Two years ago, over the Labor Day week-end, I left my safe harbor nest of two months at the home of my friends, Lynne and Terry Mays, and moved into my little in-town apartment in Monroe, Georgia. I couldn’t afford the $500 per month rent, but I was determined it just had to work, and I knew that this was a step I must take. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, I was scared to death, and I feared the future. I was a mess, on a new journey on an untraveled path, but I knew it was a much better one than the one I had been on.
Everything I had in my possession fit into my Honda Civic as I drove away from the Mays’ home. I unloaded the car at my new place, unlocked the door to the apartment, and after a few trips back and forth from car to new home, I was in. I didn’t have much. Almost all of my personal belongings were still at my house in Social Circle that I had left in July. The only furnishings that first night in my new home were a canvas lawn chair and an air mattress. Before I moved in, I had purchased a few necessities- a shower curtain, a small frying pan and spatula, a cheap set of dishes, and a toaster oven. My brother and sister-in-law had given me some sheets, and I borrowed a couple of towels from the kennel where I work. I was ready for my first night in my new home.
I lived this way until later in September, when I was able to go back to my previous home and retrieve some of my things. Even with what I was able to get, the apartment was still pretty bare. I continued sleeping on the air mattress on the floor for another couple of months, when my cousin, Laura, gave me a lovely bedroom suite, and nephew Steve brought it to my new home for me.
Friends and family circled my wagon to support me and to help me furnish my new home, and thanks to some very special ladies from my church, it wasn’t long before I had a pretty adequately stocked kitchen and linen closet. They were wonderful! Somehow, they knew exactly what I needed, and unselfishly gave me more than I would have ever dreamed of getting. Another friend kept me updated on yard sales in the area, and I was able to pick up some very nice additions to my home from things other people were discarding. He also gave me an old sofa that he no longer needed.
Almost a year later, I was back in my former home, going through the last things remaining after an estate sale pretty much emptied the house, and found a few more of my personal treasures. Both happy and sad, I brought them home, where they added to the coziness of my little apartment and made me feel good and bordering on whole again.
As I look at my home today, two years later, I still don’t have a lot of furnishings, and what is here I have dubbed “contemporary divorce.” But my home is filled with family photographs, special books and photograph albums, and other treasures that hold sentimental value to me. It is a warm and welcoming home, and with my little dog, Sunshine, we are a family.
My collection of days over the past two years have included days of fear and uncertainty, loneliness and heartache, and introspection and soul-searching. But as I write this and look back over this time in my life, I see myself in a way I never could before, and I have a sense of contentment and serenity about my life that at one time I doubted could ever exist for me. I continue to live frugally, as my financial situation nudges me to keep me on edge if I let it. But I have regained my sense of purpose, I can feel the raveled edges of my life getting trimmed and smoothed out, and I am adapting to my new life.
I don’t know what my life would be like if I had chosen another path to travel. I only know that the scenery on the one I am now on is very nice, the vistas stretch my imagination and invite creativity, and the quietness that I now experience allows me to have time for meditation and for discovering the spirit of God that surrounds me and nourishes me.
Two years. It seems like a lifetime. In a way, it is.