June 27, 2011

When I was little, I dreamed of being a famous actress. Nevermind that I had an unholy fear of speaking in front of crowds. I just knew when I grew up I was going to be one of the most well known people in the world. I’d be rich and live in a huge house and everyone would want to be me.

As I got older, there was always a sense of “having the best” in me that often caused strife in my marriage and life in general. I could settle for less but only at a cost of (what I thought was) my happiness and with longing for better the rest of the time. I felt that I was biding my time until I was discovered or won the lottery I didn’t play.

Then one day in San Diego, I was sitting in traffic waiting for everyone to move so I could get to my exit. And I remember looking at the half mile of cars in front of me, all waiting to get somewhere. As I looked around, it hit me just how many people must live on earth. And how 99.99% of us all want to be special. To be known.

The likelihood of that happening is really, really small. I mean, really. And what was I thinking, someone was going to see me in my car and offer me an acting gig? That I was going to make two hundred thousand dollars a year on a high school education?

A small part of the unsatisfied me began to die that day. Little by little, although it still would flame up in jealousy and desire when I’d see a bigger home, a nicer car, a better job.

Moving from our home (that we almost lost) to an apartment, having to downsize all our stuff, then leaving Sam because of his drinking gave me a huge change in my perspective on what mattered.

As did moving here. To El Paso. And staying in a crappy hotel with limited access to anything, in a town thats definition of “nice” is the Colorado definition of “run away.”

Today we looked at homes to rent. As we drove along, I felt the same, “Omg, I can’t live here. I can’t bring anyone to this place. What will people think?”

Then I heard Sam say, “I just want you to not have to work. To be able to stay home with Bella. So these homes aren’t huge or anything, but it’s safe and clean and military friendly.”

Once again, perspective took hold. I had a choice. I could be a spoiled brat and insist we live way over our means so I could show off and feel great about our house, then fight about how tight money would be and go back into debt while I went back to work.

Or I could accept what we can afford as a military family, as a SAHM, and still get to be what I love – a housewife in a little neighborhood with other families just like us.

I’m choosing acceptance. I’m choosing to let go of my pride and need to impress (and who I might ask? My family and true friends won’t care if I live in a mansion) and accepting what I am given here. It’s not easy. It might not always shine through in my posts. I may still bitch and moan about how hot it is (107 today) or how I wish there was fun stuff to do. But I’m trying. And I’m allowed to say those things – just because we signed up for this doesn’t meant we don’t get to whine sometimes.

I have a choice. And I’m choosing to let the idealistic American dream of a big home in a perfect neighborhood go so we can be debt free, live in our means, and raise Bella at home. Those are the important things to me, it’s what truly makes me happy. I can live anywhere because it’s the life inside the house that makes it a home.


  • –

    September 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    […] The tie-in? You got it… world famous.   I read a post a while back by Diana over at Hormonal Imbalances about how she wanted to be famous, too, and it made me laugh.  Maybe that’s what we all […]

  • Brooke

    June 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Wait, dude? Did you type this all on your phone???

    (For some reason that just occurred to me and now I HAVE TO KNOW.)

  • Janelle

    June 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    “I can live anywhere because it’s the life inside the house that makes it a home.” Love this. Thanks!

  • LA

    June 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Women I can relate on so many levels. We have been beyond lucky to gain lots of support from our parents which has let us live a life that there is no way we would otherwise. It was nice for a while until everytime we turned around something else broke, something else came up and we woke up. There is a reason we build up to a level and guess what we are working are tail off to get to point we can handle it all and one day we will build up. You will too and you’ve got the right idea. Home is whats in the house and for me and I know you thats happy people that love each other and care for each other. A big hug to you. I think of you so often and am praying for all of you. ::hugs::

  • Dana K

    June 29, 2011 at 5:04 am

    This is a great post and a great reminder about perspective. If we get transferred back to the West Coast, we know we won’t be able to afford as big of a house with as big of a yard. Choices will have to be made. It never ends, does it?

