I want you to do something for me. I want you to close your eyes, no matter where you are right now and think about your home. Consider all of the depths of what is such a seemingly simple word. After all, home is where our stories begin.
You probably have a smile on your face right now. You might even be reminiscing about your favorite memories carefully crafted in your abode, your most treasured moments, the smell of some baked, decadent treat wafting from the oven, the dull glow of holiday lights and the warmth and joy of the hearth.
If you are doing such things, you are one of the lucky ones.
My house is not my home.
I did not understand the full impact that this house had upon me until I texted the words a week ago. The second I did, I could not stop the free falling stream of tears from my eyes. The phrase was simple enough as it seemed:
I wrote, “This house is not my home. In fact, it has not felt like a home for almost as long as I can remember.”
It has not. It does not. I doubt it ever could.
The truth of that stung my heart as much as it did my eyes that night.
The weight of this house is stifling to me; oppressive in the long gone energy that still hangs like a thick fog in the air. There are too many unpleasant memories here; too much gone wrong that can never be put right again.
But it isn’t the house’s fault…
Do not misunderstand, it is a decent house. These four walls have served us well in the time that we have lived here. But I now realize (and embrace) the notion of starting over, of having a clean slate, of being able to reinvent myself just one more time…in a space that feels like home.
It’s only time…
It is only a matter of getting my house finished before I place it on the market for sale. Only a short while before I can bid farewell to things I would much rather forget. Just months away of being able to look at walls and rooms that no longer remind me of a life no longer mine, a lot I no longer want; a life sans the painful memories and bitter regret that this house forces me to remember every single day I am in it.
You see, not everyone blessed with a house is dually blessed with somewhere they can feel at home. Which is precisely why moving (and moving on) takes on such tantamount importance to most of us at the end of any particular chapter in our stories; why selling a home can be such an emotional time for those attached to the used to bes and could have beens. Because sometimes we can create new memories inside four different walls; walls abundant with the opportunity for change, for growth and even for rebirth; walls that shelter instead of bind.
Perhaps the lesson here is to stop spending so much time fighting the old, and start focusing on building the new. Because whatever is hurting, stifling, oppressing, bothering or distracting you are genuinely only four mental walls you put up that get in the way of whatever it is that makes you happy.
Now. Close your eyes again, and think about home. Then, tell me what home feels like.