“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” -Maya Angelou
Home is where my cat is. It’s safe and comfy. It’s where I keep my favorite things and best of all, my boyfriend. Home for me has also been something adaptable and ever changing for the last 10 years. I haven’t been lucky enough to stay in one place for very long.
Home is easy to take for granted but for me I never know how long home will last. That’s why I have albums full of photos of all my homes no matter how temporary. There’s the house I grew up in, the downtown house near the military base, the tiny room in a tiny townhouse, the huge Victorian home in need of repairs, the beach house, the triangle shaped apartment, the basement rental with no kitchen, the shared apartment, the apartment with vaulted ceilings, the party townhouse, the mountain view apartment that was all-my-own, the bedroom that became hell, the bedroom that saved me from hell, and now finally…. the apartment that is our home. (Note: I apologize for the run-on sentence but I think I captured the vibe of my life here.)
In many ways home for me has never been a building and I’ve found that I can create my home anywhere through decorating. It doesn’t matter how long I plan to stay somewhere I always decorate.
My prized possessions are the artwork I’ve gathered at comic conventions, the furniture my broke-ass manage to buy, and the small decorative bits that hold deep meaning or strong memories for me. I also try to take very careful care in cultivating my things. I once owned a small library full of books and now I keep only enough for a small bookshelf, only my favorites (because books are heavy). I frequently donate things I no longer love so I can make space for new things. I repurpose old items, I rearrange, I reorganize, and I redo constantly. I’m very mindful of clutter and keeping things that serve no purpose. I want my home to always feel relaxing and well-kept.
Of course… one thing I’m learning recently is that it is okay if home is imperfect… maybe a little cluttered… and maybe at times a little unkept.
Sometimes home is where the laundry is a work-in-progress. Sometimes home is where we need a shelf but don’t have one. Sometimes home is where my craft supplies swallow up the entire living room because I’m dramatically following the crafting muses. Letting go has been a major focus of mine in the last year and home has been a great practice in that… I’m letting go and embracing the chaos that is life.
These days I’m finding that home is more than just my pretty things arranged perfectly. Home is where I am happiest. Home is where I share my space with beings I love immensely. Home is where I cuddle my cat. It’s where I annoy my snake. It’s where I make memories with my person. It’s where I have X-files nightmares and wonder why I watch X-files so late at night. If all of my things disappeared tomorrow I know I would still be at home because I have this beautiful unconventional little family. Home truly is where my heart is…
I feel so blessed to have this home… and however imperfect it is… it’s one I want to stay in for a long while.