I spent the night in my new home last night. Going to sleep there was fine. Waking up there, not so much. After six months of going through the business and heartbreak of getting divorced and setting my children and me up with a new place to live, it's official:
My printed stationery is obsolete. I have a new credit card that I haven't memorized, I double-check myself when giving my phone number and I don't know where anything is in all the cartons and piles relegated to the corners of the rooms in wait for some furniture in which to place everything. I need more honey pots, so to speak, since as Pooh said, "they're useful things to put things in."
Oh, God, what have I done? I know how I got here, but I'll be darned if I know what to do now that I'm here. I have my work, of course, but I don't even know where to do that.
My office is still being painted and I have no desk or chair. So I'm sitting at the foot of my loaner bed with my laptop, well, in my lap -- another useful thing to put things in, especially a tired and sad daughter's head when she doesn't know where home is. I used to tell my kids that home is wherever the family is, but even the family is scattered all over the place. I don't feel like crying, myself -- more like I'm suppressing a howl like the one you make as the rollercoaster crests a peak and there is a steep corkscrew directly ahead.
I've spent most of the past 24 years living in two homes, each of which we lived in for a decade. My soon-to-be ex is still living in the second house, with its patina of clutter, bulletin boards of precious clippings, and blankets that smell familiar like a blend of oatmeal and soap. My place smells like paint, plastic bags and cleansers. The televisions don't work, I haven't got music yet except on my iHome and the internet is iffy. I've christened my bathroom the Casper Suite since I have white sheets hanging over the windows. Okay, now I feel like crying.
This is what I have wanted for a long time, but I didn't realize how bumpy this landing would be. We're still rolling erratically down the runway and I'm still praying that the pilot puts on the brakes so we don't go skidding into hysteria. Last night I grabbed a book after dinner and literally sat in five different places to find my "reading space." So far, outside in the yard feels the most comforting, albeit breezy and dimly lit. At least it smells neutral and doesn't remind me of all the work I have to do still to build my nest. Although seeing all that wild bamboo growing up the side of the house did upset my chi a bit since this is a Spanish house and tropical just doesn't work. I'll put that on my list.
The goal of getting lighter by passing on the stuff I've collected over the last ten years has had its own unforeseen crises. My best friend's daughter just got her own apartment nearby and I gave her some things I'd had in storage and a few lamps and accessories. Now she is living in the sweetest, homiest little place with my stuff in it and I'm aching with envy. Perhaps it's seeing my stuff in her life that gets me around the lungs or perhaps it's how simple her move was. She's 24, the age of my marriage, and unmarried and childless. Her biggest challenge was getting a bed and a bureau before she started her new job on Monday.
My jobs -- and I have many -- all take place in my home. I mother here, I write here, I design my website here, and I confer with my lawyers and other business associates here. I plan to have my friends come here, and many have in spite of my secret perfectionist desire to not wanting to show the place until it's more presentable. What I don't do here yet is settle down. Why I even expect to feel settled when I still don't really know who I am going to be as a single woman is fearful and impatient of me, I know. But I just want to know that we'll all be okay and happy. For that, I'll just have to have faith.