John and I have lived in our house for eight months. And it’s just beginning to feel like home.
At first, it felt overwhelmingly big — we went from a one bedroom apartment to a three-story townhouse, so that was to be expected. And everything felt new, and as though it belonged to someone else. I felt awkward in our kitchen, and disinclined to cook because everything felt so unfamiliar.
Slowly, as the months slipped by, and the leaves changed from vibrant green to reds and yellows, and then became bare branches, we’ve settled in. Work commutes have become routine, we’ve found grocery stores and know where products are — we’ve found homes for all our little nick knacks. I don’t feel strange using our oven or our stove. It feels really nice.
The thing about change is that it’s ever-present, and I look to find routine and familiarity everywhere because I find comfort in habits. I guess, in some ways, that’s a little exhausting.
When John and I were talking about buying a house, and where we wanted to live, we spoke about Chester County as a far off dream for another time. As though it couldn’t happen. And then, somehow, we made the decision that it was really the only place we wanted to choose permanently. And we made sacrifices (I mean, does anyone like getting up habitually before 6am to then catch a train for an hour plus ride to get to work? …. I’m pretty sure no one ‘likes’ it).
The thing about moving somewhere as an adult is that there aren’t a lot of built-in ways to start a new social life, etc. As a kid, you have school and sports and are surrounded by people your own age with similar interests (well, some of them have similar interests). As an adult, it’s harder to find the pockets of people who are on the same level as you. And it’s even harder to make friends, because so many people already have a group of friends they are comfortable with. It’s funny to think of working on one’s social life, and taking risks but that’s a little like what John and I have done recently. And it’s been a really awesome payback.
John and I are very much creatures of habit, with things we like, things we don’t and routines. But we’ve been going out and trying new things with new friends down in Chester County, and somehow, it’s made me feel less like an outsider, and more like Chester County is home.
And it’s made us feel motivated to get back to all the goals we’ve had in the past — of practicing our instruments, and using our Rosetta Stone and getting in shape — kayaking and biking and hiking and … well, so many things. It feels amazingly good to be settled. In a place of our own. In our home.