While somewhat overdue.....pictures of the final state of the house (minus the rented room and bathroom that is). Things in the house are almost exactly how I would want them to be.....
Couch: West Elm; Throw Pillows: Target clearance, Ross, and made by yours truly; Ikea chairs: Craigslist & Salvation Army; frames: Goodwill, gifted, Ross; globe light: PB teen; coffee table/storage ottoman: Target
LOVE throws & patterned pillows!
Leather chairs: Target; side table: hand-me-down/repainted; TV console: Craigslist
This is in the guest room--bed not pictured. Chair: hand-me-down/repainted; desk: thrifted/repainted; painting by friend's father
Bed (for sale!): PB; bedding: West Elm duvets; side tables: Bi-mart; baskets: Joanne's
And yes, I know that the picture above isn't big enough...I have something else for there, just haven't finished it.
I'm in a period of transition--which seems to be the only stable thing of the last year, that ironically there is no stability, only constant flux and uncertainty. Just as I've felt myself gain solid ground, always, always that ground becomes sand, and I feel my feet begin to sink into the softness due to the constant lapping of the waves of life. I'm sure I'd be much better off if I'd just accept that this is how life goes, the tide goes in, the tide goes out....but it's hard to be so welcoming to this notion when I'm constantly struggling to keep afloat financially. And so we come to my home....of which I've been thinking of consistently.
After the ex moved out, one of the most difficult things was being alone in a ginormous (for just me) rental...and the fact that it no longer felt like a home. One of the tasks I used to help "heal" me was to make my house back into a home, which in recent months it's really begun to feel that way again. I'm (mainly) surrounded by things I love--colors, textures, shapes, pictures etc.
You might be wondering why I didn't just pack up and find a new home once the divorce was for sure going to unravel, and the answer is three-fold. 1) I love my landlords. They aren't in my face, they trust that I'll take care of their place, and I pretty much can just do as I want. 2) My rent is cheap for what I'm getting. I'd have to pay as much as I am now (for a 3 bed, 2 bath home with a large backyard, AC in the summer, etc) for much less if I were to move and stay in the local area. 3) The animals. Rentals are hard to come by for Anna (German Shep or related breeds are restricted, even though she's the sweetest creature) and I'm not going to find another landlord that let's me have both dogs AND both cats. So I've stayed...and rented out a room for the last 5 months....even though part of me really still has this desire to move and start over somewhere else.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my rental. The house would be great long-term if the landlords ever decided to sell (I can't believe I just said I'd like to buy a house......in a few years), although it'd require a lot of upgrades. But for right now it just seems like too much most the time---too much space for just me, too much yardwork for just me, too much in heating/water bills when I only need about a quarter of the space of this place, too much focus on "filling" the space with "things" I don't need, and too much hassle over not being able to leave the dogs in the yard anymore due to the bitchy dogs on either side.
The "voice of reason" (aka my amazing father) arrived last week with my mother in tow, and he didn't have to say much to soothe my soul. (Plus mom and I had already texted about his thoughts on my recent situation.) I'd already re-priced U of Denver the day of their arrival and realized that there is NO way that I can afford that school ($54k for 1 year of tuition and only $16k in scholarships offered....), but since I only have one class that I can teach this summer (enrollment thus offerings are down and budgets are being slashed...) AND M is relocating to Taiwan for his job for six months starting mid-May....then I'm basically not able to pay rent (again...or any of my bills really) starting in June (even if I get another housemate, unless I get a housemate AND secure a full-time job of at least $15/hr...welcome to my life). I've applied for over 30 jobs this last year...only been contacted for interviews on three and was offered one (which in hindsight I should have taken and figured out the rest of the details later...). In the last two weeks, I've applied for 20 jobs (although many are duplicates with different numbers)....but one thing I've also come to realize is that I AM ready for a change. While it's been great to be settled in one spot for just over two years now (the longest I've been consistently in the same exact residence since high school) and as much as I could see myself coming back to this same job/location in a year or two, I just.feel.like.I.need.something.different. I need to feed my soul, I need to break old ties, I need to challenge my mind, and redefine my heart. I need to start over.....because right now I'm tired, I'm strung-out, and honestly my heart is pretty, pretty hateful. I've put myself in self-imposed reclusiveness status and I might be here for a while....or at least until I feel like I've figured something out. Because I'm not going to lie, I'm getting incredibly tired of feeling this way, of wanting to but not being able to trust (men, friends, life, God), I'm tired of friends trying to get me talk about my problems because talking doesn't change anything, I'm not feeling like I can be a great friend right now for numerous reasons (one of which is that I'm tired of talking about the same stuff period and my patience level is nil), and I'm incredibly tired of having to depend on my parents for financial assistance when I'm THIRTY years old. I have higher expectations for myself...and I'm failing myself miserably.
One thing I've been reflecting on in the last week is that my heart used to be so open. I cared for the world, for its people, for my friends and family, for the environment. I was eternally optimistic. How did I get so hardened? And will that hardness eventually melt...or am I going to remain jaded, realistic, and pessimistic for years to come? I'm mad at my ex....but I'm mad at myself for trusting him and for letting myself ever become dependent on someone else. I'm mad at God for keeping me in this "learning/struggling" space. I'm mad at the world. I'm not exactly fun to be around right now. And....I'm going to be a whole can of worms for whoever the next guy is that eventually tries to stick around long term. (Speaking of which, B might not have been such a "good guy" as he sort of went off the deep end one evening/morning...and we are no longer communicating....)
I hope for the best for everyone...but lately I'm realizing that it's probably going to be a much longer climb up for me than I ever imagined it would be. I knew the separation/divorce alone wasn't anywhere near my rock bottom, but I've gotten about as close to the bottom in the last month as I'll let myself. In good news, last night I finished a book, that had me laughing and feeling thankful that someone else just.got.where.I.am.right.now.in.life. She writes about losing her job, struggling with love, relocating, no longer knowing what to do about food, etc etc...and it just so wonderfully hit home..almost every single word of it. (Slow Love by Dominique Browning...and I just discovered she has a blog..SCORE!). Will life eventually pick up? Yes, yes, I do believe it will...I'm just not sure where else it's going to step on me before I get there.
So for now I'm listing items to sell on Craigslist, weekly applying for full-time jobs, going through my items and thinking about what I truly need in life (which isn't much really), working, exercising (great 10 miler yesterday!), keeping my friends at bay (sorry y'all!! but you'll thank me eventually), rethinking priorities, wondering (maybe too much as I've had two nights of insomnia lately), and day dreaming about setting up home elsewhere. Because truthfully, home can be transported anywhere...and I CAN recreate what I've created wherever I eventually am taken (Lord, please take me somewhere...).
All that being said, much love to all of you. Be nesters, be lovers, be still, and be full of life. And maybe, just maybe, BE. :)