Mindful of the future, I want to be flexible and frugal. So after selling my house in surprisingly short style, instead of buying a new house or signing a lease, I decided to live with a friend. She had the whole upstairs of her house empty and was welcoming extra income to offset a mortgage. We had even lived together before, when I was a three-month intern at her ad agency about six years ago. I would save money, be contract-free and have fewer responsibilities. This would be a win-win for both of us.
I moved in at the beginning of November. All is nice enough. A decent size bedroom, with storage across the hall in another vacant room and a bathroom practically to myself. None of the home care to worry about like an owner. A very accepting, low maintenance housemate. All my change-of-addresses are complete, and the litany of post-move crap is finally done.
The transition is harder than I thought. Yes, all the reasons I sold my house and moved where I moved were good ones. This is a great scenario, cutting in all the right places, floating because it works. Aside from banking an extra $1,000 a month now, I’m also closer to many area amenities – grocery stores, retail shops, restaurants, fitness centers, doctors, downtown. But something is incredibly hard to adjust to.
It’s not the location. It’s not the house. It’s not my friend. I think it’s a feeling of loss, and being lost.
For the longest time, I have been independent. I started living alone my junior year of college because I didn’t like the roommate experience. I have had my own space since. (Pretty much… I moved back in with my mom for a period between an internship and first full-time job, and I hated it. I lived with an ex-boyfriend for a couple years, but let’s face it, that was my domain.)
I feel awkward not owning a house, I guess. That was the biggest purchase of my life, a substantial accomplishment. Like my forefathers, I was proud to have property. People were proud of me. It became part of my identity, whether I wanted that or not. It was where I created memories and discovered self.
It’s not the lack of possession. It’s the feeling like I don’t belong.
I realized that I have a history of having no home. A real home. A safe place that is comfortable and mine. My parents struggled to provide that. Then, as a young person, I’ve been a rover. But I want to stop.
It hits me kind of like a freight train to admit that I want that home, that the utmost thing I’ve been craving my whole life is a place of my own, to settle down, to build a sanctuary, to be whole and secure. I want a life filled with adventure, but excitement cannot be as sweet without a normal.