Coping with the emotional stress of moving and change

What Home Means: Navigating the Seasons of My Life

As we prepare to move, I'm suddenly struck by how rooted I am in the notion of home.


Lately, I've been playing "Landslide" over and over again. Not necessarily the iconic Fleetwood Mac classic, but the version by the Dixie Chicks. Natalie Maines' voice pierces through the air like an ice pick and cuts at the very core of my heart. This song has always given me goosebumps, but more in the past few months than in any time prior.

We're supposed to begin the long and laborious process of selling our beloved country cottage in January. We've spoken to our neighbors and former landlords, the ones we purchased the home from five years ago as bright-eyed newlyweds. We've hired the contractor and paid the deposit on the architect's time. We've dug up old blueprints and line drawings, spent hours envisioning how we want our new home to look and browsed online for decor ideas much longer than we ever anticipated.

Still, throughout it all, this old home has stood watching. I know it's silly to give properties human characteristics, but this place is so full of personality that it's difficult not to. The archways hold the pencil markings of my two toddlers. The kitchen has participated in way more dance parties than it ever intended to. The floors have supported curious little feet and weary mother ones in the wee hours of the morning. They creak alongside us, a cacophony of sighs and celebrations.

This new place sits far off the road, on the back side of family land. It's everything I've wanted in a home since I was little, growing up beside my cousins in my own backyard paradise. This home has a long driveway perfect for riding a bike, established trees and acres to explore. It has two creeks, solar panels and a skylight on the roof, a vast swath of woods just begging for a playground, cornfields on both sides and a sod field in the back. It's got views for days, but I haven't given my heart over to it yet.

Why? I didn't bring my babies home there. I haven't lied awake there and made a to-do list for the next day in my head. I haven't swung on that front porch swing with a fast-food sweet tea in one hand, a preschool workbook in the other, and the most precious four-year-old girl by my side. I haven't done laundry there on a Saturday or mailed Christmas cards from a kitchen table within its walls.

I've done all of those things, and so much more, in my home now. We lived here for three years before moving away for nine hard months and eventually making the easy decision to buy it for good. We worked with the best building team in the county and spent two years pouring ourselves into every detail of every square inch. I was expecting my firstborn when we began the project and expecting my second-born when we finished it. A labor of love, indeed.

Though at times I thought I'd rip my hair out at the snail's pace in which that process moved, the end result was a million times worth it. This home is precisely what my heart would look like if someone ripped it from my chest and asked me to give it a house. It's quirky. The floors are uneven in places, the basement gets wet after a hard rain even though we finished it off fully, and the baseboards could stand a solid paint job. Yet, this is where I've stayed up all night rocking sleepy kids to dreamland. It's where I've read a billion bedtime stories, watched a thousand cartoons and indulged in many late-night television show marathons with my husband.

At the end of the day, I know a home is only made and defined by the people within it. I know I'm taking the memories with me and making some more. Still, I can't help but feel a tinge of sadness as this new season of life officially ramps up. I can't wait to see what's on the horizon and I fully believe it's bright for our family. Yet, I keep looking behind me, down the road I'm currently walking on, trying my best to leave a trail of footprints in case I ever need to find my way back.

Popular Right Now

On June 22nd I Celebrated My 22nd

*Insert cliche Taylor Swift song "22"*


It's about time I turn 22. I've been told that after your 21st birthday, the years begin to fly past you in a blur. I don't know if I agree, but I can definitely say that I don't feel 22. Sometimes I look around at all the people who are freshmen in college, or juniors in high school, and I begin to reminisce about when I was their age. One thing getting older does do is make you a skeptical, cynical person.

I've thought a lot about my birthday as another day that I get to eat cake because let's face it, I'm not really here for anything else, except maybe a shot. I remember celebrating my birthday when I was younger was much different from what it turned into after I turned 20. Back in the day, I would celebrate my birthday with a pool party. Pizza, chips, cake, and soda. A few balloons and candles and that was it. I'd only invite my closest friends and we'd have so much fun.

