Enchanted

Enchanted: That’s how I want to feel about a home one day. 

We spent part of today once again talking about our future as homeowners.  As hard as I try, I find it difficult to view a home as just a house, a place of shelter.  It’s a bit ironic (I think) that I found an article tonight that broaches the question of “Rent or Buy?” and the spokesman for the National Multi Housing Council is quoted as saying “It comes down to the cost factor, and you need to realize that housing is shelter, not an investment.”

Honestly, I feel like this spokesman is just wrong.  There’s so much information in human history that points to the fact that housing isn’t just shelter.  If it was just shelter, we wouldn’t feel the need to personalize our structures as much as we do.

I think the primary goal of a home is to provide shelter but a home reflects so much about who we are as people, as families, as communities, and cultures.  I had the wonderful opportunity when I was in college to take a course studying ancient cultures and one of those I most enjoyed learning about was the neolithic Catalhoyuk community in Turkey.

It was interesting to learn about how they walked on each others rooftops to get around and buried their dead in the floors of their homes.
Catalhoyuk(As an aside, my past focus on psychology and studying forensic anthropology and cultural behaviors/interactions has helped me decide where I want to focus my future educational pursuits.  I want to look into a graduate certificate in Social Transformation, a Master’s in Global Health, and eventually consider a PhD in either Anthropology (Urbanism) or Global Health (Urbanism.)  Now, I know it sounds kind of creepy to have one’s kin so close after passing but many people nowadays keep ashes on their mantels, which is very much the same sentiment. 

You know I have a soft spot in my heart for houses of all kinds when I get excited about ancient houses as much as I do for modern day structures.  I was really pleased to learn about the little details that made these homes so important to their people; things like plastering, figurines, the presence of a hearth…things like these.  Theses are the same details that make us stop and smile in our own dwellings (rented and owned).

The photo of the Catalhoyuk rooftops is from here.

I can’t say that these ancient homes were important to the people who lived in them but I believe they were.  Why else would they spend so much time re plastering the walls on a yearly basis, burying their dead underneath the floors, using built-in seating, and depicting repeated motifs.  No one spends that much time putting details into their homes if they aren’t important.

So what’s important to me to have in a home?  Yes, that’s what I am stuck asking myself.  I feel a bit lost when I try to come up with just a few things that are really meaningful to me.  I don’t know if it would be easier to come up with something if I had already been a homeowner once before.  Sometimes, I just get this feeling that I am going to miss out on the opportunity to be a homeowner and accomplish this dream and that’s when I get the most disappointed.  I feel like life is passing me by and this one goal continues to be out of reach.

Honestly, I want my home to be remembered.  I want it to be important.  Granted, it doesn’t have to be remembered on the same scale as Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architecture but I want people to enjoy its visual appeal as much as I hope to enjoy it myself.  I love the idea of that one house people like to drive by because it makes them smile.  To me, it’s important that my home feels inviting.

I think it’s also important that it’s practical.  Just as the people of Catalhoyuk made important practical use of their homes by venting them with a rooftop opening since they lacked chimneys and use their rooftops as “roads”, I know it’s important to have a design that’s practical and relevant for many years to come.  I don’t want it to be haphazardly made that it’s falling apart left and right.  I understand it will need maintenance to keep up its appearance and its strength as a structure.

I don’t mind so much that the design won’t be timeless.  I know different styles have their appeal but so long as the structure is sturdy and will hold up for years to come, I’ll be happy.

I know it sounds silly to say I get scared my opportunity to own the right place will be lost but sometimes it feels that way.  I’ve held onto this dream for so long and the moment hasn’t materialized yet for me to become a homeowner.  Instead, I see so many people I know signing those contracts and getting keys to their dream homes (or what they will turn into their dream homes).  It does keep me up wondering if I’ll ever be lucky enough to be a homeowner.  To have my own slice of “heaven” in this world.  I worry that someone else will nab up my dream home/property when I finally find the “one”.

I know…it sounds ridiculous the way I talk about homes and being a homeowner.  Being in love with an inanimate object but I want to make my mark on this world.  Have my own corner of the world to hold onto and take care of, to leave it better for the future…maybe see my daughter inherit it from us when she’s ready to settle down.

So as silly as it sounds, my dream is like Taylor Swift’s “Enchanted.”  I just want to find a home that’s destined for me the same way I found the man who became my husband.  I want my life to meet up with that next fairytale milestone.

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