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.