What does it feel like to finally be home?
I feel like thus far every post I’ve written, or journal entry, or draft post, has been about a lack of place, the sense of being deeply unsettled and ill-at-ease with my situation.
And now that I'm here?
I'm sitting in my “bed nook” on my own mattress, sheets that I selected, a linen comforter that I found in the AS IS section at Ikea. I’ve got a bed frame, a couple of chairs, and some curtains; and all my old found stuff is on its way here in a pod. And it feels pretty great. I feel rested and at ease in my own space. I love walking around my new neighborhood and trying new restaurants or ice cream places. I feel at home here in Seattle.
But you know what? It still doesn’t feel permanent. I still don’t feel fully settled. My mind keeps running over the possibilities: what if they jack up the rent next year and we can’t afford it? What if there’s a change in our finances? What if the neighborhood changes? What if the place burns down? - (I guess my set of possibles run toward the hyperbolic)
What I want in a home is guarantees. That’s why I enjoyed home ownership so much; it felt like there were guarantees of some kind of permanence. Obviously, they proved to be false guarantees because we had to sell the house to move for the job. But there was at least the illusion of permanence. I didn’t live in such perpetual fear of losing my hastily-gathered sense of place.
And that tension is where we live, where we all live; scraping together the things that make us feel the most valued and important, trying to keep everything around us safe and trying desperately to cling to what we have—and meanwhile the Damocles’ sword of loss, pain, and impermanence hangs over our heads. Our power is a false power. Our sense of home is only ever pointing the way to a better, more permanent home.