So we’re in.
Some kind souls shaved a few years off Purgatory and came out last Saturday to help me move my furniture et al to the new house. It took a Jeep, an SUV, a Honda Fit, and two trips, but we got it all over. I’m still unpacking, bit by slow bit, which is unusual for me. As an experienced Navy brat, I pride myself on getting “settled” into a new place quickly. (My record to-date is 8 hours.) For some reason, though, as I’ve mentioned to people over the course of this week, I just can’t seem to get into it this time. It’s not that I don’t like the house; I love it. I love my roommate. I love the neighborhood. I love everything about what this new life of mine is going to be. I’m just not quite ready to let go (completely) of the old one. Not yet. So I’ll let the dwindling stacks of boxes remain just a little while longer, to give the reality of everything more time to sink in.
Over the course of this move I’ve found myself reflecting more than usual on home–specifically, on what “home” means to the single young adult. I heard a single young woman a couple years older than I speak last fall on this very issue, and her words hit the thing square on the head. She posed it as a question: “Why do I always feel like I haven’t got a home?”
Always a roof over my head, a space to put my clothes, a shower, a refrigerator, an oven. So I hope I’m not ungrateful when I have to acknowledge, at least to myself, that despite all these blessings (and I recognize them as blessings and thank God for them daily) I have no real resting place. A place to rest my head, but nowhere to lay my heart. That is the rub of this single life, the one issue that underlies everything else. We set up multiple lovely households, but we have no real home. And I think we’re all constantly, painfully aware of that fact.
For now I’m getting acquainted with yet another new space–learning the places where the floor boards squeak and the way you have to push against the bathroom door until you hear a “click” or else it doesn’t close all the way; learning the particular smell of the place as you walk in after a long day, and how the bottom step on the walkway outside is just a bit too high, so you have to be careful how you step down on your way out. Oh yes, like all the other spaces in the past three years, I’m sure this one and I will be great friends; I’m sure I’ll learn to love it; I’m looking forward to many good times within it. But in the long run, I know this is just another temporary holding place, another stop on the journey. And yes, that reflection makes me just a little sad.
I do know in my heart of hearts, although I roll my eyes and sigh, that this is just God’s way of reminding me where my true home is. I know he knows how easily I would forget otherwise that I’m but a pilgrim on a long journey, and that I have no resting place this side of heaven. I’m tempted to hunker down, fold my arms, and announce, “Here I stay,” but I know it would be no good. We are all wanderers; he has to get us to the point where our very bones ache with weariness so we start looking up to the final goal. In that way, we singles are truly a blessed bunch of people; no one knows better than we what it is to long to the point of tears (sometimes anyway) for home.