A Very, Very, Very Fine House

I thought I would move to the city. A big one, like Chicago or New York.

Later, I thought – no, I KNEW – I would move to Nashville. Or Colorado. But probably Nashville.

Never did I think I would settle in the medium-sized city just south of my tiny hometown, minutes away from the [now-declining] mall I grew up shopping in or down the road from the [now-closed] restaurant I went to on my first date.

As excited as I am to get out of my “broken down and busted” house of the past 10 years, the thought of buying our next house no closer to a big city or my dream hometown fills me with conflicting emotions.

On one hand, the day that we sign papers saying this old, tiny, never-thought-we’d-be-stuck-here-for-a-decade starter house is no longer ours will be GLORIOUS. An immense relief, financially, emotionally and mentally. I can’t wait.

But on the other hand, I’m not quite sure how to process the fact that moving into our next house, located wherever it may be in this same area I was sure we’d leave behind someday, is not exactly what I had in mind.

Sure, sure, this is a good place to live. My parents live here, and Mark’s dad isn’t far. We are crazy in love with our church, and we have so many friends, so much history in this place.

I just thought that someday we’d move on. And I thought moving on would mean a new life, a big adventure, an epic journey – not a settling in and settling down into the place God has so clearly put us.

I dreamed of a mountain cabin or a mild southern winter. I dreamed of stone houses with big porches, of new friends and amazing careers, of accents and cultures and DIFFERENT. I dreamed of being there . . . not here.

But assuming God hands us a real estate miracle and our house does, indeed, sell sometime this decade, we’re going to pack up our clothes and pictures and dishes and memories and move just a few miles down the road.

(We haven’t started looking for a new house yet, though we know the general areas we’d like to look in. But until we have more potential buyers interested in our current house, we’re holding off on the actual house-shopping business.)

It will be different. I mean, adjusting to the luxury of more than one bathroom and a basement to hide in during tornado season and a room inside my house (as opposed to the garage) for doing laundry will take some getting used to. But, somehow, I think we’ll manage.

But it won’t really be that different after all. Sure, I might have to switch grocery stores and enroll Annalyn in a different elementary school. We’ll find a new route to church and the nearest ATM and post office and Redbox. But really? We’ll still live in the same city . . . with the same view, the same friends, the same family, the same church, the same accents and festivals and sports teams and news stations.

The same dreams . . . the same dreams.

Don’t get me wrong. I get giddy, crazy excited when I think about moving to a newer, nicer, slightly bigger house with room for a guest room and all the chairs that fit around my dining room table. And a huge part of me is relieved to know we won’t be leaving family and friends and comfort of the familiar anytime soon.

Also? I know it’s no small thing that God has opened my eyes to the blessings of this place, this time, this life. The gift of contentment – the multi-layered one that I’m still unwrapping – is a big deal, and I’m immensely grateful for it.

But a small part of me is just a little bit sad to see that dream of moving on . . . moving on.

Do you love your city/town? Have you ever dreamed of living somewhere else?

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Photo by sonjalovas

Comments

  1. I love living here- in Colorado. :) This city in particular feels like home, because we’re farther out on the plains with fields in view. While I’ve never lived on a a farm, the ebb and flow of farm life is in my blood.

    When I was a girl, I was sure that I would move to an old farmhouse with my cousin living across the street. She’s moved all over the world as an Air Force wife. I’ve moved within the states four times, and am 1000 miles away from home. I was the first one on the other side of my family to live any farther than about 40 miles, and I got a lot of grief for that decision. What can I say, it was for love! And so my husband is home, and this is home for me now. It would be hard for me to live anywhere else now.

  2. As much as I love the idea of moving off to Colorado or California — some grand adventure! — I am not disappointed in the least that I’m still living in Missouri (different cities, but I’ve lived somewhere in this state my whole life). I don’t live close enough to either my parents or my husband’s to have free babysitting, but there’s still a lot to be said for not having to get on an airplance or drive 10+ hours to see relatives. And I have a big family on both sides of my family tree that are mostly scattered around the state, so I love being able to catch up with a cousin or uncle when I travel for work or a weekend in the “big city” (KC or St Louis).

  3. I’m with you in the house you didn’t mean to be in for a decade. :) We moved in thinking we’d be here for a few years, maybe 5 tops. When we moved in (just my husband and me), we didn’t even have enough foresight to buy a decently sized dining table. We bought a small circular one, without a leaf, and now we’ve got more kids than chairs. :) Quinn’s getting a full-on high chair soon here, because we don’t have a chair to set a booster seat on (like we did for our boys). We’ve been here for 5 1/2 years (I manage our building), and we’ll be here for at least another year and a half. Who knows?!

    So while it’s not exactly my dream, with its 1970s kitchen and cheap mauve carpet, it holds a whole lot of memories, and overall, it actually suits our needs quite well. (My vacuum can nearly reach the entire house while plugged in to one central outlet!)

    Thanks for the much-needed reminder to be grateful for what I’ve got. Off to facebook to share your series!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Haha, my vacuum can just about reach everywhere, too! (Well, you know, when I actually plug it in and use it?) And I’m with you – even though we’ve had more than our share of frustrations and complaints with this house, we also know it holds lots of memories we’ll hold dear no matter where we live in the future!

  4. chelleybutton says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever thought too much about wanting to live somewhere else, although I have been discontented here. But I’ve been realizing lately how I’m in the perfect spot, the state with the first caucus in the nation. The Ron Paul office opening right next to me, within walking distance. Plus it’s a pretty nice central location for all my out-of-state friends to travel to! I don’t think it’s a coincidence God has me here. :)