“All of life is a coming home” ~ Hunter Patch Adams
This post today on a social media site today sparked something within me and has prompted me to write and share a bit of my history.
Depending on the moment in which our journeys collided – you might have been a part of my life when I was a full ON home owner. A few years later and you might have met me when I was a full-time student living in a small one bedroom (less than 500 sq. ft) in Denton, Texas (and literally understanding for the first time in 34 years of life just how little I truly needed in terms of a “home” to be content and happy).
A few semesters later (because when you are a full-time student – your life is broken into semesters – not seasons or months) and you may have met me when I was living in a room in a dear friend’s home in Coppell, Texas. A few semesters | years later – you might have known me when I was in the process of selling everything I owned to finance a trip to travel to a country where I had never visited before and living in one room hostel type home stays with a shower/toilet combo (sounds crazy – but a fine use of architecture and space with the ability to take care of business).
A few months later and you might have known me when I chose to be “voluntarily homeless” with all my personal belongings packed in the back of my minicooper whilst traveling from house to house to sit with plants, teenagers, and fur friends (I was never without a place to stay in the 8 months that I opt’d for the “voluntarily homeless” path – one gig would end and another one would present – living in the moment and having faith that the next step – i mean place to sleep would appear).
And now, my present “home”, which has taken me from my life long state of Texas to the mountains of Boulder, Colorado whist I remain in a small | tiny | quaint place in a tiny lodge nestled in the mountains (but close enough that I can get to a coffee house for wifi, good conversations). I am once again reminded how tiny and small accommodations are all I truly need.
But. Let’s back up. Because there is a story of how all of this started.
Let’s go back to when I owned that home in the suburb. You know. The one with the freshly manicured lawn. The one that looked like a model home on the inside with every single thing (every damn chachkies you would want – I had) in its perfect place and let’s not even talk about the freshly paved lines in the carpet from the endless hours of vacuuming I was doing (the grout in the tile was yet another place I wasted endless hours scrubbing and cleaning).
For those of you that met me when I was living out of the COOP – the above paragraph may be rather shocking – but, I have witnesses from that period of my life.
If you were in fact part of that time period of my life – and, if you were ever invited to visit my “home” – let me apologize in advance for the neurosis that you may have experienced whilst visiting our home. The fact that I spent more time checking out your shoes upon arrival (to make sure you were NOT tracking an inkling of dirt onto our floors) and watching every single move you made with the glass you were drinking from (because LORD help you if you sat it remotely out of boundaries from the nicely arrange coaster I had provided you) — bottom line, I was never present in that home. Don’t get me wrong – I was present in every aspect of making sure it was perfect. Alas, somewhere along the way – I stopped enjoying the “home”. I was more concerned with the appearance of the home. And, when things became uneventful within those four walls – well, it was time for a remodeling project to pass the time (a new coat of paint or new furniture to fill each room).
In 2007, I made one of the toughest decisions of my life. I made the decision to walk out of that home and also out of my life. There was a great deal of collateral damage (though, I prefer collateral change) that came with my decision. But, for me, it was life or death necessary. In the process of building all of our dreams together – we had somehow lost each other amongst the busy life of cleaning, up-keep and the purchase of new and better “things” to occupy our time.
A few years after that 2007 decision, I was having dinner with a former neighbor. He said something that I would never forget. “Brandi, of all the couples on our street – you two were the last that anyone ever expected to part ways”. I was intrigued by his commentary and had to ask the question – Why is that? To which he replied, because everything looked perfect. Your house was perfect. Your yard was perfect. You two always looked happy.
But, the truth was, we had lost each other in our quest for happiness. In the pursuit of being perfect (or at least doing a fine job of looking that way) – we lost our will and our ability to dream. see. and do.
I suppose this is why the photo I have shared with you provoked this writing in me today.
And. So. I started down the path of chunking, downsizing, and departing with things that no longer served me or brought me joy.
The process (for me) has been a journey. It didn’t happen overnight and continues to be a balancing act.
But. I do spend more time these days focused on creating experiences and less time on a “home”. My “home” needs are far more simple and my dreams are much larger these days! The world. The world is my home. And, the opportunity to meet and share life with people from all walks of life… that is my neighborhood.
ONward, Brandi J.