Turning Living Space into HOME

I’ve for some time, wanted to at least rent a house.  Apartment living felt like it was stealing a part of my soul.  Ideally of course I would like to buy a house, but you know, rarely do I get what would be ideal.

But lately… I cannot really imagine moving again at all, I mean for the current future, not forever or anything.   I think this apartment is the longest we’ve really stayed at once place since lawd… probably since we have been together.  When I first moved to WI we stayed in our first apartment only until the end of the year b/c it was mucho $$$.  For some reason though, it was one of our favorite places, I think mostly because it was our FIRST place together.  It just had warm fond memories of adjusting to life as a couple living together.

I remember unpacking my boxes of the few things I brought with me and situating them the apartment and combining my life with someone else’s life in a completely new environment.

In 2003 we started the year off in a new apartment… a place that seemed to hold a dark cloud for me.  I had initially liked it because I got to help agree upon it.  It had a nice sized living room, a HUGE kitchen, and 2 bedrooms/one bath.  It just never felt right though.  It is kinda weird because looking back over that time in my life, I think I was really dying just to get out of the place, and out of that state. I kinda just balanced on one day to the next, knowing if I didn’t get out of there soon I was going to lose my freaking mind.

I was only in WI for 2 years.  If you want to get technical it was actually a month or so shy of 2 years.  In some ways now, I think of going back there the way when I was there I thought of coming back near “home”… just curious what it would feel like, since for the most part I feel like I have totally forgotten everything about it.

I was never comfortable there at all, and my intention from the day I moved there was someday (and by someday I meant soon) getting back closer to my family.  Or anywhere else almost.  WI and I…. we didn’t get along.  At least not as far north as I was.

I learned to navigate the small city we lived in  as if I belonged there, but never felt as I did.  And apparently I carry an “accent” that made it so people knew I didn’t belong there.

We had made a trip back to IN after being up in WI about a year.  I was determined to move out of WI that year.  Our visit was about scouting apartments, making plans.  But a couple days before we were due to go home we were sitting out on my mom’s front porch at 2 am and I was bawling my eyes out as I felt like everything was shattering down around me because we just couldn’t do it this year.  We needed more time, more money, more plans.  I felt like somebody had ripped my heart out and was slapping me in the face with it.

But we talked and decided we would go back to WI and get serious about this.  And we did.  We opened a special banking account and started saving.  I however refused to go back to work at Eastbay/Footlocker.com working 3rd shift since I had honestly believed I would only be there until July or August and was only working it because I believed we would be moving.  It was saying goodbye to a really decent paycheck, but 3rd shift work was taking over my life.  I felt like my life consisted of answering phones and sleeping.

Kiowa started taking some classes at a branch of UW.  I pretty much refused doing anything that could constitute as the smallest possible root.  In fact I spent a lot of energy refusing to let this place become “home”.  I was constantly in a state of limbo, refusing to get comfortable. If I did that then I thought that I would have submitted, and I would not submit.  This was not “home”… this could not be “home”. You could say that I spent those 2 years almost always with a chip of some sort on my shoulder, seeing everything… every person, every experience… as a stepping stone to get to where I wanted to be, not things are they really were.

As fall turned into winter it was pretty clear that we were going to make our goal of getting to move in the spring.  I ended up taking an office job despite the fact that I KNEW we were going to get to move in a few months and that as pretty much as I was trained in I would be leaving.  I didn’t tell them that though, we needed the money.  This was my final stepping stone to “home”.

When we packed up the UHaul and that day we left… I left without looking back.  Much different than when I loaded up my few boxes and left IN the first time.  Both scenarios contained detachment, only this time the detachment was pure indifference, not the detachment I had used to protect my fragile state of emotions the day that I left IN.

Being where I wanted to be created an initial high, but I soon fell into a state of anxiety and depression when “home” didn’t automatically feel like “home” to me at all.  I felt like I had stumbled back into a life of strangers.  2 years had apparently changed the whole world and it was a hard adjustment back.

Our first apartment back we moved into an apartment unseen… which luckily worked for us.  It however continued to lack that homey feel.  A year later we moved into another apartment within the same complex.  It’s funny b/c these first two places, again they seem like blurs to me but then again a lot has happened in my life in the 2 years since we’ve been there.

The second apartment seemed a little more like home.  I guess it was having a little more room, getting our first dog there, planning a wedding, etc.

And then right after our wedding in 2007 we moved to our most current place.  It was a brand new building, and there was some thrill in knowing that no one had lived in our living space before us.  It was purely our energy.  The floors weren’t marred by someone else’s scuff marks, nobody had crapped in my toilet before (well I guess we don’t know what the construction workers were doing in here lol), nobody else’s dust was in my carpet….

It has taken me these 2 years to start to feel comfortable here… and committed to making it feel like not just a living space, but a home.

I think I kept attempting to keep apartment living feel like a temporary thing.  In my mind it felt like it was, but then I got to thinking… why?  It’s a bad way to live.  It does feel like some kind of limbo.  What is wrong with making this my home?

Finally I’m starting to feel as if there is a reflection of that now.  I’ve quit with “oh this & this will be better and I’ll do this like this when we have a house/bigger space” kind of feelings.  I’ve been more interested in working with what I’ve been given. Why shouldn’t I have things like I want them now?

I’m trying to embrace this as my space, not “temporary housing unit”.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Butthurt. « A Road Less Traveled: Deconstructed

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