I miss that kind of birthday. The kind you pick out an outfit for days prior, the kind you get so excited for and can't sleep, the kind that makes you feel special. It doesn't feel like that anymore. What it feels like now is, "welp, there goes another year." This line is also applicable to New Year's Eve, but we'll cross that bridge six months from now.

My birthday is pretty uneventful. It feels like the spark is gone, the excitement is gone. I wish I could feel happy that I'm turning 22, but I also know that it's just a reality that we all get older and things like birthdays begin to feel strange. You're faced to realize that you're supposed to have gained another year of experience and intelligence in the aspects of life, but it's almost like you feel the same.

It's safe to say that this has been a bit of an existential-crisis-themed birthday, but I'm just a little scared of getting older. I think we all reach a point where you realize you aren't invincible anymore. It's time to see what's in store for the future, what your career goals are, where you plan to move to after graduation, how to eat better, and how to feel like you've reached your full potential. It's a bittersweet moment in my life, but I'm ready to see what's next.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Beauty of Releasing Anxiety Over the Future

What you learn when you learn you don't need to know it all


I come from a long line of women who worry. We stay up late at night wondering if we got it all right that day. We stress over the details and sweat the small stuff more than we should. Surprisingly, for the amount they fret, my sister and mother are the epitome of calm. They're collected and graceful, whereas I'm a constant bundle of nerves wound tighter than a brand-new yo-yo.

This year, however, I resolved to change all of that. I determined that 2019 would be the year I released all the anxiety and fears around the future. It would be the year I stopped concerning myself with matters of tomorrow and focused instead on the beauty and blessing of today. We're only six days into this new year, but I have already felt that gigantic weight lifted. Why, you might ask, did I choose this particular year? I will turn 32 this April and I've had plenty of turns around the sun to think about getting it right. I've had time to relax, time to recharge and time to start anew.

So, why this year? Put simply, I can tell this is going to be one unlike any other. We're moving out of our home in the next few months, in preparation to begin an enormous remodel project on a nearby family home. As we do so, we're going to be living with my in-laws, our oldest starts kindergarten in the fall, and we're both planning to ramp up our careers by taking on new challenges.

In short, I could easily approach these new obstacles with a jittery heart and nerves that are shot before the day even begins. Yet, each day has its own struggles and if I were to look at this year as a whole, I'd be overwhelmed by the extent of it all. Between school, sports, work and this project, there is no shortage of concerns to worry over, issues to fret about and worries to wonder on. It is for this very reason that I'm stepping out on faith and giving the headaches over, relinquishing the lock-tight control I once held over my own day-to-day chaos.

The thing is, I can see where it's all going. I can already see our dream home that will sit on the lot behind the cornfield. There are two creeks on the property, a sod field in the back, and Japanese cherry blossom trees that I can't wait to watch come alive this spring. I have dreams of eating popsicles on the back deck while the sun goes down in the summertime and I can see the kids running in the huge, open front yard, the one that takes us 10 minutes or more to walk up and down the driveway. I can see the measures we are taking to make the home as energy-efficient as possible paying off with lower power bills. I know the garden we plant in two years will be our biggest and best yet.

I know this will be the home my children remember growing up in. We'll take prom pictures here and first dates will end on the front stoop. Still, the process of getting there, of going home, is a long and laborious one and I could easily crawl under the covers and seek to escape from it all if I think about it for too long.

Instead, I'm getting up early in the mornings these days. I'm having quiet time to reflect and recharge my faith. I'm reading more text and devouring fewer screens. I'm taking more walks (another resolution) and spending at least a little bit of time in nature every day. I'm looking my children in the eye when they speak to me rather than rushing by them on my way to the next, more important thing. I'm making a gratitude list at the end of every day with five things that blessed and inspired me. I'm going to bed earlier and sleeping more deeply, my heart fuller than it's ever been.

I'm releasing my ambition to plan every day to a tee. I'm letting life happen and enjoying the ride of letting go.

Related Content

Facebook Comments