Loving the Space You're In
Until marriage, I'd never really lived in a place for more than one year during my adult life.
Each year in college, I'd move into a new dorm or apartment (with the same roommate each time, thank God). Then I went to grad school and was one of the few who had to move one unit over on campus midway through my time.
When I started my Big Girl job, I had an apartment, but fluctuating roommates - the symptom of being in a stage of life where everyone is in flex; the blessing there, however, is I finally moved to my dream space: a sixth-floor apartment with hardwood floors overlooking downtown Norfolk and the Elizabeth River.
(To this day I tell people that the hardest part of getting married was leaving that apartment).
For those of you keeping score that was nine different homes in nine years.
And really, who our age doesn't have that story?
Sometimes life brings you a stage that's more transient. I'm sure my friends in the military could speak to that. It's difficult to put down roots when you're looking at an 18-month commitment to a new city.
But all of that to say, I've always had a difficult time committing to a home. Taking the time to think about where my pictures are placed, where the furniture is set up, what area rugs go in which room...
When Gordon and I got married it took a while for our two-bedroom condo to feel like home. It was strange to think that this one place could be our home for a very long time. This option was our first pick because of the two bedrooms.
We figured we'd live here and have room to grow. Thankfully, we had that foresight when we were looking through options because our first child came a little sooner than we thought!
Now that we've been here three years, we've had a lot of history with the space. We've moved in furniture, de-cluttered, re-cluttered and de-cluttered again. We're toying with the idea of painting (sorry you had to find out this way, honey!), of getting a new couch, and shopping for a great piece of art to hang over the mantle.
What's more is that we're making the space work for us. We're making it ours. We're living in it deeply, bringing about new ways to settle into it.
All without wishing for what's next.
It's a strange thing to put down roots in a home or a season, even. To work on loving and not giving up on the space you're in–whether it's physical, emotional, occupational or relational–on working with what's in front of you and practicing gratefulness.
Think about it: we're not trained to do this. When we're kids, we naturally fall into a rhythm of the next school year. The next club. The next yearbook photo, the next report card.
When we leave college, or high school even, our eyes are keen on finding out what's next.
And then we realize life isn't lived best in semesters. Or lily-padding from one year to the next. Or looking to the next big thing.
It's about loving the space that you find yourself in.