On March 14th, 2018, my husband and I gained possession of our first ever house. Now, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that although this was our first owned house, it was definitely NOT the first place we lived.
During our first year of marriage (May 2015 – May 2016), we lived in a relative’s basement apartment in City #1. When my husband’s church internship ended, we knew he needed to look for a new job.
So, we moved to City #2 – my husband was hired at a small church with a parsonage (a little house on the property built for a pastor to live in). We rented the parsonage – and that’s where we adopted Max!
Jefferson was on a one-year contract, and at the end, we decided that although it was a good year of experience, it wasn’t a good fit for us. So, we left in June 2017 when my husband took his new (and now current) job.
My husband’s new job was in a waaaay more expensive city to live in. Plus, it was IMPOSSIBLE to find anything that we could rent that would allow dogs – let alone a 60 lb dog. And obviously, because we lived in the church’s parsonage, we had to move out when his position ended. So – we moved again.
This time, we moved in with my parents to City #3! So, from May 2015 to June 2017, we had lived in THREE different places.
Living with my parents was in some ways the most healing and relieving thing we did. Our first two years of marriage were extremely hard – both living situations were stressful for a variety of reasons I won’t really get into. But now, I was able to recoup in my comfort zone.
However, my parent’s house wasn’t really set up for another couple to live there long-term. So, by January 2018, we realized that it may be time to start thinking about other options.
And that is when our house hunting adventure began. From there, everything moved extremely fast – we started searching for a home back in the more affordable City #2, which is about a 30-minute commute from Jefferson’s current job, and within a few weeks we bought our house.
On March 14th, 2018, we gained possession and began renovations over the next few weeks until we officially moved in at the end of March.
When I write that all out, it makes me realize that, yeah, we really DID go through a lot in just a few short years. (Almost) four years of marriage and four homes, three different jobs (for my husband, I’ve had the same job the whole time), three different communities…and a LOT of stress.
This is the very first time that, after a year, I am sitting in the same home on the same date as the previous year. That my husband has the same job that he did the year before. That my house isn’t FULL of boxes from the fact that I am about to move.
And you know what I’ve learned? That stability isn’t essential for my mental health – but it really does freaking help. A lot. My mental health is better than it’s ever been, and I can trace it back to moving into this house.
Having my own space – a place where I finally feel safe, and settled, and like I finally won’t be uprooted from everything I have come to know once again.
I have also learned that although moving made such a huge difference, it wasn’t the only thing. I also focused on myself – and on my health. I did CBT, I went to therapy regularly, I got a bunch of physical health tests done. I saw my family doctor regularly. I took care of myself.
Because finally, I wasn’t just in survival mode. I wasn’t just in “until we move…” mode. I was ready to move on with my life. And live it.