I could never be one of those cheerful people on one of those house hunting shows.
So there's this scene in an episode of Sex and The City where Carrie goes to try on wedding gowns with Miranda, and she's so stressed out about her pending nuptials that she breaks out in hives. I could completely commiserate with that, as wedding dress shopping was something that I did not look forward to. At the time (ten years ago!) it seemed like such a large, daunting decision. There was this dress: A dress everyone would see me in. The dress that I should have dreamed up in my childhood and fantasized about for at least two decades. A dress that would be photographed on my body literally hundreds of times in one day. A dress that I would lovingly preserve and save in the chance that one day I'd pass it on to someone else to love forever. There was so much hope and expectation that came with wedding dress shopping, and I just couldn't handle all that pressure. So... I just put it off and put it off and put it off until it was six weeks until my wedding day and I hadn't tried on a single dress.
It was actually Chris who got me to go into the store (his amp repair guy was married to a woman who owned a bridal shop and he had finagled me a discount). I took my mom and my best friend Brooke with me, with the expectation that I would never find anything that lived up to this monumental thing I thought a wedding dress had to be. I expected to come home with something I felt lukewarm about. I expected to feel raw and dejected during the whole experience. I felt defeated before I even began. "So long as it's long, white, and my boobs and butt are covered, I'm fine." But I wasn't fine.
I flipped through racks and racks and took a stack of dresses over my arm to the fitting room, weighed down by all the lace and stress and white satin and sadness you could imagine. I didn't want to get my hopes up because I was sure I'd end up disappointed with the options presented to me.
I tell you all this because that's what house hunting feels like but one billion times worse.
It's further compounded by the fact that in our case, there's two of us trying to find the house and we each have our very own list of needs and wants when it comes to, what some would say, is the most important purchase that we will ever make.
Since I like to shop, you'd think that shopping for an entire building (a home!) would be my forte... or at the very least somewhat enjoyable. It's not. It's freaking scary.
I'm not looking for a pit stop house, I'm looking for a home that I can raise my kids in. A home where I can invite new friends over to. A home that I hope to fill with my furniture and art and laughter and years of memories. This house is this thing that I've vaguely and fleetingly dreamed about for well over a decade now, and God willing, it's the house that my kids will recall when recounting their childhood.
It's intimidating to say the least.
But I have to believe that everything will turn out okay. I mean, things turned out just fine with my wedding dress.
When I went into the fitting room with my stack of prospects, my skin started to feel tight, and I was having trouble breathing. But then... a soft knock. My mom and Brooke brought me a dress with the command of "Don't look at the price or say anything. Just try it on." I probably looked at them through slitted, dubious eyes, but for once, I kept my mouth shut and did what they asked. And that was it. That was my dress. THE dress. A dress that made me feel pretty and delicate and elegant and hopeful and somehow powerful all at once. I felt like the best version of myself in that dress. In a way, I feel like it found me -- reluctant, picky, hopeful, stressed out me.
The dress wasn't perfect. The price was higher than I thought it should be, the straps were a little too short, it wasn't quite as puffy as I had envisioned, and it was a pain in the booty to bustle, but I loved it. I still love it. When I think back to my wedding day, my dress is one of the things that I loved most about it.
So that's my prayer. I am not praying for the perfect house, but I am praying that I can let go of the reluctance I have to look for fear that I won't like any of the choices presented to me. I am hopeful that I can find a house that I can look at and think, "This! You found me!"