After 10 years of playing hopscotch across the US, The Weatherman and I made a choice to settle in Oklahoma. There were a lot of reasons for this but mostly because we spent 11 years praying for an impossible doorway to open, never sure that it could, until it did. We took a beating to get here, leaving so many great friends, hopeful that our future here would be promising.
Since then the journey has hardly been what we expected; riddled with disappointments both great and small. But there have been plenty of wonderful things too. It’s not all bad—even a few good friends make nearly anything bearable. Also, The Weatherman can watch the Sooners play pretty much whenever he wants ( a dream come true), and we get to see both of our families more than ever, and very occasionally have the privilege of their free childcare.
One of the things we’ve not been able to overcome has been finding a house that we love.
When we left Omaha, we lost 700 square feet of living space including that comfortable 4th bedroom—meaning my girls, having 6 years spread between them, had to share a room. It took 9 months of cramped apartment living to finally purchase a house that we had already outgrown before we moved in. We’ve now been in our house for 5 years and although our neighbors have been an absolute blessing, we have missed that extra bedroom more with each passing day. Spacious living we can do without, but my oldest could use her own room (and my youngest could use some sleep).
We’ve casually looked for a 4 bedroom house for about the last 2+ years, but this past weekend it all looked as though that was about to change. We found an adorable house with 4 bedrooms and a pool in a fabulous neighborhood! Granted it still wasn’t what I’d call our dream home.
Does that even exist for the middle class anymore?
I’m pretty well convinced the answer is a big fat NO unless you’re besties with Chip and Jo--and maybe that only worked 5 years ago.
But this house was a far better fit than our current situation! We put the offer in, holding our plans with loose hands, and they accepted! So we busted our asses for 48 hours to get ours on the market, informed all the neighbors, and prepared for the change we’ve longed for…
...that is until the call came late Tuesday evening.
The dreaded call that a cash offer had come in with a quick close and that unless we release the contingency to sell our house first, we would officially lose the house.
Mind you this is the first house in 2+ years that checked off more than just a few boxes for us. Mind you my kids where stoked and making plans for their new rooms and all the epic pool parties despite our warnings to loosen their grip until we sign on the dotted line.
You see, this isn’t our first go ‘round—in fact over the course of all of our hunting we’ve seen well over 100 houses in our community of 123k people. Also, we’ve fallen out of 4--now--5 contracts for reasons beyond our control, and we’ve put in more offers and have been outbid on more homes that I can remember. To say it’s been rough to find the right home is an understatement, y’all! I have hated..HATED...every minute of our house-buying journey here. But even this felt different. Even with loose hands, this one had a surprising sting. That sting still written on the furrowed brow of my 13yr old’s precious face, now 48 hours later.
Well, for starters I’ve already returned all the staging shit I bought and pulled the For Sale sign in our front yard. Our house was on the market for all of 5 hours. And damn! if doesn’t it look good! But it only took a day to undo a shocking amount of work, but I digress.
We’re back to square one. Wading through the muck of our disappointment and wrestling back the all the superfluous why Gods. How does one walk through repeated disappointments? I sort of feel like a pro by now.
For real though, I’m not sure I can answer that question in a neat and tidy fashion and I’ll resist the urge to smatter the rest of this page with expletives. Here’s what I do know. You have to practice gratitude. Gratitude for what you do have. We asked that the divine would intervene if this wasn’t our best move—and well, the Divine did.
It’s not what we wanted, but I know what we would have wanted even less...having our own way.
Practice gratitude for the providential protection even when you don’t understand. Understanding often tarries. Sometimes we never have the privilege of grasping it. But grabbing hold of a bigger picture and putting your longings in perspective will change everything, which brings me to my next point...
Remind yourself what you love about where you’re at. Count all the blessings of it, ignoring the challenges. For me?...it’s not having to change my kids’ schools now and putting my weird art--that might scare potential buyers away-- back on the walls. There are at least a handful of other things I’m happy not to have to figure out now.
And lastly, keep your chin up. Wounds don’t equal defeat. Remember that there are always good things to look forward to even if you can’t see them right this minute. Your ability to see or not see on the horizon doesn’t negate the existence of good things ahead. Joy is not beholden to circumstance. Pick up your heavy feet and put one in front of the other. And after you’ve done that a few times, take a look around and see who around you is keeping pace.
I know I did—and it was good for my weary soul.
And for my final words, I confess this little nugget I’ve been withholding... I’ve been closet-studying poetry for the last couple of months. There was a time I used to write a lot of it. I have a secret journal that dates back to my high school days, where poetic lines used to flow with ease.
Why have I never shared this?
The answer is, I have always felt a lot of embarrassment over my poetic writings—mostly because they all tend to rhyme and that feels childish. I tell myself that grown up poets don’t rhyme.
But what if I don’t want to be grown up?! I don’t think I do. At least for tonight...maybe especially tonight.
With that said, I wrote a thing. A poem thing. I’ll leave you with this vulnerable little untitled poem I wrote to myself through tears and the bottom of my scotch glass.