I’ve lived in 10 different places over the last 14 years of my life. Tomorrow I will be moving into a place that I hope to be staying in for quite a while. After years of dorms, roommates, and keeping stuff in boxes because I know I’ll move in 12 months time, I’ve bought a condo. I’m a little nervous because it’ll be the first place (other than the home I grew up in) that I’ll be tied to.
I’ve had lots of places that I’ve called home. I went to boarding school in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin (not where they make the butter) when I was 14. That made me view home different. While I missed my parents, I met tons of new people that were as close as family. It was a place I enjoyed spending time in and where I felt comforted so many times.
St. John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota was another great place that I called home. College means so many different things to different people, but that sense of community really stuck with me. I like feeling like I belong in a small tight-knit community. The Benedictine monks on campus were welcoming and made me feel like it was a place where I could grow in numerous ways.
That spiritual aspect of community and welcoming people into your home is something else that means a lot to me. It’s been hard for me to do that the past few years because A) the places I’ve lived haven’t been too conducive to that and B) I haven’t had the time or have been too far away to really take advantage of that. I think sharing a meal or a beverage with people at your home is one of the best things about life. I do enjoy going out, but making your home welcoming for fellowship is awesome as well.
I lived in five different places in four years after college. That was tough. While I liked the places I lived in Maryland and Boston, I never felt like I settled into one place. My job was a one-year contract and there was always kind of a time limit with grad school in Boston. I kept my possessions light, most everything fit in one car. And I resisted making big purchases. That was a little tough. I enjoyed my flexible life, but it wasn’t sustainable. At one point, all I had for furniture was a folding card table, three different folding chairs I bought at Goodwill, a frying pan, and a radio. While it was awesome, I don’t think I’ll be doing that again anytime soon.
Marshall was a very nice town and I had good roommates, but I had a shelf life there too. I never expected to be there more than a year or two.
And after living at my parent’s house for the longest period of time in over a decade, here I am getting ready to sign for a mortgage. I have no idea what color I’m going to paint the place. I don’t know how to furnish it, and I don’t know when I’ll host a housewarming party. But I have time, I’ll be there a while.