Signposts of Adulthood: Finding Your “Forever House”

I got a one-line email from a friend the other day. It read: “We’ve found our forever house!” Attached was a photo of a large, stately English country home, with columned entrance and a wrap-around drive.

I was really happy for her. I knew that this was exactly what she wanted. She recently left London with her husband and three children in search of more space, better schools and a better quality of life.

But a tiny voice inside my head asked: “Where’s *my* forever house?”

The truth is, I don’t have one and I’m not sure that I ever will. Unlike most people, for whom home ownership remains a universal aspiration, I’ve never really fantasized about having a dream house.

A lot of that has to do with my own (admittedly odd) psyche. I’ve written before about how I find safety in movement. This means that I actually feel more secure when I know that change is on the horizon, or at least potentially so. It explains why I like to change careers and why I like to change continents (though fortunately – so far, at least – *not* why I like to change husbands.) So committing to anything beyond my family – and especially a place – makes me feel…anxious.

In the extreme, of course, this kind of rootlessness can induce a certain anomie and soullessness. Mike T has a thoughtful review of the new George Clooney movie – Up In The Air – over on his blog A Boat Against The Current. Mike points out that when such mobility becomes a national past time, you get a country full of people who are loyal to plastic (in the form of frequent flyer miles) rather than blood or community.

Quite possibly. In my own case, however,  I prefer to think that I just have a different definition of home than most people do. It’s one that – as Kristen put it so nicely on Motherese awhile back – is rooted more in a state of being than in a place on the map.

Or maybe I just haven’t grown up yet…Gosh, let’s hope not. What on Earth would I blog about?

Follow Delia on Twitter.

Image: Evanston Art Center by beautifulcataya via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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8 Responses to Signposts of Adulthood: Finding Your “Forever House”

  1. Ann Rose' says:

    What does it mean if your “forever” house is an RV?? We look at it as …a wonderful compromise!

  2. Ann Rose' says:

    What does it mean if your “forever” house is an RV?? We look at it as Small House, Big Yard …a wonderful compromise!

  3. daryl boylan says:

    Forever is a famously long time. I actually know one (1!) person who, at the ripe age of 77, has always lived in the house where he was born. I do not expect to meet another.

  4. Lindsey says:

    Settling down in one home forever scares me, (though we will be in London for awhile, this will involve a couple moves within it, i’m sure).

    I love the idea of living and experiencing many different ways of life. I’d happily compromise with having several ‘forever’ homes! 🙂

  5. […] written before in this space  how I find safety in movement. For me, buying a house falls into a long list of things – jobs…careers…continents – which make me […]

  6. […] would seem, on the face of it, to be another one of those cardinal sign posts of adulthood: cleaning up after your […]

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