More than a house

“You’ll never make it without me. I’m your meal ticket.” He said it through clenched teeth, hatred seething through every syllable and he meant it. Those words pop into my head from time to time, and there are days when I laugh (with gusto, head thrown back and all) thinking back on that very pivotal moment in my life. More often than that, I pause to take stock of what I have accomplished, despite that prediction and it grounds me. I don’t mention this to throw stones, I mention it because of the gravity it holds for me. When you hear some variation of that same sentiment, even claimed to be “a joke” at first over a long period of time, you start to believe it yourself. The actual message being: ‘You’re not good enough on your own. You need me.’ I thank God in heaven that in that moment, there was just a tiny spark of me left – a small flicker of the woman I was raised to be, at least the person I knew I used to be. That girl heard a challenge. And she fucking went for it. Right then, the thought went something like, “Hold my wine bottle, dickhead.”

Abuse can take many forms. It can have lasting effects that creates funny survival techniques in all of us, and leave scars that go undetected by the outside world. It can be the most insidious of evils, living and growing just under the surface, like a cancer. No bruises or broken bones but make no mistake-your spirit is just as depleted and beaten. It slowly becomes your normal, and you may even have fleeting moments of clarity right before it sucks you back in-but I’m here to tell you, you can climb out. You can create the life you want. I am living proof.

What does this have to do with mid-century modern architecture? Nothing. It doesn’t matter what your home looks like, what kind of things you find to fill it with. Let’s get that straight right now. It’s everything to do however, with the hurdle that for me was homeownership as a single mother struggling to survive and provide on my own and what my home now stands for. Are there still times when I sweat the groceries? Absolutely. I think most of us are only ever one paycheck away from disaster. What we have to realize is that we put ourselves there, and we can pull ourselves out too. Whether personally or financially, sometimes it takes being in an ugly situation long enough or often enough before we finally learn to walk a different path- and move on to build something new. Something safe and secure.

This house reminds me not only of the importance and security of a strong foundation but the hard work that goes into building that within yourself. Matthew 19:26 says that all things are possible with God. I prefer the saying, “Pray as if it’s all up to God and work as if it’s all up to you.” Sharing my home and a bit of my story is only meant to encourage anyone who needs to hear it- you can do it. You can do all things. Even in a crazy market, even when it seems impossible, and you aren’t quite sure how you’ll make it happen. All things are possible.

More than just a house, the place we call home is a symbol of strength and endurance; a reminder of just how far my boys and I have come. It is our safe haven where we can be together, tucked away from all the craziness of the world outside it’s walls. This house, while beautiful is built on something even more valuable; it is built on love. It’s me. Classic vintage; still full of flaws and under construction, but made of some pretty sturdy stuff.