Splendid Spinsterhood

A year ago I was keenly longing for my own place- a kitchen in which to bake, a living room to invite people into,  wall space to hang my prints.

Three months ago I was making detailed plans for getting an RV to live in so that I could have my own home while still being able to travel.

I’m pretty happy staying in guest rooms and sleeping on couches, but at the same time, I find myself mentally decorating some imaginary home of my own. I spend a little time here and there “shopping” for things like area rugs and arm chairs. My dream house is the coolest thing you’ve never seen.

Maybe I talk about this a lot?

If it seems like I’m repeating myself, it’s probably because I’ve been in this flexible state for the last 4 years- not at all what I expected from life so near to 40. While I’m waiting and waiting to find out where “home” is, I learn more and more deeply how comfortable it can be to be homeless…

I talked with one friend recently about how 10 years ago I had the very specific fear of being just as I actually am right now: single, semi-homeless, “in-between jobs.” Those three exact things clumped together were on my list of unfortunate futures.

How little I knew of what it really means to be a loved human being.

While the RV idea is something that still interests me, I stayed this last weekend with some friends in Wenatchee, Washington and I realized something surprising and wonderful. I know some truly kind hearted people and because of my questionable social status, I get to spend real, quality time  enjoying their hospitality.

I’d hate to make you jealous of my lifestyle, but it’s kind of awesome to be so free, but also still a very grateful part of community. My heart is easy enough to pack up and bring along and I find myself enjoying the cozy spaces of friends (and their families) wherever they may be.

I usually hope to relate these posts back to a bigger picture and in this case it’s pretty simple. While I may have always agreed with the sentiment, “home is where the heart  is,” I have recently discovered what this really means. It isn’t just about being with people that love you, because sometimes relationships that you place your hope in fall right apart. It’s not just about ‘loving the one you’re with’ because often enough the person in the room is not looking for anything you have to offer. But if you relax your hands open and you bring your heart along, you may just encounter the beauty of loving and being loved. You may find yourself grateful to people who are equally grateful to you. You may look nothing like anyone you’d hoped to be and somehow find yourself exactly where you should be.

If you’ve lost something or someone you thought you could not live without, I want to encourage you that it’s going to be okay. It won’t always feel okay, it may often be very hard, but there are still beautiful things ahead. There really are reasons for hope.

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