Since I was a kid, my father used to joke that he wanted to become a recluse and live a solitary existence on “Carey’s Mountain.” I always chalked it up to his being slightly deranged by life with two daughters and a wife who was- and still is- prone to weighty emotions. I just assumed he wanted to live a simply mountain life because he was rarely alone is his own home, and I’m sure he always felt a little overwhelmed.
But now that I’m older and a homeowner myself, I’m starting to wonder if there was more to this, especially as I am more frequently addressing my own feelings of just leaving. Not in any sort of earthly permanence sense, but just in the sense of getting. the. hell. out. of. here. (Here= wherever I am, any dwelling I’m in, etc.)
In a romantic sense, one might call this wanderlust: the desire to be on the move, to never let the dust settle beneath you, to travel. However, if I’m being honest, there’s more to it than just this. Yes, I want to travel. Yes, I want to see the world. But, I also have to face the fact that I might not be destined for household permanence.
I am not destined to own a home.
I hate owning a home.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my house and what it signifies in my life. But, it’s a never-ending struggle. There’s the struggle to keep it clean: vacuuming, laundry, toilet-scrubbing. Don’t even get me started on dusting. There’s also the struggle to keep it standing; no one ever told me about the endless list of home-improvement “projects” that are a lot less fun than HGTV makes them out to be.
And, I might be bad luck. Just today, I was washing dishes at a friend’s brand new home; I’m here dog-sitting, and they’ve literally lived here for less than two weeks. A home does not get newer than this one. I was washing the dishes, and the water just cut out. The pressure went, and it only took seconds for there to be no water at all. I panicked. I text my friend. I text my handy cousin. I text my dad even though he is very comfortable in admitting that he is not typically regarded as handy. I even called my sister- more of a comfort than anything because I knew that b couldn’t help me.
I flipped breakers. I looked at the interior hook up of the well. I had no idea what to do. But, I got through it. I talked to my friend’s husband on the phone, and together we got the water back up and running. It took some random button pushing and more than a few prayers, but we did it.
Still, I’m taking it as a sign. Household dwelling is hard. I don’t think I want one anymore.
(Talk to me tomorrow…I’ll still be at my house, and I’ll still be complaining.)