We have now encroached on another New Year’s Eve … to the single girl, this is either a welcome holiday filled with fizzling champagne, sparkling clutches, and the delight of a lustful lip-locking session at midnight—or, conversely, New Year’s Eve marks a night of the dreaded ball-drop, and plans to assign hermit-status in Cuddleduds, cozied up on the couch with your (ahem…) cat. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to celebrating the New Year as a single girl. This year marks a new celebratory status for me; however.
I should begin by sharing that 2010 was one of great life-learning experiences. At the turn of the New Year, I was knee-deep and fixated on a relationship that had been four years in the making. There were talks of moving in together, marriage, and children. For me; this was glorious and monumental … and also premature.
My sights were set on much more than a “boyfriend” for my twenty-seventh-year. I longed to expand my career, travel, and eventually, own my own home. Real estate is in my blood, and I was raised knowing that it can be one of the best investments. I searched high and low for a home treasure, and even brought my significant other along for the tours, inspections of HVAC systems, and thermostat tests.
I recall one evening while we were making dinner together (at his home; might I add), when I asked if he felt that my purchase of a home was the right investment. This question was somewhat deceiving, I’ll admit. I meant not only what he thought from a financial standpoint, but also what he thought of it as an investment in our future as a couple. The lack of an answer was resounding, and I knew that we were nearing the end.
As the ink dried on the closing paperwork documents for my new home in February of 2010, my relationship came to a close. I was devastated, scared, and felt more alone than I had felt in years.
The weeks went by in my new home, and I would sit in quiet quarters reviewing the upkeep that a new (older) home would demand from me—a now single woman. I could not help but revisit my tattered and torn relationship, wondering what I might have done to salvage the “good” in what we had. It was during one of these quiet evenings in my home that I peered about my surroundings in sheer wonder. I marveled at the beautifully painted plaster walls, felt with my own hands the sewn seams of the wooden floors, reveled at the light glistening from the custom glass book shelving, and had a moment of revelation.
The purchase of my first home marked a landmark of liberation for me. Much like the body should be treated as a temple—carefully coddling the mind, body and spirit—so should the home be a temple of solitude for the (wo-)man; a blank canvas for creativity, passions, and joy. I decided to make my body, and my home, a true testament to my being on this earth.
I set out on a Ten-Week Liberation Challenge, and gave myself permission to put ME first. What is a Liberation Challenge, you might ask? For ten weeks, I vowed to broaden my cultural perspective, expand my social life, revisit old hobbies, and embrace my spirituality. I gained a confidence that I had not experienced before, and reaped rewards far greater than what the ten weeks could encompass.
A pristinely manicured landscape and perfectly pledged dusting offered a home that welcomed each guest with genuine compliments. It may sound trite, but one of the greatest compliments offered to me has been; “This home has your name written all over it.” Why, thank you, it should. It is my temple.