Searching for the perfect place.

Rain, lots of it, coming down on the trees, the land, the buildings. It has been raining for days.

To conserve on heat I moved into the larger bedroom that has an attached bathroom. I installed a convection heater on the wall that is advertised to only cost four cents a day to run. Being lone, I don’t need much space.

During the months of August and September I had two major emotional upheavals. Both of them made me aware of how everything is fine until it isn’t. No matter how much inner work I do, the outside world can easily shatter my peace. I don’t know how I endured my childhood, well, the answer is, I didn’t.

I entered adulthood as a badly mangled survivor. Children need to get certain things from their environment to grow up healthy, but many do not. More and more, I think a safe, nurturing childhood is the key to everything, and that this nurturing environment cannot be the sole responsibility of just one person.

With knarled veins on my hands and deeply etched lines under my eyes, why do I keep going back, back, back into the netherworld of childhood? I read a story once about a very rich woman who spent the last years of her life in a special room in a hospital surrounded by her doll collection. She didn’t need to be in a hospital, she was not sick, she just liked being in that particular room and had enough money to pay for it.

Twenty years ago I stayed in a motel room with a partial view of the ocean. It had a small kitchen and bath. Because it was a very old motel in a desolate beach town, the room was not very expensive. I asked the owner if I could rent it for a month but he wouldn’t do it. He said that because it was the only room that had an ocean view, he wanted to keep it in circulation.

When I was traveling two years ago, I found this motel again and the only room available was this room. I rented it for two nights and felt the same special pleasure I had experienced the first time.

On my 62nd birthday, I stayed in a magnificent room. It was far too expensive, a crazy indulgence, but the pleasure I got from being in that room for 24 hours was worth it. It transported me into a different world where I felt rich and pampered.

For as long as I can remember, I have been searching for a special place. I used to buy architectural design magazines and cut out pictures of the houses I liked. With my income, they were all out my price range, but at least I knew that the kind of house I wanted was out there, that it was real.

No matter where I live, I always go out for walks to look at the houses. As I go by each one, I rate it on whether or not I would want to live there. I wonder why this sense of “place” is so important to me. As a relatively poor woman, I live in a nice enough place, but it is not “the place.” I have exasperated many realtors by my incessant search for the perfect house.

For several years before I sold my condo, I had been fascinated by round houses and very much wanted to live in one. And this dream came true. I found a huge, three-story round house out in the woods that had two smaller round houses nearby. The room I rented in the big house had floor to ceiling windows all along one wall that looked out onto an organic garden. I was, literally, living in round house heaven.

My father loved his cars and his houses. Every year, he moved his family into a bigger, better house. So, maybe this is at the root of my desire. What seems to keep people going is the search for what they don’t, or cannot have. As my parents are in their eighties, and I am in my sixties, maybe the elusive house we all wanted is finally out of reach. Or maybe, the house was a metaphor for something else.

Sometimes, when I am traveling through a small town, I will look up at the windows of a hotel on Main Street and think, “I can see myself in that room.” It may be that instead of a grand house overlooking the ocean, I may end up in a hotel room, like the rich woman in the hospital. Given my meager possessions, what would I do with a lot of space?


11 thoughts on “Searching for the perfect place.

  1. Your blog inspires me to do something about my home. It is practical but I would enjoy it a lot more if it were updated to my desires. I can afford to do an update but have been lazy or think it’s enough to get by. I am in my 60’s too and what am I waiting for? I enjoy reading your blogs.


  2. As an introvert myself, I can completely relate to your post. Like yourself, I feel comfortable, safe and even secure in places that have given me joy.Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I find them inspiring and thought-provoking.


  3. I am an introvert and always feel a strong connection to places I feel safe and secure. Thank you for sharing your thoughts I really enjoy reading your posts.


  4. New to your blog and loving it. I can’t get enough of your thoughts! So far everything I have read resonates with my own life experience and this has been sooo validating. For years I believed there was something wrong with me because I liked reading and solitude and ideas. Finally it is so wonderful to truly be able to embrace that I am an aging introvert and your writings are food for my soul. Thank you for sharing yourself, truly a gift.


  5. Your comments on “place” being important to you in a subconscious way struck “home” with me (see what I did there?). I particularly enjoyed your observations of other homes and attempting to envision your self there. Would it work? Would it not? It’s almost as if we actually get to live in those places, if only for a few moments. When I experience these thought processes on a walk, I inevitably arrive back home and see my own domicile in a different light. Thanks for the observations- wishing you a peaceful holiday with maybe just a small surprise or two. ~TH~


  6. Place is important to me, but I think of it more as the locale I want to live in. I have lived in the same house (except for a few years as a child, and being at college) my whole life. I’ve moved bedroom within this house several times, so that I’ve pretty much done all the rooms, and now occupy the largest one, which is interestingly shaped. Nevertheless, I know that before I die, I will likely sell the house and move into a nearby apartment, because the house will be too hard to take care of by myself. I would like an art studio, but that’s probably the extent of the indoor spaces I dream about. I am more attached to the neighborhood I live in than a particular indoor space. Not because I care about the shopping or coffee houses or “vibe” or what have you, but just because I know it well.


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