The long version: It took around 10 years for me to be ready for this home. After the boys' dad and I divorced, my credit was a disaster -- and let's be honest. So was I. I've been living the life of an emotional nomad since 2002. Committing to anything more than a good shoe sale was likely to throw me into a fit of pure panic. My brain wanted to believe that good things could last, but my heart wasn't buying it. You know those little hermit crabs that scuttle around the beach, seemingly oblivious to the sun and the waves and the beauty all around them? They have two basic modes in life: scuttle-scuttle-scuttle and ACK! DANGER! HIDE!
If you're picturing that little frenzied hermit crab right now, you're picturing my mindset for the last 10 years. Scuttle and hide.
When I met The Husband, I started hiding a lot less. I've had to upsize my emotional homes several times in order to keep my scuttle-game fresh. When I try to sneak away and hide, he calls me out. When I try to scuttle faster, he slows me down.
The first time he mentioned buying a house, I don't think I actually took him seriously. I remember saying, "Sure, okay. Let's make a plan," while simultaneously thinking, "This is never going to happen."
But we did plan. And budgeted. And scrimped. And saved. And honestly, none of this would have happened had The Husband not believed in it. I wasn't ready. I was still scuttling and hiding. But he knew that, so he made the plan and made sure we stayed true to it.
And then all of a sudden The Husband looks at me one day in January of this year and says, "I think we're ready to start looking at houses."
Again, I don't think I actually took him seriously. I remember saying, "Sure, okay. Let's make a plan," while simultaneously thinking, "This is never going to happen."
Less than a month later, we found a house. We put an offer on this house, and every day until we signed the closing papers, I scuttle-scuttled in my mind, still uncertain that I could trust in something good. But as always, The Husband was certain when I was not. He did his best to unscuttle my brain.
And then, On February 11, we became owners of a house. A house we love. It's just the right size; cozy enough to be comfy when all our children are galumphing about, but not so big that we're lost in a maze when it's just the two of us. It's surrounded by trees. Big, fat, twisting to the sky trees. A backyard with a swing that The Husband and I sit on each night when we finish working on turning this house into our home. And the light, you guys. It has the most amazing natural light. This house is precious. This house is our home, and I feel a little like it's been waiting for us, even if I didn't know I was waiting for it.
So I guess I'm shedding my natural hermit crab tendencies and am finally ready to come out and enjoy the sun. It feels right. I chose release as my one little word for 2013. I don't think I could have chosen a better word.