We did it. We actually did it. After months of floundering, of crunching numbers and coming up depressingly short, of selling nightmares, of offers shot down, of deals gone wrong, of temporary living situations…
We finally moved into our new home.
Yes, we got the dream house. Do you believe it? I don’t. I’m in a state of euphoric disbelief. I woke up yesterday morning and sat on my bench seat and drank a cup of coffee while staring wistfully out at my English tea garden of a backyard…just like I dreamt I would.
The first night in our home, back in our king-sized Tempurpedic bed, I slept like a 12-year-old kitty coming down from a catnip high. I had dreams about winning the lottery and being chosen as a dance lead in a new production at the Joyce. I woke up thinking…wow. I had a goal for this year, and I actually achieved it. That hasn’t happened since…ever?
For the first time in my adult life, I finally feel “settled.” I am in the home I plan to stay in for the long haul. My son is set up to go to the school district we plan to keep him in until he graduates from high school (barring any unforeseen events). I am in a great job where I see a wonderful future ahead. I have no gnawing feeling in my gut telling me I’m better than this. We’re better than this. I feel a gentle warmth moving through me like pee spreading out in a cool pond (not that I know what that feels like).
…So now what?
This is unfamiliar territory for me in so many ways. I’ve spent the better part of my adult years trying to “make it,” whether that was going for a dance career or just trying to pay my bills and get out of the ghetto. Now that I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish…well…what do I do?
I think I know the answer to that. Be content. So many kids in their 8th grade yearbooks write, under what they want to do when they grow up, “Be happy.” I was never one of those kids. I was, “Be a dancer on Broadway. Be an author. Be an [insert important-sounding title here].” Now, as I grow older, I realize those kids who seemed directionless to my 14-year-old self actually had it right.
Just be happy.
Turns out, being happy is a little bit of work. I have to train myself to let go of the deeply-ingrained need to claw and scrape and yearn. I will continue to push myself to become smarter, to be a better parent, to excel in my career, to nurture my family and my friendships. But the titles and the milestones, at least the ones I’ve had my eyes set on for the past decade or so—I need to figure out how to let those blend into the background and just be.
Anyone have any pointers? I’m new at this.