So, Edward Sharpe may have been on to something…
To be honest, I sort of struggled with writing this post. I couldn’t figure out what to say. I knew that I wanted to share with you all the details of our new home and remodel, but, I couldn’t stop asking myself, who the f—k actually cares?
I mean, does anyone really want to chime in about the pros and cons of hardwood versus faux wood as it relates to beach town living? I didn’t think, so… (unless you’re my mother or my sister; in which case, not only do you care, you also have opinions).
Chances are, I’ll never have the pleasure of inviting you over for a dinner party so you can enjoy our splendid decision to go with the six burner range plus griddle (it’s still being fiercely debated, but I need the white 48-inch standing range with dual ovens and broiler). And I may never be able to pour you a cocktail at our super chic wet bar—that is absolutely a better use of space than a play area—with all brass hardware, including faucet (which, for the record, is not at all frivolous).
Unless, you happen to live nearby or find yourself passing through, in which case, come on over! (But please make sure to mention that rainfall showers may be passé, but they are still really enjoyable and it’s so wonderful that decided to go with one…).
Ok, so with all that said, I started thinking about this adventure and wondering what the common ground may be. I mean, it seems like a big fucking deal, so there has to be something about a new home that stirs up feelings bigger than the obvious…
To begin, I decided that, for me, much of the excitement and emotion generated from our new home has had less to do with the physical structure, and more to do with the journey getting here. Our move was a rather quick decision based on our current needs. Moving is never easy—particularly when you’re uprooting a family. We always toyed with the idea of moving to Orange County (which is where I grew up and where my husband and I met during college), but it was never in the immediate future.
And then…bam! Here I am now living in my own “Prodigal Son” story. While I’m not returning after a decade of total debauchery (I did, however, spend a handful of questionable evenings on the corner of 27th and 10th), I am still coming back to the place I call home for much of my life.
At first glance, moving back to a familiar place with built in support might seem to make for a smooth transition, but, trust me, I love nothing more than making seemingly simple things difficult, overanalyzed and entirely too complex.
I guess it comes down to this: If it were just me, I probably wouldn’t have moved.
I loved living in Los Angeles, but it no longer made sense for my little tribe. Moving was the best decision for all of us, but it was still hard to pull the trigger. Being a mother and having a family is a blessing and a tremendous privilege, but with every reward comes a sacrifice. For me, it’s not easy to always place my family’s needs before my own. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but it also makes me honest. It’s often the easy, more preferred choice, but sometimes it’s really freaking hard.
Look, I totally get that I’m bitching about having to move back to Laguna Beach, which in the category of “hometowns,” is pretty up there. But without getting too much into the twisted web that is the psychology of me, it’s forcing me to “go backwards.” Does that make sense?
Basically, I’m having to swallow my own ego…which sucks.
I place great value in my ability to recognize new challenges and conquer hurdles. I don’t “idle” very well. I bitch about wanting things to settle down, but, at the end of the day, I always need to be going, preferably with a red blinking timer racing towards zero.
Moving back didn’t necessarily feel like a forward step. Like, if my life was Super Mario Brothers 3, Laguna is a land I’ve already passed. I found the warp hole, got the feather and transformed into the flying fox guy. For the past 13 years, I’ve bounced from Chicago to New York to Los Angeles, and during that time I was able to see and experience things I never imagined possible. So when we thought about moving, I wanted to try some place I hadn’t yet conquered, like San Francisco, Washington D.C., Barcelona, or…Brentwood!
That said, I’m not always my “best self” in those conditions. As I told my husband last night, I’ve recently realized two really important things about myself.
- I am good at pressure, deadlines and stress. I have laser focus. If it’s sink or swim, I’m Michael Fucking Phelps.
- I am not always the best person under pressure, deadlines and stress. I am an emotional freight train begging to fly off the tracks.
And that’s sort of the crux of it. The new and shiny option wasn’t the best choice for myself or my family. We needed to set roots, not fly away. It was no longer about just me…and I’m ok with that.
So what I’m trying to keep in mind as I navigate this journey (hopefully with any lasting shred of grace) is that it’s all about perspective. I may not be traipsing through an unknown city or clawing my way to the top of an industry, but I am still on a pretty incredible adventure. From one angle, it may not look as though I’m continuing to grow, but all I need to do is view it from a different plane.
In part, coming back home represents my coming full circle and closing the loop on a really huge part of my life. I’m looking back on the past 13 years, and thinking about who I am today versus who I was when I left. I’m not the same person as I was in 2004. I watch Bill Maher on Friday nights…on east coast time. And, this might seem convenient, but there hasn’t been one city, one adventure, or one achievement that could possibly compare to my becoming a mother. Giving Tallulah a wonderful life in a beautiful home where she can grow is perhaps the most rewarding thing I could do with this stage of my life.
So, while the details of my house remodel may not necessarily pique anyone’s interest (but I’ll still be sharing from time to time), I think we may find common ground in the journeys we all share in getting to where we are…especially as women who become mothers.
And, perhaps, the lengths to which we all will go to make our house a home.
Don’t leave me hanging….share your home journey with me! Leave comments below!