  • Miranda

    June 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I wish I could remember verbatim the quote about the American Dream that I read to my students when we read The Great Gatsby. The current American Dream is a bastardized version of what it started out as originally. But you? You’ve actually captured the spirit of the original American Dream with this acceptance, Diana. So good for you!

  • Amber

    June 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Your little one is going to treasure the memories you build together. The house you build them in will matter little when she is old enough to look back.

    Good for you on making things work for you and your family!

  • Jenny

    June 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Wow. Awesome post. Thank you for sharing this lesson. I think this is something a lot of people (including myself) need to be reminded of occassionally. I actually teared up on this one, it hit home a little bit. We can always learn from other people’s actions in certain situations and apply it to our own life. Acceptance is a hard thing to do sometimes, but you’re realizing what’s important to you and your family and that makes it easier. Way to go, I hope things keep looking up for you! 😉

  • Beth

    June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Yes, I’ve gone through this last year (moving to a new state) and currently (moving across that same state) and it is not easy. Granite countertops with new appliances in the kitchen doesn’t apply and one bathroom for 2 1/2 people is doable (almost) but my husband provides me with what I *need* to stay at home with our son. For that, I will never complain!

  • Kim

    June 28, 2011 at 4:04 am

    So, Aly and I ARE going to be sleeping in those Costco size Kashi cereal boxes? ;p You know how how to turn a house into a home, how to be a hostess when you need to be and most important, how to be the wife and mother, the woman you want to be. I’ve been on the phone w/ you through a lot of this moving stuff and I’ve been telling Art the whole time,”WOW, she is way more grounded/graceful/awesome than I would ever be.” Ask him.

  • Alexia

    June 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Amen to that last line sister. Cause I’m coming to terms with that too and you said it brilliantly. Wishing you find a nice little home to raise that beautiful family in 😉

  • Brooke

    June 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Beautifully put. My sister once told me her biggest lesson as a parent was (and is) surrender. I think being a parent puts the act and concept of “surrendering” into a whole different light. Accepting where you are is so important.

  • Aleina

    June 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you for this! I needed it today.

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    June 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Home is where the heart is. It may not be a building you adore, but it’s filled with the people you love and who love you in return. And even better: it’s not forever!

  • Miranda H.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    yay! I love this post, and i struggle with the same thing. Acceptance is just somehting i have to do, even if i don’t like it. It always turns out for the best. Thank goodness for my husband you has a realistic head on his shoulders.

    Like you said. You can make any place home!

  • Krista

    June 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    learning to let go of the things you always thought you’d have and instead embracing the things that make you in the here and now is what is truly important. good for your for realizing that and doing what is best for your family.

  • TheNextMartha

    June 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    This was perfect. Well said.

  • Erika (NAMAmmaSTE)

    June 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    lol, I second Alison on the caring 😉 and I’m just as serious.

    I actually LOVED what Melissa said about contentment being the new American Dream! I totally agree. I really feel for you with the culture shock and I think you’re handling this all really well.

  • Krysta

    June 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Love this post! You wrote it out beautifully!

  • JM

    June 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Very. Well. Put.

    Best of luck in your new home- I’m SURE many, many, beautiful memories will be made there!

  • Rick Spinuzzi

    June 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    It’s not the size of the house, it’s the love in the home.

  • Alison

    June 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I’m not going to lie…I am your family, and I do care if you live in a mansion… 😉 JK. You will find the perfect house for you, Sam and Bella and you can live your own American Dream.

  • melissa

    June 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Actually being happy in life and not looking like you should be happy, I think, IS the new American dream. 🙂

  • Law Momma

    June 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    This is such a wonderful lesson. And you’re right… we have to accept where we are in our lives right at the moment we’re there… even if its not what we thought we’d have. Because it’s not where that’s important… it’s who you’re with. (Borrowed liberally from Dave Matthews, but important none the less)

    Big hugs and hope El Paso grows on you!

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