You can only lose what you cling to.
The image of my beautiful three story colonial was blurred in the rear-view mirror, as we pulled out of the driveway while returning the farewell waves and neighborhood wishes of “Good luck in Pennsylvania, we’ll miss you!” with a chorus of “We’ll miss you too, stay in touch!”
Now I’m back in the city I left nine years ago. It’s full of memories and opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I didn’t expect it, but the most difficult part of the move has been in letting go of my attachment to what, in my mind, has defined both home and personal success. I could write an entire book about the circumstances that led me to Pennsylvania and back to Nebraska, but for now let’s just say that things haven’t exactly turned out the way I imagined they would.
That beautiful colonial home now belongs to someone else, a family who bought it for a song, after my 401K was emptied and my savings account dipped below zero trying to keep from going into foreclosure.
The marriage I hoped would be salvaged by the move fell apart faster than anyone could have imagined, and the job opportunity that drew me there turned into lessons in how to survive when a company files Chapter Eleven. I learned the hard way that being a Freelancer isn’t as easy as the self-help books make it sound.
In an unexpected way, the path back to a career in Ecommerce and back to Omaha was paved, one experience at a time over the past nine years. Wheels set in motion; I began to search for the right next opportunity.
My heart was set on moving into a space that wouldn’t require anyone to sleep on an air mattress and would have plenty of room for an art studio. In other words, I wanted a four bedroom house. Economically it didn’t make sense, but I wanted it.
The aha moment came when I realized it wasn’t so much about the number of rooms, it turned out to be a bit of an identity crisis. I was clinging to the notion of home and success being equivalent to house and more rooms than I need 361 days out of the year.
There was an air mattress involved in the holiday sleeping arrangements and I don’t have space dedicated to an art studio, but the attachments to old definitions of home and success are disappearing.
My youngest son put it into perspective when he said, “Mom, it doesn’t matter where you live or what you have. What matters is that we always feel welcomed and loved.”
After the holidays, the walls of my apartment reverberated with memories of laughter and love.
The silent air is filled with the sounds of playful bickering over the rules of a game, of philosophical conversations that are “to be continued” and of memories that extend way beyond the past two weeks.
Home is where you make it.