Finding Home

Of all of the items still outstanding on The List, this is probably one of the first that I should have already crossed off. Almost a year ago, her and I started living together. If you recall from the previous post, I had already moved in with her and things were looking good in the journey to repair the damage I was responsible for in our relationship.  Our relationship grew from there and we found ourselves again, further to that, when I finally brought up the nerve to propose marriage, she said yes and we had a whirlwind of a time laying the foundation for our marriage which will carry us in to the future.

Obviously, when you are married, it is expected that a husband and wife live together, so that proposal to share our lives together also solidified our intentions to always live with each other too. I’ve always had little issue finding places to live, and by moving in with my love, that task was considered completed,  however my focus has always been to find a home, and although we did live together for several months before we were married, it took some work to change our shared living arrangements in to a home that we share.

We share many of the responsibilities associated with keeping a happy and healthy home. We share the cleaning, cooking (some of it anyway), making repairs and planning maintenance and improvements, and having overall pride in in our living space. We are also very mindful that this building that keeps us protected from the elements, is more than just walls and a place for our stuff, it is a safe, nurturing place, where no matter what may happen with life, we have a place to go to that makes us feel welcome, that makes worries subside, not because of a couch, or a paint colour, but because we know that at home we can be together. This place is potential, with what we can do, and what we will do with our future years and future family.

For my entire life, I had just lived in places and kept my stuff out of the rain. Always unsure when something might happen and I would have to pack everything up again and nomadicly find another place to keep my stuff. But now, I don’t look over my shoulder, I don’t hold on to boxes in case I might need them in 6 months. I have found a place where I can feel free and sure of myself. Not the building, but the concept. Home. Home truly is where the heart is.

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Home is where the Heart Is

For the past 8 years I have moved around a lot. For the past 8 years I have moved my belongings in and out of different places. For the past 8 years, I’ve lived with many different people. For the past 8 years, I have not felt like I have had a home.

Constantly changing circumstances in my life over the last 8 years kept me in a state of shelter flux. Where I would find a place to live that suited my current lifestyle, then usually before the year was out, I’d need or want to move on to something else that better suited my new situation. Even before I started living out on my own, my family would move regularly, almost once a year as well, as financial situations changed. I guess I just got used to moving regularly. It continued for so long that I completely lost the feeling of being “home.” I could never plant my feet and start growing roots anywhere because I was never sure what would be happening in the near future.

It made me feel anxious and disconnected all the time. It was like a piece of my identity was missing. I always had a place to live and keep my stuff, but it never felt completely safe, never felt like it was my place, just a temporary spot to sleep until the next thing came along. With every new place I moved in to, I wondered if this might finally be the place where I get to rest and understand what it means to be home again. But every time, just when I thought I was getting comfortable, things would change, and I’d be moving somewhere else.

Near the beginning of this year, I experienced what it meant to truly be homeless. To actually not have a place to keep my own things or even sleep. It was terrible, and after that night, I knew that things had to change. My desire for home became stronger than ever.

I’ve already talked about staying at my friend’s house during the most difficult part of this past year, and although it was shelter, it was not home. I swore to myself that I would find a place, but even when searching for an apartment, I was still looking for a temporary solution, for something that would just get me out of my friend’s house. All that would have changed was that I would be staying with strangers instead of a friend. I thought about moving back in with my parents, several times, but the idea was just too humiliating. I couldn’t regress that much on my journey. Not if I wanted to be able to find myself back on the right path.

When I contemplated leaving this city for a job (and potential career), I envisioned a life there, with my own place, building my identity again, all because I had a place to call my home. Those plans of course changed when her and I started seeing each other again. Then, I started to envision a different life, with a home closer to my love, with thoughts of one day, perhaps building our lives together and merging them into one.

However, that seemed like a pipe dream at that point. I was just fortunate enough that she wanted to talk to me again, let alone think about planning a life with me.

Life has a funny way of working though. After some time, we actually did start planning a life together again and focusing on our future, together. Though I didn’t expect things to move as quickly as they have, I never imagined I would be today where I am now.

For the past 3 weeks, her and I have been living together, officially, and it has been wonderful. She has been terrific in opening up her house to me and sharing her space. Slowly, I am bringing more of myself into her house, and we are building a home together.  Day by day, I am feeling more comfortable living under the same roof, taking care of things that need to be taken care of, feeling more responsible for my surroundings, knowing that this is my living space too. The fear of having to move some place else is fading with each night that we go to bed together and the joy of planting roots greets me every morning when I wake up beside her.

After countless years, I am starting to regain that feeling of warmth and safety of a home. But it is more than the four walls and the roof that make me feel the way I do. It is not the couch that I can sit down on and and relax, nor the bookshelf that holds all of my books. It is not the closet where we hang our clothes, or the bathroom where I make myself pretty every day. She has played a big part in helping me find what I have been missing for so many years. Today I can cross off another item on my list.

She is what is making me feel home.

Finding a Hand to Hold

This past weekend marked the end of something I never thought I’d never have been involved with in the first place. This weekend I had my final session with my counsellor.

The end of this chapter was meet with bitter sweet feelings. I actually developed a great, trusting relationship with my counsellor, one where I was actually able to open up and talk about things about myself that I have been silent about for my entire life. I saw some great progress working with my therapist, and it helped me get through some very difficult times. I was also able to share great joys as well, and it was an uplifting experience to be able to include another in the secret that has been my life.

