This is home
Now I’m finally where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I’ve been searching for a place of my own
Now I’ve found it…
My home. I can’t imagine I’ll ever get tired of saying those words. Maybe when the first mortgage payment is due or there’s a plumbing problem or something breaks, as things eventually do, I’ll roll my eyes and wonder what on earth I’ve gotten myself into. But right now, in this very moment, nothing has ever felt more perfect, more right.
The sellers of the house explained to me that they bought this house after their family returned from a three-year missions trip to Bosnia. It was their place to heal, she had said, a place to put the pieces of their life back together again after all they had experienced. My journey may not be so remarkable, but I couldn’t help but smile and think, “I understand.”
After the past few years of trying to figure out who I am and where I fit into in my world, of building back up my broken self-esteem, and of fighting everyone around me and myself in one of the darkest and scariest periods I can ever remember, I feel like this is that similar place of healing, that final piece of my own puzzle as I create the life I’ve always dreamed.
The beginning to a brand new chapter.
Some of my closest, oldest, and dearest friends stopped by to see the house this evening. One friend came to measure the windows for blinds while his wife helped me pick out paint colors. Other friends brought their children, and their excited shouts of delight as they explored the house made my heart skip a beat, for they were voicing exactly what I was feeling. And after they had all said their goodbyes, my best friend stayed behind, and we talked about where we had been and where we are going and I admitted, “this is the first time in all of my life I have felt this proud of myself, that I have actually believed that I deserve this.”
I was proud when I graduated college, though that pride was more for my family. I was proud when I went to France on my own, but that was more about proving to myself that I could do it; it was more about needing to heal.
But this…There’s something so different about this. As we stood in the doorway of the kitchen and gazed around the empty rooms, I told her that everything inside of me from start to finish has whispered that this is right, that this is meant to be, that this is everything I’ve been looking for — not just in the details of the house, but in the life I’ve been waiting to lead.
Without ego, with as much humility as possible, I told her that I’d never felt more self-pride — for the decisions that have led to this, for following my heart, for reaching out for the support of loved ones, and for finding the strength within myself to follow through.
Still, I wasn’t alone.
Tears sprung to my eyes, just as they have with this writing, as I thought about how not alone I’ve been. I don’t mean the unending support of family, of friends, of those of you who read this very blog, though it has been nothing short of remarkable, but of someone who has been guiding me my whole entire life, even though she has been gone for years…
My grandmother bought her own house, into which she moved her very large family, when she was my age, before she ever married my grandfather. Independent during a time when independence among women was met with disapproval, my grandmother was every bit the career-minded woman, with a gentle disposition but a quiet strength that I could only long to match. I feel as if I barely had the chance to know her, yet she is one of the greatest influences of my life.
From the very first glimpse of possibility to standing in the threshold this evening, the sky darkening outside and only the warm glow of the dining room light filling the room, I have known, without a doubt, that she has been here, guiding me still. She’s been that example of what is possible, that proof of what everyone is capable of.
I’ve begun to realize my own strength, my own independence.
I’ve begun to accept that I should never again consider myself exempt from happiness.
Boxes with painting and cleaning supplies and necessary staples now litter the hardwood floors, and the walls are still bare, devoid of any decoration, any real personality. But the heart of the home is written on the walls, invisible to the eye, but still apparent in every nook, corner, and cranny.
Love resides here in this house…
This house that is now a home.
Yeah, this is home.
– Switchfoot, “This Is Home”