Thursday, May 22, 2014

selling 836

My parents house went up for sale today.

I didn't really think I was going to care about this house. It's not the house that I grew up in, since my dad's job has moved my parents a few times since then. They spent a few years in California, a couple years at my grandmother's house so that my mom could take care of her while she was sick with cancer, and eventually got back to Naperville, my hometown. It felt like they made it back home at the time. It was a nice house, and with years and lots and lots of time, effort, and updates, they made it even nicer.  Somehow, even though I never lived there long, it became "home" to me. I even had it programmed in my phone as "home," even though it was really never my home. I only lived there about 6 months after college.

Somehow, I've found, that's not what home is about. In fact, their home number is still in my phone as "Home." I haven't lived there in 9 years, and I have a home of my own. But there's something about where you open presents on Christmas morning, or the fact that your parents live upstairs (even when you don't live there). It still was home, even if I never really lived there long.

As a little girl, I remember a sign that hung on our wall. It read, "You never really leave a place you love. Part of it you take with you, leaving a part of you behind." It came with us to every house we've lived in, and I've never forgotten what it says.

When you make memories somewhere, it's hard to leave them there. I remember feeling that way when we left our Texas house, and again when we sold our house on Marblehead Court. It was just a house, but was it? I think my 10 year old self would disagree. The memories we made in that house were ours and they happened there, within those walls. And the same thing happened in 836.

My dad has always talked about building a bar. Since I can remember. He's always said it will be a gathering place, where friends and family come over, and I always imagined it (even before it was built) accessorized from wall to wall with fishing memorabilia. It was finally built, all of those years later, and the amount of floor plans, hanging decorations, and collecting items to fit the theme never ceased. 

And it did become a gathering place for friends and family. It became a reason for people to stop by after going out to dinner. It became a place to make memories, and it just absolutely breaks my heart to see my Dad give it up.

In my heart, I know that this is all just stuff. I know that there are more important things in life than a house, than a bar, than stuff. I truly do know that. I also know that my parents will be okay, and I am grateful they have each other, and us. But I would be absolutely lying through my teeth if I didn't think it was sad for them to sell this house. It's heartbreaking. 

I logged onto the MLS today to see the pictures, and had somehow convinced myself I wasn't going to really care. I just wanted to see the way the place looked. I started scrolling through, and of course, tears. Lots of tears. And instead of just seeing the deck and the bar in the basement, and the family room, I saw my family hanging out in those rooms, and I don't know how to explain the way I felt other than it just hurt and I felt mad at the world. I felt like life isn't fair, and that I am sick of seeing bad things happen to good people. It made me feel like we're lied to our whole life when we're told "If you work hard, you'll have nice things, you'll succeed..." Yeah. 

And I just feel so helpless in the situation, which I think is perhaps the worst of it all.  All I can think about is the two people who have literally done everything for me in my life to not feel sad, or to help me from going through something hard and doing everything in their power to protect me, and not being able to return the favor. It is hard. I know they don't expect anything from me, but I just wish there was something I could do. 

I do realize they will be okay. Everyone is healthy. They'll get a new house, make new memories, and life will go on--it has to. I just had a harder time seeing 836 on the market, than I ever really thought I would. Goodbye 836. You've been a great home to all of us. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

on friendship

So my life is a little bit different now. I live with my husband and we got married in October, and honestly, life has treated us well. We had a gorgeous wedding and not nearly enough time to spend with everyone who was there, but we were still so grateful and glad they were there. I have often said, in regards to our wedding, that if I could do anything over, I'd do it the same... but I'd add about 10 hours. 10 hours of time to spend with everyone.

Everyone told me the day would go fast, and I believed that but I didn't understand. I'd never done this before. It's so amazing and overwhelming to have everyone you love in the same room supporting you, but so hard to not have enough time to tell all of those people how very much they mean to you.

Tonight, I started thinking about the past year or so of my life and all of the changes I've encountered. They are all great changes, but changes nonetheless. I've always struggled with change. I've struggled with aging, not so much in the physical sense but in the sense that nothing is ever the same. It's not a bad thing, it's life. It's just weird.

I find it weird that I look back on college pictures or high school pictures. I feel like I was just there and I sometimes feel like time should stand still... and it doesn't. It's just not how it works.

The point of my post is on friendship. Real, true, impossible-to-break friendships are hard to come by. I have struggled a lot with this in the past year or so. I went through a lot with friends when we were planning our wedding, and people told me that I would. A good friend of mine told me, "People will amaze you, and people will disappoint you." That couldn't be more spot on.

This isn't about me and what I've gone through, however. It's about life. I have really come to the conclusion that people are meant to be with you and close to you for a time of your life. It's sad. I've had a hard time mourning friendships and I still have a hard time with it every single day. I have so many positive memories of so many people and it's hard to understand and deal with the fact that things can't stay the same.

At 32, so many of my friends are at different stages in their life. Some are married with children, some are single, and some are engaged. Some are in love with their job and will have that job for life, and some are still searching for the perfect fit for them. Friends don't have as much in common as they used to, and adult problems and stressors weren't around when we were 16. I get that. We're different people. We've grown up. Our biggest worry isn't our high school crush anymore, or the college final we had to take. We have bills to pay, relationships to nurture, and personal happiness to find.

If there's something that I've learned this far in life, it's that life works out. It does. Not always immediately but it does.

I have also realized in this past year something significant about friendship. My Dad always told me that my college friends would be my best friends. He told me this in high school and I remember scoffing at him about it. I just didn't agree. I still don't agree. I met great friends in college. I also met great friends in high school, and middle school (two of which stood up in our wedding). Thinking about my friends now, the ones who are still strong in my life, this is what I think:

What friendship is to me is understanding that once in awhile, people mess up, but they still love you.  At this point it's like family. They might be mad at you, or annoyed, but they get over it. You're family. Thats how I see my friends.

That you celebrate their life's accomplishments and celebrations. Whether it be a new job, a marriage, or a baby shower. Since when did people start keeping tabs on celebrations? All of these things should be celebrated, life is just too short.

I am not claiming to be a role model for anyone, I'm not. I certainly have my own kinks to work out (who doesn't?) but at the end of the day, it means a lot to me to be a good person and a good friend and I am so grateful to those in my life who feel the same. It's certainly a blessing to be on life's journey with you and I'm so glad to have you in my life.

No matter how happy you are in your life, you always, always, need good friends.