Thursday, 19 September 2019

Claim your home

I'm currently reading Boo Walker's beautiful novel Red Mountain, and one passage resonated with me so strongly, I want to share it with you. 
To give you some context, one of the main characters, Brooks, just found out that his fiance cheated on him with his boss' wife. (Intrigue!) Brooks had a rough upbringing and has a hard time trusting people, so this betrayal makes him question everything in his life and he considers leaving and starting new somewhere else. His boss (+ the other betrayed party) urges him to stay, saying how much he is needed and how much he means to all of them. His next words are what has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days:

"At some point in life you have to decide to throw the anchor and accept that your home isn't perfect, but it's home. And your friends and lovers aren't perfect either, but they're what you've got, and you damn well better love them."

I have a strong tendency to romanticize the future, which inevitably leads to disappointment. Life - and people - aren't perfect, and no matter how carefully we plan and curate our life, there will always be unexpected downsides and obstacles.
The first year at our new place was like a fairy tale, where everything was new and exciting and wonderful. I loved everything: the town, the people, the weather, my job, our place. Then my rose-coloured glasses where rudely ripped off my face by some not-so pleasant people, and the hurt cut deep. I honestly hadn't seen it coming, and I couldn't believe that my happily-ever-after had come to an abrupt end.

Reading Red Mountain reminds me once again that flaws and problems don't diminish home and belonging. People are flawed, and as long as there are people, there will be conflict, gossip, bad-mouthing and petty fights and disputes. But that's only one side of the coin, and it's important not to forget the other side: that there is also friendship, support, laughter, fun and community.
If you look for perfection and run away at the first sign of conflict, you will be running your entire life. It requires courage to stay put, to make roots and to face the challenges that come with living in a community of people with different opinions and preferences.

We tend to focus on the few negative people and forget about the large number of positive ones. One negative remark often sticks out more than 10 positive ones. But it's our choice to change that, and to brush off the negativity. 
As long as the good outweighs the bad, stay put. Face the challenges and rise above them. At the end of the day, the only person whose opinion matters is your own. If you can stand behind your actions and look at yourself in the mirror with your head held high, then you are on the right track.

Accept that everything in life is flawed. Life isn't a fairy tale - but it's still pretty damn beautiful.
Throw your anchor and decide that your flawed, imperfect home is your home!




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4 comments

  1. This reminds me of how once you're "done" with a place you'll dream up how great the next place will be, and then you inevitably find that life is the same no matter where you're living it... you still have to go to work, pay bills, and deal with other personalities no matter what.

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    1. Isn't that the truth?! I always have a fairytale version in my mind, and reconciling that vision with reality is like coming crashing down to earth after a beautiful, candy-colored dream.
      But in the end I like my reality better, because flawed people make much better stories than "perfect" ones 🤣

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  2. I love this, thank you! I am queen of leaving when things get uncomfortable! I have been trying to remind my self that running isn't always better. And, also thanks for the inadvertent book recommendation!

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    1. It's a really beautiful book with lots of interesting characters, I'm slowly savoring it!
      I've done my fair share of running away in my life, but I've arrived where I always wanted to be, and now I'm staying put, challenges and all. You will know when it's worth sticking around!

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