It was Friday, and I had intentions on working and getting some shit done. Working did not look like my normal workday though – the one where I sit in an office and answer phones and type leases. Instead I was home. I had clearance to return to work on the following Monday. I felt better than I had in over a week, so I took the opportunity to get caught up on some housekeeping items – I cleaned the kitchen and did a load of laundry; I picked up my bedroom. I spent the rest of my day going through the emails sent recently by the school and figuring out what life was going to look like for me and the boys in the immediate future; putting shit on my calendar, collaborating with Emma on scheduling, etc. Yesterday marked ten days since I had been to work, and the first where I could manage to stay awake and not feel completely drained and ill. I took advantage of it. I told Sophia, “I mean, I don’t feel like I could handle going out to weed the garden, but I definitely can handle doing things around the house.” So that’s what I did. As I was readying to put dinner in the oven, the wi-fi got knocked out from the storm rolling through and I took it as my sign to knock off for the day. I shut down Rosalyn and shifted from my desk to my bed, where I sat cross-legged and picked up the magazines that had arrived in the mail earlier in the day – Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple. I purchased a subscription for Real Simple from some school fundraiser or another Chase was doing and got a free subscription to Better Homes from an item I purchased under the same name at Walmart. I’m not a magazine reader. I never have been. But for some reason I find the need to subscribe to a couple every year. Every time I get a magazine subscription I swear up and down I’m going to make the time to read the magazine in question, as I know they’re full of good ideas and reads. I am closer to forty years old now than I am to thirty, and I don’t know why I keep thinking that I’m going to change this part of who I am; but I do. So they sit on my bedside table for months until I get annoyed at the growing stack and throw them away, usually without reading them.
As dinner cooked, I poured through the magazine, reading what caught my interest – home organization, room transformations, etc. I finished that magazine and began the second – Real Simple – and was immediately caught up in the first page. A quote sprang up to me from the page:
I read it and reread it, knowing that I am the opposite of this quote. Knowing that I share what becoming looks and sounds like – good, bad, and ugly. The majority of my growing pains are put on display for the world to read about. I sat there wondering briefly – if by some chance I were to become a critically acclaimed author, known worldwide, would I be ashamed or embarrassed by the things I share so openly?
The answer is no. To be ashamed of one’s past is to be ashamed of oneself. To be ashamed of one’s growth likewise shows embarrassment. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for who I was yesterday. I wouldn’t become who I am destined to be without who I am today.
I moved on to the next page in the magazine and came across the editor’s note, which was titled something along the lines of ‘three things I love about my home.’ That had me pausing. That had me thinking. I grabbed a near by notebook and wrote the first thing that came to mind – The crooked pictures in the hallway. More about that eventually.
I came across another quote, this one by one of my favorite authors- Maya Angelou. I have found her to be inspirational since I was in my high school poetry class. Poem after poem after poem of hers spoke to who I wanted to be when I grew up – a strong, no bullshit taking, confident woman with a love for the world despite the rough hand of cards that had been dealt. Her words helped shape me into who I have become and who I still am hoping to be. This however was a quote I wasn’t familiar with:
Indeed – I wouldn’t have become the woman I am or know how to love the way I do without knowing defeat and loss.
I next came across an article about a network of people giving without asking for anything in return in New York City that warmed my heart and gave me hope for humanity; more quotes and tidbits of knowledge about organization that I either knew of and already utilize, had dismissed as a pain in the ass, or new ideas that I would ponder; makeup and other product suggestions; and then finally the article that the editors note had been based on – how to fall back in love with your home and the spaces with in.
And so, brings us to the point of this post. I had to ramble first to get to my point. Sorry, not sorry.
I love when inspiration strikes out of nowhere, for the record.
I have lived in thirty different places in my life. Thirty. Some were for a short while; some were for years. I have lived in seven different towns, and settled in Toledo, Ohio just a little over fifteen years ago. So, the twenty years before that encompassed the majority of the moving that I did. It has taught me to love the walls and roof that surround me, it has taught me to love permanence and stability. And it has taught me that indeed, home is where the heart is.
And so, inspiration struck me last night, and I sat with another almost two-thousand-word document at almost eleven o’clock at night. I’ve trimmed it down and will be gifting you with a multi-piece blog post about what my home has come to mean to me over the years.
Happy Saturday. Take time to celebrate how far you have come and be grateful for what you have in this moment.