It does feel a little like I’ve just lost a close friend though. I never thought I would have benefitted from therapy. I am the kind of person that has always thought they knew best for themselves and my inability to trust people made growth counselling a near impossible feat. It took me many months just to start opening up, and I almost gave up a few times because it seemed hopeless. I’m sure my counselor was frustrated with me more than a few times. But my counsellor was persistent and patient, more than I’ve seen in most people, and eventually that persistence and professionalism paid off.

When I did open up, it was like a dam had burst. I had so many emotions, thoughts, and fears bottled up that I felt like I had been broken apart and like humpty would never be put together again. But, as time passed, and we continued working together, I discovered more about myself, and learned ways to control and even change certain behaviours, and it stuck. There were things we tackled that I didn’t even know I had issue with. the more we talked, the more I felt I knew myself. And that felt great.

I never would have thought Id have been able to go through this experience, but now I wonder how I was able to get by so long without it. I never thought that when we started, Id be sitting here feeling completely at peace with myself and feeling nothing but hope for the future.

It is okay to admit that sometimes you cannot handle something on your own. You may go through times where you feel nothing but hopelessness and despair. But you must remember that even if you feel you are all alone, even if you do not have any friends or family to rely on, as long as you have breath in your body, you have the power to change things.

Seeking professional help to deal with my life issues was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I encourage you to seek out assistance yourself if you feel like there is any part of yourself or your life that makes you feel unhappy. You can find that happiness. There is no shame in asking for a hand to hold.

Comfort In Numbers

I always appreciate when I receive new followers to my blog. Every time I do, I read their About page and check out what they are writing about. What I have found is that a lot of people are going through the same kind of journey that I am. Their motivations may be different, and their intended destination may vary from my own, but I do see a lot of people, similar to myself, going through the same kind of self discovery that I am. It is comforting to know that there are others out there, many, many others that have experienced confusion about their own existence and have taken it upon themselves to better understand who they are and where they wan to go. This type of journey can sometimes feel very solitary, but when I see so many others, I feel good about my quest, I feel good about humanity. I feel normal.

Out In The Open

To be honest, it is actually a bit of a relief to know that everything is now out in the open. For so long I’ve been trying to live my life and keep these dark secrets. It has been difficult over the past few years to bear the burden of my past actions and still keep a smiling face and positive attitude. Now, it is all out there for the world to see, and I don’t have to worry about keeping it hidden any longer. Now, I just have to focus on moving forward.

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

The Perfect Day

I am so very lucky. Recently, her and I spent an entire day together. It started by waking up beside her and only got better. We took a long walk in the park and talked a lot about life and us. We then sat on a park bench, cuddled up, and continued chatting. As the day, which was absolutely gorgeous out, waned on, we moved to her patio where we continued to talk and enjoy each other’s company. When the evening approached, we set out to watch a move where we hsd a great time chatting, joking, and jusy being around each other. Then continued to talk and be with each other for the rest of the evening.

It has been so long since I was able to connect with her like this. It made me remember why I fell for her in the first place. We have such a great chemistry together and always enjoy each other’s company.

With everything thst has happened, even though we’ve hsd some bumps along the way, her and I found each other again and easily fell back into each other. It feels a lot like before, but this time I feel a stronger desire, more trust, more love than we had the first time around. I really think we are getting there. She is the only one for me, and everyday, that feeling grows.

Earning Her Trust

This has been a very interesting weekend to say the least. But because this is a blog of my thoughts and feelings along my journey, I’m going to say much more.

For a while now, I thought that she had just about enough of m. I thought she felt wo betrayed and angry that her and I would probably never speak again, let alone reconcile our relationship.

A few days ago I received a text message from her, asking to meet up. I was nervous, and figured that this was the big “closure” talk we needed to have so we could both move on. We agreed on a date and I spent the next few days in sorrow feeling that this would be the last time I ever see her. A few days passed and I received another text from her, asking if I could send her an update on how I am doing since we haven’t talked in so long. I was happy to do so and spent several hours putting together an email update on my life this past month. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that there has been some huge progress lately. I sent it off and waited for a response. She texted me soon after and asked if we could meet sooner. Still not knowing where her mind was at, I agreed to come by her house a few days earlier. I spent the days inbetween racking my mind on what might transpire when we met up and was still unsure whst to expect right up to the point where I knocked on her door that evening.

She opened the door and I felt a wave of calm rush over me. Any negative feeling, about her, about life, about anything, disappeared. I was suddenly just happy to be in that doorway with her. Nothing else mattered. We hugged for the first time in over a month and I almost broke down in tears because of all the emotions that surfaced. I realized just how much I wanted her, needed her in my life.

We spent the evening talking away, first by going over the update emails sent between us, then going into greater detail about how we were feeling about life, the universe, and everything. We found that there had been an incredible disconnect between us and we had been miscommunicating our true feelings for quite some time.

We talked early into the morning, despite being exhausted, we didn’t want to interrupt the flow, the progress of our reconnection.

The end result is that we talked out all of our outstanding issues with each other and what might keep us from moving forward. The most surprising, and relieving part of it all, was how easy it was to share my feelings and thoughts. I no longer felt guarded or scared to trust her. I felt at home.

Over the next few days we’ve been continuing our discussion and trying to get back to where we were before I wrecked everything. I feel our connection is much stronger now as a result and that we’ll be have a much more open relationship in regards to our feelings and thoughts. With everything I’ve gone through to improve myself, I can actually see real change in how I interact with people, especially her.

I joked with her the other day that with our progress, I would be able to cross a very important item off my list, “Get Her Back.” Though I don’t want to jump ahead of myself and claim success when its only been a few days, her and I are now travelling this path together, becoming stronger than we were before. I now understand that I am not getting her back, but rather, earning her and her trust back.