A House Is Not A Home.
In our life, we struggle so much to find a place that we can call home. We leave the place where we grow up hoping to make our own little nest somewhere.
I have lived in many places but I only felt like all my bits and pieces come together in a few.
Do you know what I mean? It’s like I am wearing a fancy dress with a long train and getting in a room is pretty complicated if the door keeps slamming shut over my fancy dress. You know what, this metaphor sucks. I haven’t had the chance to drink my coffee yet. Please stay where you are, I’ll be right back.
Back … with stories to tell. You ready?
My first place outside of my parents’ home was a two-room apartment in Bucharest. Old, squeaky, the house of mischief.
The second place? A WW2 cabin in the woods outside of Munich. Older, squeakier, a phone at the end of a long corridor, stuff of the Hitchcock books. Luckily I shared this accommodation with other girls, just as lonely and terrified as I was.
The third place was a studio apartment in da hood of Bucharest. Awful bed. Colorful neighbors. Made a friend for life.
Fourth place was the room of my boyfriend. Back in Munich, I had the option to go back to the woods or live in a tight space with my white-skinned-blue-eyed boyfriend. Guess what I chose? Weird roommates. Met a doppelganger of a friend of mine.
Back to my parents’ place for the summer. Couldn’t find my space. My room didn’t belong to me anymore.
As a sixth place, I lived in Munich, shared an apartment with what seemed to be a nice girl. Truth is we had nothing in common (I think she really was nice, though). As far as I am concerned, I would have rather slept in the train station.
Seventh place. New boyfriend, new place to live. Gorgeous studio in Freising. A suspended bed under the roof, an ideal place for a writer. Unfortunately, back then I was just an engineer and tried to squeeze all my stuff in the closet. All the heated granite and hardwood floors couldn’t make up for the coldness of that relationship.
So I moved on. Not in a new relationship but in a new place. You know how people are, they refuse to see what’s really in front of them and try everything else but the right things until it’s too late. So I did. Found myself two handsome boys I moved in with. We shared a four-bedroom apartment close to the uni we were working at. It was the nicest and closest thing I had to a home so far. We renovated the place together (what an adventure!) and had so much fun on our terrace or squeezed on our incredibly expensive (fished from the dumpster, almost) Bretz couch, watching football on a smaller than small TV. By the way, that was the only furniture we had in a 25 m2 living room. I know!
Left that cozy nest for the next step in a disastrous relationship. The ninth place was an apartment in a very cool region of Munich. But because of the aforesaid premise, it didn’t reach its potential of becoming a home. I left in tears and moved alone.
The tenth place was truly my first home. I lived alone in the center of Munich. Didn’t mount a lamp for half of the time I was there. Had a huge bed, spent a lot of time in it. Loved every minute of living here. Had a good vibe, like it was knowing and accepting me for what I was, which, at the time, was a mess.
Eleventh place was a new step towards the abyss. New relationship. I am sorry, that was ‘new relationshit’ with a guy who fixed everything using duct tape. How is that possible? Simple! It’s not. The size of this apartment was proportional to the guy’s ego and the catastrophe that followed. This wasn’t even a house, not to mention a home.
So I moved, once more, with a friend, in the very heart of Bucharest. City at my feet and so was my heart. Hadn’t it been for my shattered self, this would have been a home. So many nights and beers I spent on the terrace escaping people and myself really.
Then I met Alin and moved again. To England. Our place there is not our home. Not yet. There are many reasons for that which I will not go into.
However, I was to discover we do have a home. It is in Sântana, in the house of his childhood, the place we had our wedding a year ago.
This hundred-something-year-old house is … it has exceeded any imagination or understanding I had of a home.
This house lives and it changes depending on who inhabits her. I really thought there is something nice about her when I came in and saw the white wooden floors and tall rooms but then I thought ‘it must be the vintage air this place has’.
She is more than that.
This house, exactly like a wise but naughty aunt, knows how to make you feel safe and partake to all your crazy stories. Also, she knows how to reflect your moods perfectly and, better yet, how to embrace them. This house is a very old non-judgemental mirror.
A house becomes a home when it got character.
And not any character, some off the shelf thing a designer brings in exchange for some thousands of pounds. Character is given by the people and by the energy they leave behind. And that stuff is very hard to find and you can’t buy it. You need to build it over time.
So yeah, finding a home is more like finding love. It’s complicated because it has something to do with your heart rather than just real estate. You need to look hard and sometimes not even that helps because it’s all up to fate.