Since the end of October when we moved into our new home I have felt like I have “come out of the dark and into the sunshine”. It has been refreshing.
We had been living in what Little Miss ASIJ had termed when she was 5 yrs. old “the dump”. When I took her and Mr. ASIJ to see what I had rented out of desperation she chimed up and said “I’m not living in that dump”! In my younger years as a wife and mother I had always been able to make every place I lived a home no matter what condition it was in. I’ve never been Susie Homemaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I always managed to hang curtains and add touches that made it feel like home. I was never able to do that in this house. It always felt strange and ever so depressing. I hated the place but tried to smile and accept that this was where I was right now and this was where I needed to be.
Oh don’t get me wrong. I was very grateful that we had a place to live that was inexpensive and kept us warm (when the heater worked) and dry. It really did serve its purpose. But it was literally falling apart around us and the landlord (called a “slum lord” by even his ex-wife) would do nothing to improve it. I can’t remember ever living in a house that I couldn’t bring myself to love (except Miss Betty’s place which is a story in itself…and a very funny one). For almost five years I didn’t invite anyone over, except my best friend Miss Dee and that only happened a very few times. I was always so afraid someone would see where I lived…I was so embarrassed. I soon begin to think of myself as “poor white trash”. I wasn’t used to living like that. I think I may have learned a lesson or two and certainly I discovered some things about ME, some of it not so pretty and I didn’t like it at all. Did it change me? Yes it did. Did it make me a better person? I’d like to think so. Do I ever want to go through that again? Not no, but HELL no!
I do realize that many homeless people would have given their right arm to live in that house. It did give me a greater awareness that people are NOT their homes or their possessions. I was reminded of that every time I arrived home and thought “this is just not ME.” Not that I was too good to live there but really… it was not ME!
And so…this nice house I live in now is not ME either. Because I am not where I live, nor what I drive, nor what I own. However, it is so much easier to be ME in the sunshine. It’s so much easier to return to the ME I know I can be. I’ve even had company over since moving here. I LOVE feeding people – I can be a very good cook when I’m ME. I can be very creative when I’m being ME. Hopefully, I’ll start to like ME again.
I hope you will too.