The House, My Home

Warning: $#!+'s about to get real up in this blog post.

I might be starting to freak out a little.

I've been a little hesitant up until now to show you the real me, dear reader, but I feel like we've gone through enough ice breakers at this point to let you in on a little secret: approximately 75% of the time, I am a hot mess.

It'd be grand to be able to regale you with my tales of carefree, happy packing whilst the sound of the crinkling newspaper being delicately wrapped around my dishes mixes with Natasha Bedingfield singing "Pocketful of Sunshine"in the background, but alas, that is not my story to tell.

Let me start at the beginning. This is how my apartment looks right now:

I could try to make that photo prettier somehow, but all of the possibilities only make it look even messier.

Are you stressed yet?

Since this is the internet and you can portray yourself and your life however you want, I could tell you that everything is going smoothly, and that we're almost done packing, but that would be a straight up lie, and I want to be honest with you, because you mean a lot to me. Also, I've decided that the core mantra of my Happiness Project is to Be Rachel, so I need to embrace my inner anxiety monster and ride this one out on a wave of truthiness (word copyright: Stephen Colbert).

Just to be clear, I am absolutely stoked about this trip. To be able to check off one of the top items on my Bucket List is a huge deal, and I can't wait to actually be on the road and see LA in the distance (although I'm not entirely sure that's possible to do as you're driving in from the east...the hills might get in the way). I'm so excited to be mere single digit miles from the ocean, and to take some risks and put myself out there in a way I never have before. But today, I went home to my parents' house, the house I grew up in, for what was perhaps the last time until I come back to visit, and a little piece of me broke down as I left.

It's finally starting to hit me: it's one thing to go away to college in the same general region as your hometown, or to study abroad for four months in a country that is in the same time zone as your hometown for half the year. It is an entirely different sort of thing to go halfway across the country with no real game plan for an indefinite amount of time. I have always had that house, that bedroom, to go back to at the end of whatever phase of my life I have been in. It has always been a shortish drive or a month's worth of time away. This time, not so much.

This afternoon, as I turned left off my street and headed towards the highway, I tried not to make a big deal out of it. Unfortunately, the more I tried, the more I thought about it, so I ended up holding back tears the whole way home, and then breaking down entirely once I reached the safety of my apartment. It felt good to cry, but I know there are more tears to come before we finally leave the Minneapolis city limits (and probably a good few after that as well).

I think it all comes down to this: that place where I grew up is a rock to me. It is the solid foundation that has been there through all my many sorrows and joys. It does not belong to any specific situation or relationship, though it has weathered them all. I often feel as though those bedroom walls know me almost as well as myself, as they have heard my tears and my angry yells and my laughter. No matter what is going on in the outside world, I can walk in the front door and collapse on the floor of the front room (as I did after my first week of college), and breath in and know that peace still does exist in the world, because it exists under that roof. Moving far enough away that I won't be able to do that on a whim any more is going to be exceedingly more difficult than I thought. I have a new fear that I discovered today: the fear that I will never feel as truly at home in any other place as I have in that house. The fear that I won't be able to find another refuge that actually makes me feel enveloped in safeness when I am in it.

But I guess this is what growing up is all about. I've already done so much of it, especially in the past few years, but I'm starting to understand that there is much more to come. As I thought about this today, I also came to the realization that one of the many reasons this move is a good...move (ha) so that I can experience these emotions and grow from them. I need this. I need to feel like this so that I can learn to deal with it and continue to live my life in the present and for the future. I want to do this while cherishing the past, of course, but I also want to be able to focus on the moment and allow new refuges and homes to find a place in my heart. After all, how am I supposed to live life in every word to the extent that it's absurd if I can't allow life as it is in every moment to be where I want to be?

In my haste to avoid crying this afternoon, I left without taking a decent photo of my house. This is a shame, because it was at its most beautiful today: green, sunny, breezy, and homey. But a photo wouldn't have been able to capture all that I wanted it to in this case anyway, so a Google Maps street view taken in what looks like the middle of cloudy autumn day will have to do:


I love you, house of mine.

The words in this post were many, but I feel slightly better now, so thanks for listening.

I leave you with a few things I'm diggin', and some pretty pictures of a misty field at sunset to soothe your soul, which you might need at this point (I know I do):

:: The Inside Out Project

:: This fantastic post on the blog The Wilder Coast that absolutely nails what it's like in the mind of a twenty-something-year-old. Seriously. Read it.

:: Three creative videos (MOVEEATLEARN) by filmmaker Rick Mereki that gave me wanderlust like nobody's business. The guy in it isn't too hard on the eyes, either (if you're in to the whole dark, handsome Australian thing, at least...shut UP, I have my own hottie patottie boyfriend, thank you very much)