This House Is Now A Home

by Susan Pogorzelski on August 23, 2010 · 18 comments

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…

This House

This House


And now after all my searching
After all my questions
I’m gonna call it home…

My Home

My Home

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”

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Pogorzelski August 23, 2010

I would just like to take a moment here and thank everyone on Twitter, Facebook, and, yes, even in real life for their warm wishes, encouragement, and support these past few months — even years — as alluded to in the post. But today especially — to say it has meant the world to me is the greatest understatement. You all really are the best community of people and friends anyone can ask for, and I’m grateful for your generosity in spirit, your wit that always makes me laugh, your intellect that challenges, and your constant encouragement and support throughout this life journey every single day.

So when I say thank you, it’s so much more than a word.

It’s two words. That both mean more than I could ever express.

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Lyssa August 23, 2010

So beautifully written. I cannot properly express how happy I am for you, Susan. You deserve this, for sure. Seeing you grow so much just from the time I’ve known you in college is so cool. You’re always learning and sharing–always absorbing life’s lessons, its fun, its responsibility, its absurdity, and its joy. I know you’re going to make this house a home, and I cannot wait to help break it in with board games and smiles.

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Lyssa: Board games and smiles? Done — when are you coming to visit? :) Thanks for the sweet words, Alyssa, truly. Can you believe it’s been four years already? And how we all have grown in that amount of time — from who we were then to who we are now…think we have Life to thank for that, the good and the bad. The good is what keeps us going and the bad is what makes us stronger. Or something like that ;)

Love you so, so much! I know we haven’t seen each other in what feels like forever, but you’ve got a place in my heart, ya know. And when we do finally visit, it should be Pride and Prejudice, late night visits to grocery stores for snacks, and, as Sarah puts it, the ever-important WINE. =P

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Sarah August 24, 2010

I echo Lyssa’s sentiment- board games and smiles… but she forgot one important thing: WINE. :)

I heart you. Now, let’s get this painting and moving in bit rolling!

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Sarah — how could we forget the wine?!?!?!

If I don’t say it enough, thanks for being my best friend. Think the Universe knew what it was doing when it put us together as tutors in the writing center? Hee. I wonder if it regrets that.

I certainly don’t :) Love you!

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Anna August 24, 2010

You’ve heard it from me before, but I’m just so thrilled for you and excited and vicariously exhausted and just….!!!!

Hope to come visit you someday soon and see your home for myself :)

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Anna: Thank you so, so, so much for all of your enthusiasm and support and even those reality checks (exhaustion? YES.) — I’ve really needed those :) You are always, always welcome here — especially if you bring some great music with you — can’t wait for the CD to come, thanks for sending it!

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Amanda Linehan August 24, 2010

Hi Susan – Congrats on the new house! I bought a home myself last summer and ot has been very rewarding. I know you will have fun with it. I know what you mean when you say that things just feel right at the moment, and that’s a great feeling to have – very peaceful. Glad to hear how well everything is going.

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Amanda: Thanks so much for the congrats, and congratulations to you as well! It’s an amazing feeling when you know that things are falling into place, that it’s meant to be. You can feel it in your gut, in your heart, and you can’t help but go with that instinct. Maybe that’s how you know you’re on the right path — when it feels right and you know to trust that, to trust yourself.

Thanks, Amanda!

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greymous August 24, 2010

Wonderful to see how you have built upon those things which were testing you. I’m sure your home will be filled with all the magic that is in your heart and soul. :)

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Ken: I look back at where I was six months ago and where I am now, and, truly, I’m amazed at the world of difference. I never imagined this was possible, never imagined I was even capable of this. Is it nerve-wrecking? Absolutely. A bit scary? Sure. Is it worth it? There isn’t even a doubt. I tend to like to believe that life’s moments build upon one another, leading up to the events in our lives that we’ll remember. I wasn’t expecting this , and right now, I can’t figure out how all of that was leading up to this and what it means, but maybe that will come in time.

Maybe, for now, I’m just meant to be happy and grateful and build a home that will lead to other events.

That, I can definitely do.

You have no idea how much your support and encouragement and kind words have meant to me these past few months. I know I tell you that a lot, but it really doesn’t do it justice. Thanks for being here, Ken, and thanks for being you :)

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Raven August 24, 2010

I’m sure you’ve heard it a dozen times before – but this so awesome. And, so is your story. I’m so excited for you. It’s scary, brave, cool and such a new adventure for you. Please keep us updated on what happens. I am sure everything will go well…

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Susan Pogorzelski September 2, 2010

Raven: Thanks so much! I love how this resonates with you and your own experiences in buying a house and, as I told you before, I can’t wait to hear your own story. You’re exactly right — it’s scary, it’s a proud moment, it’s exciting, and it definitely is an adventure. Looking foward to when the emotions calm and the adventure begins ;) Thanks, Raven!

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