My house is a complete catastrophe; I’m moving again. The sweet house I’ve been renting must be returned to her owner. As such, I’ve been sorting through piles and piles and more piles of stuff.
How did this happen?
Once upon a time, I prided my ability to move everything I ever wanted within my trusty Civic. And for many years, that was easy enough to adhere to. I made very little, spent most of it on travel, and was happy to get hand-me-down furniture from family.
Ah, my 20s. Such an adventurous, frugal, high-and-mighty decade.
Oh, how the idealistic fall. Specifically, I fell into a house full of things I’ve come to love. A comfy bed. A couch. An ottoman. Slowly, I’ve built a tiny shabby chic home. African masks, handmade quilts, pottery my brother threw, photography from travels, a closet full of board games and a kitchen bursting with every gadget Williams and Sonoma could think of. My bookshelves are full, and my dining room table is often crammed with hungry friends. Most of the furniture still is either hand-me-down, or came in a box with 1,000 pieces and directions in “Ikea,” but it was all paid for with my work.
I’m moving in part to create a new home with a man I love. A man who loves me despite my hippie, thrifty tendencies. A man who dreams of living in one of those Architectural Digest houses made of glass and steel. You know this feature spread. There is but one couch in the middle of the living room, and no art on the walls. It includes the stick thin couple standing on a patio holding Manhattans, grinning with perfect teeth and shiny hair, while a best-in-show dog rests at their feet, patiently waiting their next command.
I have Nelson. Have you met Nelson? He is a $50 pound puppy who barks at every car that goes down his street and is the sweetest, cuddliest, most unruly dog on the planet. His favorite food is pizza, when he can’t find/reach the tortilla chips. He often sneaks upstairs early to stake out his spot on the end of my bed, meaning most mornings I have to shake dirt and muddy squeaker toys off the sheets. I don’t like Manhattans (although the city itself is growing on me) and the idea of living in a glass and steel house gives me nightmares of being stuck in a dentist’s chair.
I’m sorting through all of this stuff — platters, frames, old linens, dusty copies of books I was supposed to read in college and have now moved (still unread) five times, bikes, shoes, shoes, handbags, tennis racquets and more shoes. It is liberating to get rid of all of this nonsense. I will not be owned my by things. I can walk away from it all, especially if it means walking toward the right person. A fresh start.
Nelson’s coming with. So are those quilts, and the pottery. And even some of the shoes.
This is an exciting, happy and very good place to be.