I’ve already mentioned that the gigantic food portions have bee difficult to adjust to. They still are, thankfully. In a similar vein, it’s absolutely ridiculous to me to walk through my still-empty home and remember that it was full to the gills with STUFF. Why did I need so many things?
I lived in the same house for most of my formative years. My family moved from Claremore, OK when I was six years old and we stayed in the same place until I graduated High School. It was a two-story house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, and a good size back yard. We had a gas fireplace, a decent sized kitchen and dining area, and two car garage. It was pretty middle-of-the-road for a middle class family such as ourselves. My brother and I had our own rooms and we had a spare room for guests or to use as an office. When I close my eyes, I can still walk through the house with ease. I had my own television, a Nintendo, a stereo…quite the comfortable raising.
After bouncing around in a few apartments after graduating, I bought my first house when I was 21. It was a lovely little ‘bungalow’ house in a lower income area of North Tulsa off Memorial Street. Two bedrooms, connected living/dining room…perfect for a bachelor. I had a yard so I could finally get my dog back and often entertained friends. When I met Indi and she later moved in, we enjoyed painting rooms and arranging furniture, and eventually we decided that we needed a bigger house. Why? Because we had too much stuff to fit into this one. I think about that house often and wonder how different my life would be if I’d stayed there. The monthly payments were less than HALF what I pay now. And it was more than enough room…more on that later.
The house we live in now (and the one we rented out during our travels) is a three bedroom house. It’s huge. Walking around now, I cannot comprehend the rooms being chock full of the things we had before we sold it all. We barely have enough to fill our bedroom now and I already feel a little overwhelmed. For ten months, my house was a 55L backpack. It’s daunting to look in the closet and have *GASP* five different pairs of pants! If I want a snack, the refrigerator is just in the next room. I have a car I can drive anytime I want. I have a yard again, and soon hope to have a dog to run around with. I am happy. I am comfortable. But comfort has a way of encouraging complacency. I gotta keep an eye on that.
I don’t ever want this house to fill back up with possessions again. I can see now that it was suffocating me. It was becoming increasingly hard to make decisions that might affect the amount of STUFF I had. Also, I was starting to live more in fear. What if something broke? What if something got stolen? Life is about more than fear and locked doors. That same sense is creeping back into my brain. Today, if I close my eyes, I can transport myself to a dozen countries and an endless variety of temporary homes. When I open them again, I want to feel the same sense of freedom. I’m working on it…but it’s harder than I expected.