Where IS home: Hearts or Hats?

Some people say, “home is where you hang your hat”.
Others say, “home is where the heart is”.

So what if your hats are in one place but your heart is in another? Where is home?

Hearts & Hats


We’ve lived in New Town for 7 months now and have been all settled in for a while. We’ve had time to unpack, arrange our furniture, rearrange our furniture, and rearrange it again (because that’s how I roll). We’ve done some painting and organizing. And we really love this house – it suits us perfectly. We have space to relax and play but not so much that cleaning is impossible. The bedrooms are a good size and I love the way you have to take one step down into the living room and the way the hardwood creaks in the dining room. I love the windows and the trees that surround us and even the big black crow that visits our bird feeder every day. And certainly we have many hats hanging here.

 



We go about our daily living: preschool and second grade and work and judo and choir and dogs and fish and groceries and coffee and…and..you get it. Things are good. I *feel* good.

And then I check Facebook. And I see everything that’s going on in Best City. How everyone carries on without us. What we’re missing. One of my Best City friends is having a hard time and my heart literally hurts (because, well, empath) that I can’t be closer to hug her and make her tea. And another friend is moving and could use some extra help and I’d really like to be the ones to do that. And our kids still talk about their Best City friends all the time, even though The Little doesn’t understand that his best little gal pal, Miss E, doesn’t even live there anymore either.

And I realize that no matter how many hats we have hanging in our house, my heart is not here and so it doesn’t feel like home.

Don’t get me wrong: we’ve made this house very homey. And if I could pick it up and take it with me everywhere I would because I love it that much. And please don’t give me advice about “making the best of things” or “enjoying each experience” because sister, I PREACH that shit on the daily to myself and to anyone going through a hard time. But you can tell your brain these things all you want, the heart has a mind of its own.

Hubby has a career manager meeting coming up. This means he’s going to tell The People what our family wants: to go back to Best City and stay there forever and ever amen. He is willing to travel close by, if necessary, to be home on weekends, if that means the boys and I can stay put. And when I think of that possibility: of being where my heart is, of being close to my friends who will be there for a while, of buying a house that we don’t have to immediately start fixing and improving and getting ready to sell again, I could just burst. I don’t even know how to process that information because it seems too good to be true. And then, the cynical military wife in me shouts, “Then it probably is.”. Because I know that just because we say we want it, and just because we want it soooooo bad, doesn’t mean it will happen. We’ve been there before, where we tell The People “We want to live in A, B, or C”. and they say, “Uh huh. We’re sending you to Q”. I’m trying to hold my preferences lightly but it’s hard when you want something so badly. It’s hard when you can’t even drink in a full breath of air sometimes because the weight of uncertainty and the fear of not getting what you want are just so heavy. That f**king elephant weights one million pounds and is just sitting there on my chest like dead weight.

And I hang more hats and more hats, thinking that if I do that then surely my heart will get the message: This is home! But my heart knows what my heart knows, and it knows that this is temporary.

You know when you go to someone’s house to pick something up and you know you’re only staying for a second and so even though they’ve invited you in for a moment you just take off your shoes but you leave your coat on? And they say, “Want a coffee?” and you say, “No thanks, the car is still running” and you don’t really settle in because you’re only there for a sec, even if you did take your shoes off.

That’s our life. That’s what moving every 2 years is like: like never taking off your coat and always leaving the car running. And it’s soooooooo tiring sometimes.

I know there are some people who love and even crave the adventure. And they have well meaning advice about that. But at the end of the day, that isn’t me. That isn’t us. Adventure is a wonderful thing and I’m truly grateful for where the military has taken us, but I’m ready to have my hats and my heart under the same roof.

And for Pete’s sake, I just want to hang up my coat and turn off the car and stay a while.

But for today, I’ll just have to hang up another hat.

Maybe this one will do the trick.

Take care,
Mel

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