They say- “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Or at least that’s what Kelly Clarkson would lead you to believe. If this is true then considering the simple fact that I am not already six feet under, I must have the strength of legions, it has been that sort of week.
I took possession of my apartment and started moving in last Friday. By midnight on Saturday my whole life had been packed into cars and shipped off to my new home, sweet home. While walking out the door of my old house for the last time I couldn’t help but gaze around at all the things missing, things that had made it feel comforting and inviting over the last two and a half years. It was a bittersweet moment. I silently cried a few tears at the thought of never again making another meal in my snug little corner kitchen, or coming home in the summer to sunlight streaming through the living room windows and illuminating the cricket green walls that always seemed so cheerful. I was deeply saddened by the thought of never making another painting in my bright yellow studio upstairs and in thinking all this I almost lost my courage right then and there. The little gremlins of doubt saw their golden opportunity and took up residence in my brain…
What if I can’t do this?
What if I can’t handle being alone?
What if I am not strong enough to tackle life by myself?
It’s really hard not to feel down when you are physically and emotionally exhausted and have crap like that running through your head. Somehow I managed to pick myself up, cross that threshold one last time and set off for my new home.
Home. What an interesting word. It can have so many different meanings and no one person probably looks at it exactly the same way. When I was in high school and found out we were going to have to move out of the house I had grown up in I was utterly devastated.
“It won’t be the same! It won’t feel like home!” I remember saying to my mom.
Her response, (and I will never forget it) was- “Mary Anne, four walls and a roof do not make a building a home. It’s the people inside that really matter. Family is what makes a house a home.”
She was right of course (mom’s usually are). It doesn’t really matter what you call the place where you lay down your head at night, home is a place in your heart where your loved ones dwell and no one can ever take that away from you. While I am sad to leave the comfort and protection of my old house, my apartment is already becoming a cozy little haven where in just one short week friends and family have continually frequented my door. It may not be big or fancy with a lot of shiny updates, but that doesn’t really matter because it’s the people you find there, the friends who come and go, the laughter and love that can be found inside- that’s what really counts. My apartment has already been blessed in that regard and for that I am so thankful.
I know the path I have chosen for myself will not be easy. Life has its ups and downs and I am not so delusional as to think that there aren’t going to be any challenges. (Like spilling water all over your laptop and completely frying it as a result…yeah THAT was fun.) But it’s those soul trying moments that really do make you stronger, and deep down in my heart I know that I too can be fearless with the support of friends and family in my new home as my foundation when I am feeling weak.
This week has been tough, really tough. Saying goodbye and experiencing change is never easy, but my supervisor shared a quote with me the other day that I really think sums things up pretty nicely…
When life knocks you down…calmly get back up, smile, and very politely say- “You hit like a bitch.”
*There will be a video walk through of my apartment added as soon as I can get my technology to cooperate… it’s not looking very good for any time soon though : / Be sure to check back for that after Thanksgiving when my tech savvy brother will hopefully help me get it working!
Update: My awesome brother helped me get the video going… thanks David!