Monday, April 2, 2007

home is where the heart is

A year ago this weekend, I found myself packing up everything from my life in the past three years and moving. It was all surprisingly emotional for me.

You see, it took me a month to find that place on the Hill. I didn’t know anyone in the area so I didn’t have any help looking for a place, nor did I have anyone to stay with until I found one. I was literally living at the Doubletree near GW until I found a place where I would feel comfortable living. It was like Eloise but lonely and not fun. I checked out many rooms for rent, including one in Georgetown where the (male) landlord told me in all seriousness, “We’re looking for a girl to move in so she can do all the cooking and cleaning.” Eventually, I went out on a limb and checked out a room in NE, even though one of my classmates had told me never to go to NE because it was ghetto (her words, not mine). Little did I know I was going to check out a rowhouse on the Hill, a place I would call home for 3 years.

It was beautiful—the master bedroom in a 5 bedroom house, I even had my own bath. It was month to month and the roommates were rarely home. I took the room and finally got to leave the hotel. Now my DC life could officially begin.

I loved the neighborhood. I would grab a bite to eat at the Bistro Italiano. I would stock up on wine and liquor at Schneiders. I would sit and read at Stanton Park. I would check out Eastern Market on the occasional weekend. I would sit on the patio at La Loma with a margarita. My roommates were cool, sometimes (actually, there was one who was super cool, my friend Shell, and she set a high standard that no one came close to matching). The revolving door of roommates took its toll eventually. None of this really mattered too much once I started seeing Jesse. I started spending most of my time with him.

So in late March of 2006, when the opportunity to live with Jesse came to fruition, I jumped at the chance with some hesitation. After all, the arrangement was only ‘temporary.’ Jesse had just bought his own place a few months ago and he wanted to feel like it was his own space, at least for awhile. But it was what I had wanted to live with Jesse all along. I was ready to share my life with him. I didn’t understand why he would want his own space when we already spent so much time together. Was he not happy with me? Did he not want to take that next step in our relationship?

As we packed up the last of my stuff on April 1, 2006, I closed the door to the Hill rowhouse one last time and got into Jesse’s car. And then it hit me. I was leaving my house, the place I called home for 3 years, for uncertainty. It was déjà vu. It was just like when I had left California for DC, living in that hotel, living in limbo and loneliness until I found my next home.

After the last box was put away, I sat on Jesse’s couch and cried. All the emotions of moving and not having a real home hit me all at once. I cried like I had never cried (in front of Jesse) before. I just couldn’t believe that after all these years I didn’t have a home again. Jesse held me in his arms and just let me cry. I don’t think he understood why I was upset. But he tried to comfort me anyways. Holding me in his arms was really all he could do.

The following weeks were hard on me. I looked for another place to live. I held back because I didn’t want to enjoy living with Jesse, knowing that I would have to move again. But I couldn’t hide how much I loved waking up to Jesse every morning. I couldn’t hide how much I came to expect a hug and a kiss good bye in the morning and a hug and a kiss hello in the evening. I couldn’t hide how much I loved cooking for Jesse and how much I enjoyed Jesse cooking for me. And I definitely couldn’t deny how much I loved cooking together, stealing the occasional kiss as the food sautéed or baked. Slowly but surely (and despite my best efforts against this), Jesse’s home started to feel like home to me.

You peeps know how this story ends. I ended up staying. Jesse got used to the idea that I was always around and he didn’t want me to go.

And me? Well, I realized that Jesse feels like home to me.

My home is where he is. And I don’t want to be anywhere else.

Happy Moving-In Anniversary, Boo Boo!

3 comments:

DCWeddingPhotog said...

so sweet! congrats, missy!

Anonymous said...

you should do a post on how you meet jesse.-erika

lizzie said...

thank you, MK

Erika--you know, i've only had two blog post requests ever, yours being the second. but since you're a loyal blog peep, i may have to fit that into my posting schedule this week.

besides, i have to practice telling that story for the grandkids some day.