When we bought this house 3 years ago, it isn’t what I wanted. I was afraid of this journey, of having a house as a project, of the unknown. Really, what I was afraid of was having something so big and so important be so imperfect. You see, I wanted to feel like everything I did was just right. I wanted to do things like I was “supposed to”. I wanted a bright, shiny, clean, new home to reflect bright shiny perfect me. The problem was and still is, that I am not perfect. I just didn’t want something like my little, ugly house to show that to the world. I wanted a house that I was proud to invite people over to. I wanted a home that showed all kinds of unrealistic and untrue things about myself – like perfection and grandness, and prettiness.
Moving into this home and starting this project was humbling. For the first time in pretty much ever, as I stared at my home ripped to the slab because even the studs were too ugly and falling apart to keep, I felt like I was looking myself in the mirror naked with nothing to hide all the flaws, the imperfect and ugly things about myself. And instead of hiding, I had to face it. There is a reason this blog isn’t called Remodeling This Home. I knew when I started this blog, a year after we’d started this journey to rebuild a house from the ground up, that this project wasn’t just about the house. It was about me and all the things I didn’t want to see. I didn’t want to see that I spent too much money, was not a nice person, and had my priorities in life all wrong. I just wanted to be me. I was fabulous. I was amazing. What was there to change? I was the shiny new house with granite countertops and bronze fixtures. But if you ripped down those walls to the studs, I was rotting, I was ugly, and I needed remodeling.
I have embraced this process so much because every step of the way, I have felt a change in myself. I have had to step back, swallow my pride and just let things be as they are – sometimes ugly, some things I want to hide in a deep dark closet, some things I just want to paint over and hope the old paint doesn’t show through.
This house saved me. It made me stop and realize that there is more to a beautiful life than high ceilings, square footage, and shiny kitchens. I have learned along the way that sometimes things seem great for a while, changes have been made and enjoyed and then bam! another problem arises. Something else I need to fix, whether it’s a kitchen wall or a friendship gone wrong, I have to look at the ugly and figure out how to fix it. I have learned that it’s easier to fix something than to pretend it’s not there.
Embracing this imperfect home has allowed me to embrace imperfect me. Let myself be me, goofy, ridiculous, awkward, shy me. I have realized that by allowing myself to see the things less than stellar about myself is the only way that they’ll ever change. It’s not all about the house or all about me, but part of it is about finding out a truth about myself that I didn’t want to see. I don’t know it all, I don’t have it all, I am not the prettiest, smartest, funniest person ever, and I don’t need to be. I need to be the best me. Just like my house won’t ever be the biggest, shiniest, prettiest house, it is my home. For imperfect me and the most important people in the world to me. We have and will continue to make our improvements together.