You Can’t Go Home Again

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.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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