I am sitting in my new living room on Saturday night. Taking a break from a painting I need to finish by Monday. Not quite believing this house is my home now. It is by far the nicest place I have lived. Since I have been on my own anyway. Since I was 17 when I last lived at home with my parents and they paid the bills. I don’t quite feel like I deserve all this. The refrigerator with the ice maker that I just heard in the huge kitchen that actually makes me want to cook in it, with so many cabinets, with so much counter space. There is a disposal in the sink. One of two sinks. I have lived in my share of, um, beginner apartments. Ones where the roaches and rats should have had to pay part of the rent as they easily could have been considered roommates. When I got pregnant I insisted on leaving that one. Despite the super cool balcony on the front of the house that seemed such a selling point in art school, it was no place for a baby. Later came the basement apartment. Which we shared with spiders and those icky science fiction crickets. That was where I was pregnant with Sophie. It was a cool part of town and it seemed pretty good except for the transvestite prostitutes that would walk through our backyard at about 7 in the morning on Sundays and say hello as they jumped the fence in their short mini skirts and stillettos. You think I kid? Nope. I mentioned I was pregnant with Sophie there? We only had a shower, no tub. No baths and pregnant. That was fun. I did get progressively better places like most people as time went on, but we never could afford a really nice place. Decent, but not nice.
The apartment I was living in the past three years was decent. Again, not amazing, but clean and in a nice neighborhood in the kids’ school district. Sure our neighbors called the police on each other more times than I would care to admit, but it was what I could afford after the divorce. I decorated it and made it home. It was mine. It was small, but cozy. I learned to move out of the way when the shower made that sound or risk getting scalded. I knew the kids could not take showers, only baths in their bathroom. They would always get scalded – at least in my shower you had a warning sound. Sophie’s door wouldn’t close all the way and you couldn’t open certain windows cause the screens had fallen out, but still, the dishwasher worked and so did the washer and dryer. And the air conditioner worked almost all the three years I was there. But it got small. A year ago I began dating a friend. And we fell in love. And last February the Best Boyfriend Ever moved in. And we were all happy, cozy, getting to know each other in that little apartment. But it was small.
So last May we decided it was time to move into a place of “our own.” And it seemed like a lot of work and in the end I think we weren’t ready or we were scared it would mess up our relationship, so we both decided it was not time. And I think we were both surprised at how easy the decision was. Because we listened to our hearts. But a few weeks ago we realized it was time. And we wanted “our place.” And we looked. And we looked. And we looked. And we just about decided that maybe we should just wait until next year. But then we found “the house.” We walked in and it felt right. It felt like somewhere I could be for a long time. But it also meant trusting a man again. Like for real, I can’t do this alone, so I need to trust you trust. And he had to trust me to. And we took a deep breath and decided it was time. And we trusted each other. And now, here we are. In a house that is amazing. Has four bedrooms and an office that I can use for a studio. The kids haven’t even seen the inside yet because we got the keys the week they were with their dad. It’s weird to be in a house, already living here and my kids have not seen it yet, don’t know which rooms are theirs yet.
There are so many things in my life that seem weird, but I am coming to realize that nothing is weird. Three years ago i certainly never thought I’d be here. Life is funny, how it works, what you expect and what actually happens. I try really hard to let go and to accept that I can’t make my life happen in the order and speed in which I want it to. And I get angry when it does not work out the way I worked so hard for it to. But then suddenly life hands you a gift that you were never expecting in a million years, not now anyway. Not without planning, it just happening. A good amazing thing happening with no planning or trying at all. And suddenly you are trying just as hard to feel like you deserve this good luck as you were at saying you didn’t deserve that other bad luck. And you realize you have two walk in closets in your bedroom with a bathroom that has a deep tub with jets for luxurious baths and you have a big backyard for your dogs and you might actually want to try cooking something other than macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. So sometimes when you least expect it, life not only goes your way, but makes you feel almost unworthy for such wonderful gifts. I am not sure what i did to deserve this, but I guess I can give life a break for not doing things my way, cause this way? It rocks. And i am not sure I have ever been happier in my life, and I certainly know I have never been more in love than i am right now with a man I will trust until the end of my days. That I have never known a sweetness and a kindness and a passion like I receive from him. And I am so lucky, blessed, whatever. And I am going to try to stop figuring out why and just be grateful that this life is mine.