Home is a funny thing. I’m not sure I’ll even get sick of talking about it. It’s both a feeling and a place. Its all-encompassing when achieved and devastating when not found. Real estate allows me to be emerged in the constant creation and imagination of what and where home can be made. I would argue that the finding of a physical home (if finances exist) is significantly less of a challenge than the human spiritual need for home. It’s the emotional side of house hunting/creating that really keeps the spark alive for me. I think the reason for HGTV’s success lies in their genius of understanding these two sides, and the populations mindless, instinctive obsession with it. We all just want to call something our own that feels like the physical manifestation of our heart and souls.
This brings me to my birthday. This is my birthday edition blog post after all! Here’s a small glimpse into my personal struggle with home.
Home is a tricky thing for me personally. We didn’t all grow up in a stable, model, Brady Bunch home. For some of us, the model was broken. For some the first interaction with a home, emotionally, was that of some type of instability. For others, the physical interaction might have been that of danger and plainly stated - unsafe. I marinated in a home with more emotional instability than I have ever fully admitted, coupled with years of grief. These emotions were baked into every piece of drywall of what seemed like an immaculate 3000 sq ft suburban home in an affluent community. I say this to prove you can have a physical home without having an emotional one, and vice versa.
Maybe idealistically, I try to help clients create and find BOTH physical and emotional homes that hug their hearts and their wallets. My birthday seems to always remind me of the grief and brokenness of the home I grew in. I always struggle on my birthday to stay in a consistent mood, let alone a good one. When I bought my condo and redesigned it, I thought I had solved my problem. Create the home I had always craved and poof – problem disappears. The world messages, calls, showers me with love on my birthday and instead I feel that old, terrible marinade more than ever. Somehow the home I created to erase the childhood one feels like a sham. So, for the first time ever, to begin the last year of my 20s – I left anything that reminds me of the world I came from.
With some girlfriends in tow, we boarded a plane to Miami. A city I have never been to. A city full of culture, vibrancy and excitement. I was determined to match the city’s extravagance in everything we did. To truly emerge myself and forget about my birthday all together. In doing so, I finally had a birthday that didn’t remind me of the broken home, the birthday memories I never got to have as a child and the circumstances behind the home I made for myself now as an adult. This trip was my first experience of learning sometimes, home doesn’t fix all the problems but rather a spark of excitement can be just what the doctor ordered. That being said, I write this from my laptop resting on my aisle seat tray table on a plane back to Chicago. All I keep thinking is how happy I am to get back to my favorite furry 4 legged boy, my personally designed bed I can’t wait to curl up in tonight, and walking through the front door of the home that I have molded like clay into my perfect safe haven. This is 29.