"It's just a rental", I kept telling myself over and over again as I finished up the cleaning. Why was I being so silly sad about leaving this place I called home for one short year? Why was I so reluctant to walk away? There is nothing terribly special about the town home I rented my first year in Boulder.
Yet, there was something special about it.
It was my home. My safe place and escape. The place I could go to and know I wouldn't have to face anyone but my devoted dog on those hard first weeks after packing up and moving across the country. After leaving behind everything I'd known and come to take comfort in the last 15 years of my life.
Simple construction, cheap fixtures and finishes, small damages left from previous residents. None of it really mattered to me, as I desperately needed a place to start a new life. At first it felt a bit small and inadequate after having lived in more than twice the space for the past several years, but in short time the space began to feel just right.
When I was making my plans to move to Boulder, looking at possible places to live, my therapist talked to me about making sure I chose a place that wasn't too big, that felt safe, and that when I walked through the door, I was happy to be there. In the end, this simple townhouse fit all those criteria.
I think the lesson learned here, is home really is where the heart lives.
Where we choose to make our home matters less than our attitude towards the space. We may always aspire to something bigger, something more grand in style and construction, but when we are grateful for the space we have, look upon it as more than just shelter, we can truly make it home.