I have a 1 1/2 hour commute (one way) to work. I’m not complaining (yet), it hasn’t started snowing (yet) and it’s reasonably light outside, but 1 1/2 hours each way, that’s 3 hours per day and 15 hours per week and roughly 60 hours per month (give or take, luckily this is a part-time job for now and my other part-time job allows me to work from home). But be this as it may, 60 hours is a long time to wait to get some place. But this also means that I have about 60 hours to think (because I get terribly motion-sick trying to read or play video games on my phone). So I usually just sit, stare out of the window and wonder.
Commuting took some time to get used to, but as I slowly settled into a routine, I noticed the country life. I noticed that teenagers, regardless of what country, will always be loud and obnoxious but especially at 8 am in the morning or 3 pm in the afternoon. I noticed that little children like to sit next to me and hold on to my jacket, I haven’t figured out why yet, but I somehow always find myself next to little cuties (yes, several ones, not just one, and not just the same one) that want to play peek-a-boo. I also noticed that students that I have tutored will go out of their way to pretend they haven’t seen me, as if I was going to pester them about their last week’s assignment (I really don’t, it’s not my grade, why would I bother, unless you come to see me, then I do bother a great deal!).
What I also noticed during my long commutes is this one single wooden house. It pretty much looks like any of the other houses, two stories high, I think about 600 square feet per level. The yard is nothing much to talk about, just a simple yard all around the house. There’s a brownish fence around the property, the top of the fence has some red-ish coloring. In no way, form or shape does this house look any different than any of the other houses around. There’s a satellite dish on the roof, there are four big windows facing the street on which the bus I’m sitting in passes. I have no idea what the inside looks like, because it’s dark inside and you can’t make out anything from the 9 seconds glimpse that I get every day. So, there’s no reason for me to be so drawn to the house, there’s absolutely nothing special about it.
Except, that I cannot peel my eyes off it. Every morning I make sure to sit on the right side of the bus, just so I can see the house and when we’re approaching it, I find myself hoping that the bus would slow down, so I could really get a good look, but that only happened once so far. But regardless of how much face-time I actually get with the house, as soon as we pass it, I feel content. Each day I promise myself, that I would look the house up, just to figure out what it is about it, that draws me to it. I yearn to demistify the house, but it hasn’t happened yet. To be honest, it wouldn’t be so hard to find the house, it’s the only used-to-be-white-but-now-resembles-a-light-grey house in that particular area and it’s the only one that has dark blue windowsills. It’s also the only one that has had a For-Sale-sign for the past few months and yet, I haven’t dared to find it.
The reality is, that looking at the house both breaks my heart and fills me with joy beyond belief. Part of me sees the house and aches for all the things that haven’t happened yet, or may never happen, things I believe I want, but I don’t have and wondering whether I will ever be able to achieve these things. Wondering whether I will ever be able to start a career in the field I chose for myself, wondering if I will ever be able to afford a home like that, one that oozes out character and although very similar to the other houses around, is so different, just like me (or what I believe myself to be). It’s painful really, being faced daily with your own shortcomings of things you want to achieve but haven’t achieved yet. And it is definitely not for the lack of trying, but the lack of success, or what I perceive to be success in attempting to try.
Now, the other, bigger part of me, the one that does not know how to feel fear, neglect, pain or insecurity, the part of me that finds the beauty in a rainstorm, the little glimpse of happiness while being faced with one threshing challenge after another, that part is in pure amazement of what the future may hold. It may be everything and more than I never dreamed of (of this I am 99% certain), and although I have no idea where my path may lead me, I know that somewhere along the way, I will find a place that’s just like this house. It might not seem like much, but holds anything that a happy life may need.
I am not going to lie, these times now are trying. Lots of things are happening all at once and yet it still seems like I am standing still. I’m trying to build a career, I’m trying to take a plunge into the deep icy end of a cliff, literally not seeing where the madness begins and if it ever will end. It’s really difficult, like panicking in quicksand only to find out that if you allow the quicksand to engulf you, you may find yourself in Candy-land (I realize that this may or may not be a rather dark analogy). But somehow, this little white house with dark blue windowsills has become my sanctuary, even though I’ve never felt the need to actually go look at it closer, knock on the door, ask for a tour or look it up online, after all, it’s just a house, right? Somehow though, it has become my house.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that one day I will have to own a house, or that I even want to own one, it doesn’t mean that I will settle down and leave my sporadic nomadic lifestyle at the front door, it just means that the future is wide open and that I am able to do anything I wish to do. And that’s what life is really about, it’s not about strapping yourself to all your earthy belongings, desperately clinging on to materialistic things, but to find yourself, build a home within yourself and take it with you wherever you go. Mine just happened to be a white house, with blue windowsills, the most wonderful place I’ve ever seen (other than any magnificent sunrise at any ocean – ever), and it can be anything I want it to be, because it’s my imaginary home.
And to say it like Cuba Gooding Jr. to Robin Williams (still the best movie ever, and if you haven’t seen it yet, CHECK IT OUT, WILL YOU? What dreams may come): You are in your house, it doesn’t mean you are your house.