Kim from She is Fierce is guest posting today. I guest posted on She is Fierce last week, so I invited her to guest post with me at her earliest convenience (which happened to be today). When I read her contribution for this week I was like “wow. I can’t just intro this like I would any other post, I’ve got to get introspective for y’all.” So bare with me as I venture out of my comfort zone for a minute.
A lot of what I do on the blog revolves around keeping up the Jones’. I mean honestly, do you have an expansive gallery wall on every floor of your Q or a Pinterest worthy bar cart? I do. But that’s not everything.
More than budget friendly decor and DIY options, I’m also showing you how to make the most of the house you have – making every house a home. We make sacrifices for the lifestyle we live, and like everyone else we make the most of it.
For the record, I work a full time job in retail and then I come home to work my tail off with the blog. I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on high-end decor and home furnishings, I don’t have a husband bank-rolling my blogging aspirations, and I don’t own a home yet. These are all huge driving forces in my life and push me to be better and smarter and strive for greatness, or at least pretty pictures for my blog posts.
All things considered though, we have everything we need to be happy and it’s important to take stock of that every now and then. The events of the past month have really put things in perspective for me in that regard which is why what Kim had to say really resonated. The house, the bank account and the thriving career will come with time and a good hustle, and I’m glad you’re all along for the ride.
With that being said, enjoy Kim’s post!
When Dh and I bought our first house, we were 21 years old.
Our friends were all with their parents, or in their own apartments. We felt a little ahead of the curve, in our little starter home. Sure, there was no parking, no garage, no yard to speak of. The 3rd bedroom was really more of an office. We could almost touch the house next door from the side step. But it was ours.
As the years past, our peers started to slowly catch up. By the time we were in our late twenties, I’d seen via facebook most of them marry and buy homes. The difference for them was time. They had already had it before they settled down. Time to build careers, to have savings and stability. Their homes showed it. All of a sudden our little home seemed…. inadequate.
When we were posted to Kingston, we had the chance to change. We were able to sell well, and buy a little bigger in a cheaper market. We had a garage, though it was small and not accessible from the house. We had an open concept and I could entertain. A beautiful yard.
But once again we had to move and this time we are in our mid thirties. And pride, pride has told me we should have more. A bigger place. A nicer garage. Newer. Updated.
Except the Real Estate market didn’t agree. After 6 months of trying to sell and sending Dh without us, we took our only offer with a hint of desperation. We lost. A lot.
So when I went house hunting, the budget was much smaller than I’d hope for a much more competitive market.
My pride balked when we went to the first showing and I saw the epaulets for a Private tossed on the dresser. Is this really where life had brought us? After 16 year, buying the same kind of house we had at the start?
I pictured the entertaining I’d like to do slipping away, ashamed that we didn’t have all I thought we should. Where were the fancy silver appliances that I was trading for an old white fridge with a broken handle? Where was the new, in this 1980’s box house bungalow? Where were all the bells and whistles we *deserve* by now? Where did we go wrong?
My stubborn pride keeps saying we should have more, that we *need* more before we can show others, as though I have something to prove them all that we made it.
I’ve spent this week putting the final things together in our home. Painting those last few rooms, figuring out where to put pictures and letting myself feel settled. And I’m gaining perspective.
We have this spot in the dining room. I love this little table against the wall, and these photos that it took me 10 years to convince Dh to frame and display.
And though my heart missed my bigger kitchen with my open floorplan and central island, Dh bought me this kitchen island at Lowes when we arrived, and I love that it still lets me feel like I’m at the center of all that happens in the home while I work at it.
And though moving in to my kitchen was frustrating when I have half the cupboards, I have this faucet. I love these type of faucets. And there is a kitchen sill, where I can grow herbs that I will probably kill. I’ve always wanted to try and slowly kill herb plants on a window sill.
It’s not our ideal, or what we might have been hoping for. We settled for the best we could find out of what was available in our price range in the handful of days we had to look. It doesn’t have new, or shiny, or big. Maybe we still haven’t caught up to the Jones’.
But maybe. maybe I should admit that deep down, I’ve been letting that stop me from appreciating what I have. I’ve been acting spoiled and insecure, worried that those around me are constantly looking to find a reason to think that we’ve made poor choices, to judge the home we have on the choices we’ve made. How sad is my desperate attempt to buy my way into proof that our life has been worth it?
This house really is beautiful; more than most and more than enough. Far more.
And that image that I had of us in our thirties, finally able to afford that ensuite or that soaker bathtub, or that big back deck? That image that we haven’t achieved?
It’s done absolutely nothing but stop me from seeing what I have.
This is our home, for 3 or 5 years, or however long the army plants us. And as long as the 5 of us belong here, it’s the most beautiful place in the world.