Content to Rent

Its hard not to feel totally caught when the lady who lives in the home you’re taking pictures of walks outside and asks, “Are you taking pictures of my house?” Um, yes? I then responded, “Oh yes, but I’m not creepy.” What Katie? For those of you know me well, you wouldn’t be surprised that I then proceeded to explain why I was taking the picture, and talked waayyy too much, and probably did come off creepy.

Big sigh.

Well, heres the house. (By the way, look closely at the garage in the photo. You can see the lady with her arms crossed, watching me take pictures of her house. I didn’t notice that until I put the picture on my computer)

So, this is where its all been coming from. I’ve been having an internal scuffle with myself lately, and an afternoon walk with my daughter gave me a lot of time to think about it. Some of you know the story of our living situation in the past year, its takes too much emotional energy to explain it all, so I’ll defer to The Nester. (She’s explaining her sentiments surrounding their rental journey).

…at times with discouragement and disdain and a sense of hopelessness. Every day of feeling like a second class citizen, like dorks, like kids because we rent has been worth it because of this space right here on the internet. I had no idea that those days of discontentment were my education on how to find contentment…{full post here }

Reading her post was therapeutic for me. I love blogs, mostly for transparency they offer. I always feel ministered to when someone opens up to me with their life, their story, where they’ve walked and how they’ve gotten to where they are. Sometimes it helps to normalize how I feel, and sometimes it just helps to hear what others have gone through. However, those conversations are rare. We’re all so private sometimes its exhausting. Ah, another post for another day.

My struggle lately has been this: I love the house we live in, but I deeply want to feel settled in a place. I look around sometimes when I’m home and its sad because I know that sooner or later, I will need to pack up this house and go to somewhere different. The memories Addie and Tony and I create here will need to be transferred somewhere else, and thats alright, but its rough sometimes. I’ve been wanting to expand our family lately….but I also want to feel settled in. I don’t think I can have both right now. We were at a house this weekend that felt so much a like a home…with each room having its own special touches, which is something that becomes added over timethose things take time. Those special touches and long stays in one place are something I want for my daughter.

So back to my intrusive google earthesque picture taking. I walked by this home on my walk and fell in love. My photo does not capture everything I could see, but I wanted to remember it, to keep it locked away. So I took a picture. And had a hard time explaining all of this to the woman in the garage watching me, who bolted so quickly towards me that I would have thought she was a bull and I was waving a red sheet. I looked at this house and the soft lights and people inside and felt homey, it looked warm. I thought about what I want for Tony and Addie and our (hopefully!) other kiddos by then.

And when I talk about looking in someones windows and photographing it, it actually does sound kind of weird.

I do know its not the physical structure that creates that warm feeling inside a house. I know its the people inside of it that make it feel like something you want to settle in and cozy up to. But I also know that its been difficult, to move in and be treated differently because you rent (it happens! believe you me it happens). I often want to tell our neighbors that we did own a place before, and then I realize that I don’t need to explain myself…but I still want to. Thats the hard part.

This struggle in contentment, its real. And its something I’m having a hard time with right now. Though I’m lucky enough to know that its not the situation that has to change, its me. I also know that usually I like to have a clean, wrapped up, cute ending to my blogs, showing you the conclusion I came to or delivering a punchline to a funny joke…but I think this one is scattered and messy, like me right now. Ah, its hard to be okay with that.