Web Toolbar by Wibiya Shelby Rebecca: This house is not a home

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This house is not a home

Me, Mom, and Joe in front of the green bean trailer 

I've wanted a house, a real house, one that's mine and fully attached to the ground since I could actually formulate a thought about it. When I was little, in Anchorage, we lived in a real house for a few years. It was yellow and had a basement, which I don't remember, and a nice family room/living room area that I still remember to this day, although we moved when I was about three years old.

After that we lived in a green bean trailer that my parents bought from some friends and it was plopped onto the five acres they bought in Wasilla, Alaska. Later, it was hauled miles away to Houston, Alaska, and backed into a shallow spot on the end of the road at the Far North Recovery Homestead on Heath Road. It had green shag carpet, dusty brown couches, and faux wood paneled walls, but it was a well-loved home. I actually burst into tears when I think about it. Partially because of all the memories of the people who walked that narrow hallway and sat around the heavily waxed kitchen table--some who I'll never be able to see again in this life--but also because leaving there was not done in the right way~~thanks, Dad :-(

My reason for reminiscing about the last time I've participated in home ownership is that this year, John and I finally had the means to bring my/our dream to fruition. We bought a house.

Last May, I found out that I'd been hired as an English teacher. When I called John to scream the news into his ear, he told me that he'd just had a good feeling about it so he'd called B of A we'd just been pre-approved for a home loan. It seemed like a dream...

All summer, we walked around, home after home, looking for the one. Then, when we walked into this one, we fell in love.

The crazy brick work, the cool updated floors, and bathrooms, the openness of it...it seemed PERFECT!

John had to even go "activist" on them and call Fannie Mae CEO, whats-his-name, to get the house when the man working the file kept asking us to sign a strange agreement to accept our offer. We stressed, we cried, we worked hard and we got the house!!!

I'll never forget the moment when our Realtor Kathy Pylman handed me and Elise the keys.  By the way, Elise was actually the one who helped us unlock the key holder thing when neither Kathy or I could figure it out.

She and I walked in, I clutched the keys to my chest, closed the door, and I closed my eyes and cried real, heartfelt, tears. Tears not only for the grown-woman me, who thought she'd never own her own home because she wasn't worthy, but more importantly, tears for that little-girl me who always wanted a real honest to goodness house. She deserved it. Elise deserves it. All three of us do.

About one minute after we "bought" the house!

Here in lies the problem, the conflict, the irony. This home has never felt like MINE. We've been here for almost six months and when I walk in the door it still feels like I'm walking into someone else's house. I've tried really hard to make it MINE.

See--I've really tried.

I've slathered paint on almost every wall, adorned the windows with "dresses" fit for queens, measured for pictures, hammered nails, pondered over knick-knack placement, installed my own painted drawer pulls and knobs, rearranged several rooms several times, hosted holiday parties and Elise's birthday, but....I've. got. nothing. What is wrong with me? Why do I feel like I've made a huge mistake? Why do I suddenly want to pack the van with my prized possessions and loved ones and run for the hills?

I have no reasonable answer for this other than I may be too overwhelmed and have just shut down my emotions to protect myself, which would make sense. Has anyone ever experienced this before? What is this? Buyer's remorse? HELP!!!

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