An entire year.
That's how long it took for us to make one of our long-time dreams a reality. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, a single year is nothing, but to a young couple who felt stuck and unsure of their next step, a year was an eternity.
Buy a foreclosure, fix it up, rearrange some furniture, create a home. This home is forever, right?
Decide that, maybe, the grass is greener where the mountains are. Put your house up for sale. Make plans, clean the home 294857 times, watch as potential new-owners analyze every nook and cranny of your home, telling you its value, as if you didn't already know that there was a crack there and that the cabinets needed refinishing.
Go through buyer after buyer after buyer after buyer until one (finally, hallelujah, amen) sticks and says it's his home now. Three months later, of course, but the "yes" was all we needed.
Anticipate, plan, pack, purge. Say goodbye. Load, drive, search, stress. Try to find a new house to one day become a home. Try to tell yourself that there's beauty in the transition, not only in the finality of a whitewashed wall with fedoras and books and pictures hung just so.
Eventually, we sign a lease, agreeing to turn a vacant, entirely imperfect condo into a home. We find jobs, schedule preschool tours, and hang up our clothes. But do you know what? Even though the process took a full year, and even though we (finally, hallelujah, amen) have some closure in our little condo, I think I've learned only one thing fully after it all.
Transitions are hard. Hard, hard hard.
I've written before about why I don't believe in the phrase "in-between phase" (a long time ago) and, as much as I stand by those words today, sometimes life just feels very "in between".
Maybe you can relate.
But as much as I hate (truly) transitions, I think the real reason I've tried so hard to value this transition was because I finally realized that life is really just one huge "in-between phase". We make goals, sells our homes, buy businesses, work, dream, create from one phase to the next. Some are more "ideal", more Instagram-able, than others, but are we ever truly done? I don't think so.
And so, I've decided to value the movement, the fluctuation of the in-between. Because, as I wrote two years ago when I still felt a bit in-between, not giving each phase it's own place in your life devalues the every day, distracts from the beautiful narrative of your life, and deepens discontent (which I need absolutely no help with, thank you).
If you're waiting for finality, or closure, or whitewashed walls, my encouragement for you is to stop. Stop waiting for things to iron out (because, they wont), and start living for the little beauties right in front of you. If you don't, you'll forget why you decided to buy that foreclosure in the first place, forgetting that it, for it's own perfect time, was exactly the home you needed.