It is difficult to put down roots. It requires vulnerability and trust. When I first became a Southerner, I was very guarded. I had just left my “home area” of 25 years, my friends, my climate, my terrain, my singleness behind and moved to Parsons. It shouldn’t have been that different, but it was in almost every way. And I was different, too, in almost every way. I’m sure it didn’t help that I had to deal with the passing of my Mom during that year as well, as that only added more ways that my world and I had changed.
Sam and I realized the other day, that after over 2 years of living in the house we own, we still haven’t really settled in. We have no art or pictures on the walls, we have piles of belongings in most corners, stacks of magazines we meant to throw out and never did, half-finished home improvement projects. Neither of us had made this our home. We had to take a hard look at why we hadn’t done such a basic thing. We realized that the underlying reason is that we had both been planning for a future that revolved around the kids we don’t have. So, in my quest to be content with my present situation, I have been making a conscious effort to put down roots--to make real friendships and not just acquaintances or Sam’s friends, to put up decorations, to make our house a home.
Last night, a friend and I took dinner over to another friends’ house. Her family is going through some tough times and we have been trying to help her out as much as we can. They both have daughters right around the same age (one just turned 4 and the other will turn 4 next week) who are good friends. The girls were so happy to see each other, they just kept running and playing and screaming and being adorable. My friends and I just chatted about life, and laughed at the kids, and enjoyed ourselves. It was one of the first times since I’ve moved here where I felt like I had friends I could hang out with without our husbands and have a genuinely good time. It was so fun and refreshing.
We are working on de-cluttering our house, finding permanent places for the things we use instead of stacking them in corners. We are working on making it a comfortable home for us and for those who come to visit us. Last weekend, Sam let me buy a wardrobe to house our blankets and the set of dishes I inherited from my Mom. Our dining room looks so much warmer!
Home is a slow process. It is hard to change so much and then relax and settle. I’ve clearly done a pretty rough job of it for the last 3 years, but I’m working on it. I’m so thankful for my sweet husband who supports and loves me, even when I’m confusing, isolating, and unhappy. And I’m thankful for my friends here, who have tried repeatedly to be my friends even while I held them at a distance. It is good to be loved. I definitely am loved.