And I’m Off And Running

I was certain I had to move back home to the city I grew up in; the city I had left behind ten years earlier. I had left my family. I had left my friends, my home and my career. In a sense, I had given up everything for a man. I had relocated myself to the metropolis of the Twin Cities, whereas by nature, I was just a small town girl who enjoyed growing up in the woods. Over time, I continued to become more unhappy; depression weaved its’ existence into my mind and surrounded me like a warm blanket. I was beginning to find it difficult to resist the negative thoughts, and constant darkness, which snuck into my psyche as an uninvited guest who simply refused to leave.

For the past two years, I had been living in the house of my dreams. Together, we had designed the home that I had planned to live in for the remainder of my life. My feet had taken up root on the property, and I had no intentions of ever leaving my paradise. However, life tends to throw us a curve ball from time to time, whereas we are forced to slowly pick up our feet and move on into a new direction weather we want to or not.

Regardless of all the efforts we put forth to try to save our failing marriage, we agreed to follow through with the plan to end our twelve year relationship once and for all. Hence, I was face to face with the reality of my second divorce. I carried guilt and shame from my failed relationships, yet in the stillness of my heart, I knew I was never happy. I believe that sometimes we look for happiness through other people, instead of first finding it within ourselves. I had to find peace and contentment from within. I needed to be happy with myself before I could be happy with someone else.

I had spent many hours in the house back in my youth. One of my best friends lived there and I always admired everything about her home. We swam in the in-ground swimming pool in the backyard and basked in the hot sun on lawn chairs perched on the concrete patio. At the time, I could only hope that someday I too, could live in a house with a pool just outside the sliding glass patio door. It was by far the coolest house I had ever been in at that time of my life.

As I gazed through the real-estate listings on the Internet, suddenly my eyes popped out of their sockets! There it was in black and white, the home I had admired so much in the past was now for sale. Not only was it up for grabs, it was in my price range and I still had plenty of money left to bring it back. You see, over the years the house had lost its’ glamour. In reality, the home was a natural disaster zone. It was in need of attention, and I was more than willing to restore its’ beauty, after all, if I didn’t do it, who would?

It was May 4, 2012, the day I took possession of my new palace.  Early that morning I left the driveway of my “Home Sweet Home” in Stillwater, Minnesota pulling a trailer loaded with all my boxed up personal belongings. I managed to fit only two patio chairs and an air bed to sleep on, the rest of my furniture would have to wait until my project was finished. As I drove through the darkness of the early hours of the morning, I cried silently to myself. I cried out of fear as to what was to become of my life. Not only was I moving north, I was about to embark on an entirely new lifestyle. In the past, our decision process consisted of, “Which flight should we take?” or “ How many weeks do we care to be gone?” Those days were a part of my past; now I would be starting a new job while living through a major home remodel project, and I was planning on going back to school in the fall to earn the RN degree I had decided against twelve years prior.

The purchase agreement was signed, and I made my way back to my new digs. I sat in the family room just off the kitchen; staying clear of the kitchen cabinets for fear I would run into multiple rodents who had more control over the home than I did. I sat there listening to the sound of the house, and taking in the aroma of musty air, which was all too impossible to disguise. The magnitude of sweat equity that stood before me was too much to comprehend. I cried, and when I was finished, I cried some more.

It was early in the morning when I received the text message from Joel, “Are you up yet? We’re on our way, will be there shortly.” Quickly, I threw on a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt and started to brew my first pot of coffee. Joel entered my house from the garage. While making his way into the kitchen, he noticed the subtle changes, which had taken place over the past few days. I had torn off all the wallpaper, and painted the insides of all the closets. “It’s looking better already.” He said. “I can see what you envisioned here Lori, I think this is going be a great house when we’re finished.” He continued to give direction in an authorative manner, “Dustin, take that chandelier down before someone gets hurt.” He measured windows and doors, he gave me hope and assured me that everything was going to be just fine.

Day 3 brought about the commotion of contractors and sub contractors. It was nice to have life in the house, and I could see that before too long, I really was going to be living in a home I could be proud of, yet at the same time I was beginning to feel like I was camping inside the confines of an old run down shack. My kitchen cabinets were gone, whereas my toaster and my coffee maker were fighting for space on the bathroom vanity with my blow dryer and curling iron. Most all of my clothes were still housed inside plastic bags hanging in the closets, leaving out only a select few articles to wear and re-ware as I didn’t feel it was necessary to coat all my clothing with sheetrock dust.

I had to endure the discomforts of living in the midst of chaos and disarray. I had to try hard to keep my negative thoughts hidden safely inside my mind and make the most out of an uncomfortable situation. I grew to look forward to my text message from Joel each morning telling me they were on their way, as that meant progress. For the better part of two months, I had no kitchen. For a few days inside that period, I had no kitchen floor. It was totally exposed to the crawl space below, which made it difficult to sleep through the night. I’d lay there on my air bed only six inches off the floor wondering if a four legged friend would be making any unplanned visits during my hours of slumber. All the while progress was taking place inside, outside; the pool was under construction along with the tear out of all the old concrete so they could pour new.

In the middle of it all, I started my new job working the graveyard shift at the Care Center seventeen miles from my garage door. I found it incredibly difficult to sleep during the day, but managed to get my rest one way or another. Dustin was quick to hang my new bedroom door first so I was able to close it when they were busy installing all the others. Throughout the summer, Joel and Dustin became my new best friends. We were able to get to know one another on a different level, and they offered their assistance in helping me move all the rest of my furniture home after the carpet installation.

They were waiting for me when I returned home from work at 6:45 am. I took a 2-minute shower and hopped into the back seat of Joel’s king cab pickup truck. We made our way down to the city of Stillwater, filled up the 20-foot trailer with all my furniture and headed back home. I was on borrowed time as I had been awake for the past 36 hours straight. We had a great time, we stopped for lunch at Famous Dave’s, had a few good laughs and a couple of beers. There was a bit of sadness growing inside me, as I knew that my project was winding down. Suddenly, I realized that my new best friends were going to be working elsewhere, there would be no need for them to keep me company anymore, and I was going to miss them.

Multitudes of transformation had taken place since May 4. My home was now finished, like Humpty Dumpty; it was put back together again. I was settled, and I was comfortable. Living among the chaos had taken a toll on me, yet I believe that I would do it all over again if I had to. I found out that I am made of a very strong substance. My roots have been planted in new soil, and my boys have adopted my new home as their home to come back to, where their mom lives, where they can find food and a bed to sleep in if needed.

I started school on August 27, 2012. At the ripe old age of forty-nine I am sharing the classrooms with those who just graduated from high school. I have my work cut out for me, yet I know in the end I will be better off. I needed to find peace within, and each day I am able to accomplish the next task at hand, gives me the satisfaction I seek from myself.  For the first time in my life, I am in charge of making my own decisions. My desire to go back to school and earn my degree has given me more strength from within than I could imagine. I am woman, hear me roar…

Published in: on September 28, 2012 at 8:49 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You are fantastic! I can hear the roar from here. What an exciting time you are in.

    • Exciting is an understatement…I’m also burning the candle at both ends!

      • Amazing…how burning the candle at both ends makes us look that much more brighter. 🙂 I bet you are shining!

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