The last home I lived in before being on my very own I was with my parents in a bedroom in the basement. I had nightmares almost every night.
The bedroom was built to my specifications, the colors I wanted – a bathroom attached. A walk-in closet. On all accounts I should have been having princess dreams but for some reason I was scared down there, alone. I always felt like I was being watched but we had no one behind us.
The home I moved into to be on my own for the very first time was the home that Aaron and I bought together before deciding we wanted to be married for ever and ever. We were still dating, and decided to get a mortgage before a ring.
I was worried about being on my own at night, knowing I already had nightmares almost every night, I was scared for a reason. The new house was 30 minutes away from my parents and in a completely new territory – the amazing thing about moving there was that I didn’t have nightmares.
I spent 6 months alone in that house before we finally did get married and he moved in, and I didn’t have nightmares. None, not one that I can remember.
I spent a total of 18 months in that home before we moved to where we are currently, nightmare free. The problem is, with this house, I’ve stopped dreaming altogether.
Until last week.
Which is when we decided to sell this house, with nowhere to go. When we decided to put a sign in the yard and admit that we’re ready to move on. I started dreaming again.
About different houses, different lives.
A couple weeks ago I spent some time driving through the past roads of my life. Atop old blacktop that took me to school, returned me home and reminded me of memories and summers and love. Funny thing is that very ride takes me on an emotional journey in which I admit that I’m stuck where we are because it felt safe.
I grew up, as a young girl, on the north side of town. The north and south sides are divided by a bridge in my town and it’s a literal division. North-Siders believe wholly in their land and pride for it as do South-Siders. When I was 12 we became South-Siders and I stayed there until moving out on my own, at 19, alone. Back to the North-Side I went.
Married, and baby on the way, we moved back to the South-Side to our current home. The place where we thought we’d put some roots down. Expand a little. Grow a little. “Fit in.”
The road of my childhood is wooded and as you travel towards the South-Side you hit bumpy patches of road, pot holes and run down strip malls. You bottle neck and suffocate on exhaust as you try to make it the last 1,000 feet from the North-Side to the South-Side when the road literally opens up to breathe and lets you go.
Then you wind up one of the most expensive streets in our town, on the water. And you’re lured in my the spectacular beauty of manicured lawns and porches that are only used for 3 months a year, if that. You drive past mansions and mailboxes with names that you recognize but have never met. You go from feeling trapped on a shitty road to seeing the possibility of hard work, of “pounding the pavement”. You go from that, a past which is now behind you, to this, a future which is right in front of you.
And you feel good. It feels nice to drive up that road. To look. To think.
I never thought that a house that leads to that road would stop my dreaming.
I never thought a lot of things but this past calendar year has put a lot into perspective for me. I don’t want stuff, I don’t want more. I want less. Less to worry about, less to care for. Less to clean and mow and manicure. Less to keep up.
I want a porch where I can sit and watch my children make friends. I want a yard I can maintain and care for, I want a yard that cares for me. I need a house that works for us, not that we have to work around.
We might not sell our house, it’s very possible that it just won’t sell in our housing climate and that’s ok. We’re ok with that. Admitting where we are makes most things OK. But admitting any of that at all – opening that up, creating that clearing – for the possible, for the change. For the next. It woke my dreamer. The past 4 or 5 nights I’ve had dreams I can wake up and remember.
I’m dreaming again. And if that’s all we get out of this time in our lives, so be it. But thank God, I’m dreaming again.