On August 23rd, Colleen and I bought our first house. It’s an incredibly exciting, eustress-inducing, budget-scrutinizing, life-changing decision. We’ve been living in various apartments for 4 years and are overjoyed to start tackling home ownership.
That first night, before even moving in, it was a really weird feeling, walking around the empty rooms of the house. This sense of completion, of actually taking an ownership stake in something tangible and huge and expensive. Apartment living has always given me this subconscious safety net where I know in the back of my mind that if something major goes wrong with the place (barring damage to my own stuff), it’s ultimately somebody else’s problem. AC going out, water not running correctly, an outlet not having power, while I might have been affected by these things, they ultimately fell onto somebody’s lap to take care of. As I walk around the halls of our new house, I can sense that safety net has been thrown out the window.
In a weird way, I think feelings of nervousness or melancholy as I walk the halls are a direct result of mourning the loss of that safety net. Yet with any mourning process, with time I’ll feel more confident letting go of that safety net feeling and fully embrace the stresses and pressures of owning this house.
What’s fantastic is that while I lose the safety net, I’ve gained a new foundational sense of freedom I haven’t had before. Don’t like the color of a room? I can paint it. Do I want a fire pit in the backyard? I can go put one in. I get to have a real, living evergreen tree in my house in December (which reminds me, I need to buy a saw).
I think the freedom is just simply a feeling of ownership. Sure, I’ve owned loads of things in my life. Cars, guitars, TVs, wedding rings, pots and pans, clothes, etc. But nothing like our house, the place that we call home and cook and eat and sleep and raise kids and play music and celebrate holidays. It’s been an entirely fresh and invigorating feeling, and while I guarantee it will wear off (probably much quicker than I’m hoping), it feels damn good right now.
And after all’s said and done, the best part about this place is that I get to share it with my wife. We get to make this house our home. We get to make this house feel any way we want to. We choose the atmosphere. The house itself is great, but at my very core, I’m excited about creating a home with Colleen. I’m excited for this house to function as an extension of the happy life we’ve created for ourselves. This house won’t make our dreams come true, because we’ve spent the last 4 years already working to make them come true. The house, rather than being The Answer, is rather like a tool that helps us do what we’ve been doing, just a little better. We now get to work together to turn our house into our home, where we welcome friends and watch shows and play music together. Our house will become our home, which I hope is very reminiscent of “Our House“…