I continue, slowly, to paint and redecorate the homestead. It’s like I’m erasing the bad memories, or even evil spirits that live in the walls. When I lived in this 100 year old house in the 1990’s, first with some friends, and then later just roommates, no matter how bad things might get, this house was the first place my entire life I felt was a HOME, truly a home. When I’d go to places like Europe or Africa, then come back, this was where I felt I belonged. My friend Noreen dubbed it ROSSDOM. I lived there for over 7 years and I dreamed I was still living there for more than 8 years after moving out. I lived in every bedroom in the house until eventually I lived in the huge finished attic, which was like 3 rooms in one.
Eventually it was not economically feasible to continue renting and having such crappy roommates who wouldn’t pay. My ex bought a condo in her name only. Wasn’t the best neighborhood, but it was her idea to not lose her money to rent and have it be an investment. I agreed she was right. That’s when we moved into ROSSDONIA, the new place. At first, we had people over all the time. Since I was freelancing from home, the living room was really my new edit suite where I could entertain clients and hold meetings.
Over the years, because of stubborn attitudes from two people equally, this place deteriorated. It represented the relationship in a perfect parallel. I worked at the office, stopped editing at home. As the place got messier, I invited people over less, and that in turn gave less reason to clean and the vicious circle became complete.
I’ve been here in this condo now for 8 years. The neighborhood has plummeted as crime increases, businesses shutter around us, and restaurants close down. And yet, I wanted to stay here. This has become my home, with or without my ex, [i]THIS[/i] is my home now. We negotiated, and I’m buying the place.
Since then, I have been repainting, moving things, buying things, and generally re-creating my home. Doing simple and even complex repairs consume a lot of my free time. Learning to use a tool that [i]ISN’T[/i] a hammer has been enlightening. What’s interesting to note is that since I moved bedrooms, I stopped dreaming about the old house aka ROSSDOM ever since.
No matter how low I get, even how empty the house can feel without my ex, some small comfort I feel being in this place. The more I change things, the more I work hard to keep things clean and orderly, the better it feels to come home.
I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t feel a small motivation by the sad delusion that the ex would see the progress of what I’ve done, but my brain knows reality. There’s just that tiny part that says “Oh yeah? You never thought I could change! and I have!!!! SEE, YOU WERE WRONG!!!!!“. What a stupid motivation. She will never see and will never care. She moved on without a thought and won’t look back, and that’s okay. There are other, better justifications to keeping my home cleaner and making it look nicer. I really do this for myself. The changes are positives no matter what. I need to live in a more sanitary home for physical and mental health.
And even if it is just me and the cats forever, this is my home now. Even more so than the old 100 year old house that I loved so dearly. Maybe with the fresh paint might come some new memories. I think the spirits that live in the walls need some happier times to hold on to. Come to think of it. So do I.
Viva La New Rossdonia!