Moving out on your own for the first time is nothing like the movies. Or your Pinterest boards. It might not even be ironically chic where all of your random junk just happens to look cool like you’re on the set of Girls or Friends.
When Mike and I moved into our first apartment, we had a a mattress on the floor and a 19″ TV on top of a stack of plastic totes. We very fortunately lucked into some hand-me-down living room furniture and a dining room table, and our cabinets were a hodge-podge of plastic plates and 4 for $1 tumblers from Target.
We watched seasons of Family Guy on DVD over and over because we couldn’t afford cable. Ninety-five percent of our dinners came from a freezer bag, and the other five percent were chili dogs from The Scary Sheetz.
But here’s the thing about moving out on your own for the first time– none of that stuff matters.
Over the last four years, we’ve done a lot of growing up. We got around to buying our own furniture, we have cable, and our meal-planning doesn’t totally revolve around the freezer section. We have an actual set of dishes and there are place mats on the table and we have our own washer and dryer. We made the move from apartment to townhouse. We’ve managed to keep another person alive.
It’s always been The Five Year Plan to buy our own home, but it hasn’t always seemed within reach. Between old jobs and new jobs and student loans and credit scores, it’s always seemed like the odds were against us in some way– like we were still just a couple of pretend grown-ups. Really, though, it was all in the timing. We needed the space to figure everything out, I guess. The space to learn to value cable and home cooked meals. To start with next to nothing so that we would appreciate everything, even when the stuff on Pinterest seems shinier and better and why don’t we have seventeen coordinating throw pillows on the couch?!
(Because throw pillows are expensive and that’s ridiculous.)
And here we are, The Five Year Plan realized in four. I can’t even tell you how grateful/shocked/over the moon we are! Someone somewhere believes in us enough to hand us the keys to a place that is ours.
It isn’t perfect. The shutters are faded and the closets are small. The master bathroom is reminiscent of the Brady Bunch, and there’s a jungle of willowy plants slowly overtaking the deck. I’m pretty sure I’ve ripped out enough floral shelf-paper to cover an entire football field.
But here’s the thing about buying a house for the first time– none of that stuff matters.
We have shutters that we can paint! We have closets for our stuff! We have a master bathroom (a small miracle) that we can remodel and a deck hiding under those plants and cabinets for our grown-up dishes!
In just the two weeks that we’ve owned it, a small village of friends and family have so generously pitched in to turn our first house into our first home, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
We are home, and it’s amazing.