We’re homeless. In the stroke or two or three of a pen, our home went from us to a nice young family … a new baby, maybe a puppy down the road. I’m sure they told their friends they bought it from an “elderly couple” whose kids are grown. I’m fine with that. That’s us. We’ve lived their life. It’s their turn to celebrate birthdays in our dining room, plant flowers on our front porch, bake cookies in our oven, flush goldfish down our toilet. The night of the closing I was sad – or perhaps melancholy – chewing on the memories of the place we raised our kids, celebrated 13 years of Christmases, sat up waiting for teenage drivers to return safely home. It’s a bit unsettling to have no address – no grounding identity in that physical manifestation of “home”. My home is now inside me – my memories and values and remaining dreams. It goes where I go.
Saturday morning, I woke up singing Tom Petty. “It’s time to move on. Time to get going. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing”. That’s our life now – endless possibilities limited only by my own limited imagination. I announced to my husband I was over it. The day will come when I’ll crave the idea of home once again – I’ll yearn for roots and a backyard to plant them in, a mailbox to collect my Christmas cards, a kitchen to cook a family dinner. That day is not now. The people living in my home will do the things I’ve already done. Some day they’ll be the elderly couple selling their home to the nice young family. It’s the way the world turns. I begrudge them nothing and wish for them everything I have treasured in that home.
A friend suggested we are living our lives in reverse – doing in our 50s what we should have done in our 20s – a real life Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It works for me – to live with the faith and abandonment of youth tempered with the appreciation and perspective of age. Someday the soles will wear off our boots and the wander lust spirit will quiet. Someday I will want home and hearth. I’ll stop reading travel books and magazines and the Thomas Cook European Train Table. That day might be in weeks, months, or years. For now, I plan to live without the constraints of an anchor. I’ll take what I need – a passport, a Skype phone number, a camera, a journal and my husband. I’ll take the sun on my face and the uncertainty of where I’ll sleep next week, next month, next year. Send my mail where you like – I’m off living my life in reverse. Let me be a better version of the person I was in my 20s. That’s what the “in between” is all about. The world is our oyster.