I’m feeling rather sentimental today – perhaps even emotional. It might be because I’ve just spent the morning with a long time friend that I haven’t seen in awhile or the fact I’ve spent my spare ten minutes flicking through a house magazine wondering about the meaning I’ve put on bricks and mortar.
For such a long time I’ve resisted the change which is coming – moving to a more inland (a.k.a – hot and dusty) location. I’ve resisted it because I’ve been brought up two minutes from the ocean all my life bar the first five years. So I’ve always been able to hear the waves crashing if not see them. Even from my table now I can look out and see the sea breeze coming in off the water. I can see our beautiful coastline of blues and greens, the red and white lighthouse and the busy port. I see kite surfers at Backers enjoying our windy city weather and the many ships waiting on the horizon. I know how lucky I am to have this.
And this is my house. Where my heart has felt most at home. This is the place I’ve lived for just five years but it’s the house I came to as a little girl to visit my Grandfather. He built this house for his wife and daughters. My grandmother that I never met walked these hallways and it is here I feel I can at least acknowledge her life, that she did exist. I know she must of have been an amazing woman because she is the mother of another amazing woman … My Mum.
So because of this love I don’t see the flaking paint on the ceiling or the peeling corners of the wallpaper. Even the brown and orange tiles, together with the green and blue carpet doesn’t phase me even though I am an Interior Stylist and it should because it goes against all I’ve been taught and all that I know. To renovate this house has always been a dream of mine. But it wasn’t my husbands dream….
He’s a farm boy at heart. He loves the quiet remote life. The dust and the flies. He’d love noting more than to whisk us all, away to a remote station somewhere. Where he could work the land, raising sheep and cattle while I would run our little homestead on the huge piece of Australian soil of ours. Knowing this huge financial burden wasn’t attainable in his immediate future he instead bought a smaller piece of land prior to meeting me to build his dream home. This, he envisioned, would be a simple three bedroom home occupied by his farmer wife and their two kids, a boy and a girl. Little did he know that his future actually included a “beach city” wife who already had three children of her own and then had another two boys together. The acreage, the three bedroom house and white picket fence no longer existed quite so simply for his future. More likely a noisy five bedroom home with a cranky city wife who doesn’t like the hot inland air.
It’s not about being the bigger person and ‘giving up’ my dream for him. It’s not about letting him have his way, I’m not. I’m not because my dream also includes a loving husband, my children, a roof over my head, happiness, love, respect and my family close by. Financial security, great friends, living and breathing and laughter are also on my big dream list! I will still have all of that and more. Nothing can take those things away unless I let them be taken. In the past I thought I was letting him win. That I was ripping myself off from what I wanted. I thought by letting this happen it meant his dream was more important than mine and if I didn’t at least put up a fight I would not be honouring myself. But I’ve spent 29 of the 34 years of my life living near the ocean. Maybe that means the next 29 will be in lived in the dust and hanging with the friendly flies and that’s ok, hell I may even like it ‘out there’!
Whatever happens though I know how lucky I am, how lucky I’ve been AND
how grateful I should remain for everything I have in my life…
My new tattoo “Joie de Vivre” means “living with joy”. It’s a simple (and permanent) reminder that home is not just where the heart is but also where ever those that you love are. I inked myself with this in memory of my brother. He fought a battle no one ever should and with his passing he inspired those he loved to live happier. So I’ve chosen to acknowledge that home isn’t just one singular place, one built with bricks and mortar but it is where ever my bunch of crazies are at. It’s time to let go of the material attachment I have and live in the heart, a place we are all most happiest in. I can’t say it’s going to be that simple but I can say I am going to make that change as best I can.
Does anyone else feel like they have had to ‘give’ something up to honour their relationship? If so, why….