Sometimes I feel like I’m still drowning, and I don’t even know why. I look around this place, my life. I have this beautiful home now. A spacious gem that I never would have imagined I could actually live in. I unpack my things and walk room to room as I try to figure out where everything will go, and then I go up and climb into our new bed and I watch a movie on my new computer. And then I sleep. And I dream. Nightmares.
I am still so scared.
In the morning, I come downstairs (stairs, my house has stairs!) and I make myself some coffee. I walk into the living room and sit down on my new couch, and turn on the television sitting on the fireplace. I get up after consuming my caffeine, and begin more unpacking. I go upstairs and decide which of the three bedrooms gets what, and which of the three bathrooms I could use to do my hair in. So many decisions. Too many decisions.
I don’t know why it feels like I’m still drowning. I mean I have the life that I’ve always wanted. I have this big, new house that belongs to me. I have a new car. I have my cats. I have money. I have a little garden. I have my husband. I have … everything I need.
This is a far cry from 26 years of struggling. A far cry from eviction notices, food stamps, no food, cars getting repossessed. A far cry from washing my hair with dollar store dish soap, wondering how I was going to make it last for a month. A far, far cry from crying on a cold floor wondering why I couldn’t get my fucking life together.
Yes, I sit here in a place where I have everything I need. And maybe that’s why I feel like I’m drowning. Maybe it’s not so easy to adjust. Maybe when you spend so much time hoping and wishing for something, and then you get it, you don’t know what to do with it. It feels too big. It feels too much. It feels like it’s going to burst and cave and explode at any second. Like, at any moment, it’s all going to get torn away from me.
But then I look down from the couch and see my cats. This is the most room they have ever had to live and play and explore and sleep in. I look next to me and see my husband. I see locked doors that will actually keep me safe. I have my pumpkin seeds in the kitchen, that I swear I will learn to grow. I look out the window and see children playing. I smell the scent of freshly cut grass coming in from the windows, a far cry from the dumpster smell of shitty apartment living.
And I find the air coming into my lungs a little easier. Maybe I am finally home. Maybe it’s here to stay. And maybe, just maybe, things will be okay.