Listen & Learn: What Does Your Home Have To Teach You?

I find that homes are like friendships that ebb and flow, you go through good times and bad, love and frustration, excitement and boredom, but if you find one you know deep down is truly special you buckle up, hang on, and hope to ultimately learn what life lessons it has to teach you.

Each home I have lived in has taught me something new: from learning to fill, scavenge and decorate the three floor townhouse in Las Vegas, to purging, organizing and keeping clean the 400 square foot box in Santa Barbara, to creating space and entertaining solutions in a small duplex with no kitchen or dining table in Los Angeles. Through all of these and many more I have struggled to find solutions to my home's quirks and obstacles, but have come out victorious with more knowledge, creativity and confidence to tackle the next one.

And now that my husband and I have bought our first home, I am forced to learn the ultimate lesson for me: patience. When we got this house, built in 1919, my friend told me that it would teach me patience and it would be good for me. I knew she was right, but it totally scared me cause I can't live in chaos and unfinished spaces and wasn't sure if I'd be able to adjust. I am usually a work work work, don't sleep and get it all done within a week of moving in kinda gal, but that is changing.

A quickly finished living space is impossible now, and I have plans that will take days, weeks, and years to accomplish. My motivation has completely shifted from needing to be quickly settled to slowly making this our home. Two months in I still have boxes in every room. I still have lots to be painted, things to be built, furniture to find, walls to be created all the while documenting as I go along. I have gone against my grain and have slowed down. I not only have to be patient I actually want to be and it feels good. I want everything to be just how I envision it and that isn't going to happen overnight and I'm ok with that. This is a very new way of doing things for me and can be frustrating at times, but as I wake up in my nearly empty bedroom and walk down my half painted stairs with three-quarters of a hand-rail through the living room with mismatched curtains, unfinished walls, no side tables and zero art on the walls into my kitchen and step over the pile of wood, passed the broken drawer to where I have almost finished paneling the breakfast nook, a smile spreads across my face and a sense of peace and happiness fills me as I turn around and feel gratitude that this home has taught me a new way to be.

What life lessons has your home taught you?

(Image: Vinyl Sticker by Urban Walls)

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.