Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Home is Where My Heart Is

I went to an "alternative" middle school, a place for kids who had trouble fitting in in more mainstream schools. It wasn't really all that alternative, but we called the adults by their first names and had fewer boundaries, perhaps. (Or maybe that was just me.) Once we went on an all-school overnight camping trip, and the teachers were talking depressedly about how the worth of their houses had gone down. I was appalled, and told "you're talking about your homes, how can what they're worth be so important?"

Of course they considered me very naive and foolish, and looking back I see that I was rude and uninformed. But the interesting thing about this memory to me is that I really haven't changed. When my husband and I shopped for a house, we irritated our realtor because we didn't want to settle for a "starter" home... we wanted something we could love and stay in. And all our friends said, "Oh, you'll want more space and move within a few years anyway." And they thought us very naive when we said no, that wasn't going to happen.

Well, we bought a house in 2000, and had a child a while afterwards. We're still in it. And barring very bad luck, the vagaries of the housing market matter very little to us.

This memory made me happy. I've felt for years that in trying so hard to fit in with the world, I've lost much of my essential self. I'm glad some of me is still there.