleaning my old place.
I knew the house wasn’t perfect and yet there are some things about it that are great (namely its location and the backyard). Maybe the difference tonight was that it is now the place where I live and that was not the case before. That house is now my home and will be for at least the next year. Right now, when I haven’t yet started my job and I haven’t yet retrieved my dog, it’s all I have here. I suppose it makes sense that I would want to feel great about it, and that the shock of disappointment would be so jarring.
Driving from my old town to here, I kept forcing myself to reflect on the fact that I was leaving. I expected tears somewhere along the way. Instead, each time I paused and made myself consider what I was doing, the response I got was a smile and a feeling of relief.
I wish things had worked out differently for me where I was living before. I wish some things leading up to this move hadn’t happened and that other things had. I am angry about some things, disappointed about others, sad over a few, and profoundly grateful for a lot. On a whole though, I haven’t been emotionally wrecked through the process of this move as I anticipated I would be. I kept waiting for a breakdown, especially through some of my final goodbyes, and it never came. I have been stressed out, anxious and overwhelmed, but I haven’t yet shed any tears. Maybe I will someday. Maybe I won’t.
The times my mother checked in with me on the drive down today about how I was feeling, I spoke mostly about how this move feels like such a wonderfully good thing that I am giving to myself. How it is a testament to all the ways that I have grown and changed through the past two years. How the way I am making it, the spirit that is driving me, reflects my changing relationship to myself.
The truth is, when we left the house tonight I started to doubt myself. The deeper truth is, I have been doubting my experience of this move as it has been happening. Every time I have wondered if I’m not too emotionally detached or if I ought to be crying when I am not, I have been doubting the authenticity of my experience.
I am smiling again. All of it, even the doubt, is perfectly alright. It is just the way things are right now; it is just the way I am right now. In the light of day, armed with a carpet shampooer and a credit card, with my mother beside me, I will turn my new house into a home. It is where I am meant to be. I am exactly where I am meant to be.