Saying farewell to Casa Speedy
Generally speaking, a house (or condo) is always more than just a roof above your head. It speaks to your lifestyle choices, your future plans and your personal style. Really, it’s an extension of you, and the life you want – as well as the one you want to showcase to friends and acquaintances.
But sometimes, when you step back and take a look at that home, you realize that it’s all wrong. That you’ve somehow ended up on a path towards backyards and nurseries and hour-long commutes when really all you want is a small space where you can actually keep up with the maintenance and cleaning.
And then, on a deeper level, you realize that nothing about it really reflects you at all.
A few months ago, this realization came crashing down around me. My marriage had crumbled and Casa Speedy reflected the life I thought I was supposed to have – the husband, the home office, the room for a nursery and space for a family to grow, plus a backyard where I was supposed to play gardener.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved that house. I loved the gleaming hardwood floors, the fun feminine damask wallpaper and the storage space. But I didn’t love what it represented. Nor the fact that I was miserable much of the time I was living there.
To some extent, the house had become yet another trap in a life where I was already feeling stuck on a path I wasn’t all that confident about. Sure, from the outside it looked like I had everything together – a lovely husband, a great job, a beautiful home – but my days were filled with begrudging obligations and a sense of dread.
So, in quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do – I am, after all, a planner who chose to become a journalist at age 7 – I moved out in April. I left the house that I’d poured money and creative energy into, and the life that I’d spent the past six and a half years carefully building. I had no plan.
First I stayed with friends, living out of suitcases. Tears, wine and chocolate were all on the regular menu, but slowly my new life started to take shape. I started exercising again, even signing up for a half marathon in the fall. I stopped having migraines for the first time in five years – a miracle unto itself, as those blasted things had created a further level of rules and restrictions on my life; like no caffeine after noon and always getting eight hours of sleep at night. I reconnected with friends. I started to rediscover things that I’d loved, like music and books. Suddenly, I had stories to tell when friends and family made their weekly calls. And I started smiling again.
Logistically, it was a nightmare. For a homebody like me to be separated from my routines, my carefully chosen baking supplies, my pet and my full wardrobe was a recipe for daily annoyances. Whether it was another morning of getting ready and finding only one strap for my preferred frock, or wishing I had a pair of shoes that were still back in my other life, there was a flood of frustrations that came along with my decision. Yet I never really wavered. Instead I pulled on another summer dress, a different pair of shoes, and went out and bought that new baking pan.
And, throughout the process, it killed me to not to write about all of this. After trying to pretend for so long that everything was OK, I wanted to shout the truth from the rooftops, along with words of reassurance that yes, in fact, I’m happy now. I wanted to explain why I wasn’t writing about my renovations and decorating projects. But I couldn’t. Because life is messy and emotions are complicated.
Now, four months later, we’ve decided to sell Casa Speedy and I’ve got my own space again. Newly moved in, there’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s my own little grey, white and purple haven. As for the story this one tells – it’s shiny, new and full of opportunities, much like my life these days. It’s tiny, but it’s all mine, and I can’t wait to share it with you – but that’s a post for another day.