It was my fifth relocation in two-years. Conscientious in packing the first time, I’d been through this before so I had that part down pat. This time I didn’t know when those boxes would see daylight again, but by the fifth move only two years later my taste for relocating had understandably waned. Who would’ve thought it could possibly take so many moves to get where I needed to be. If nothing else can be said of me, I am long-toothed in perseverance.
As any divorce made unduly difficult is just as unpredictable, so were my living conditions. I jostled among family and inexpensive living as I tried to regroup and hold-out financially until divorce freed up money to do it right (he wasn’t willingly letting go of anything, home & cars included). Packed boxes were pilfered with each new landing and others stored so long I’d totally forgotten what the label was supposed to identify inside. Each time I’d pack and repack never sure if I had everything I started with. Each time I cared less whether I did.
Well, phew! Finally in my new home for good (never say never), I unpacked and for days reminisced over the same old wall decorations I’d hung in every other home I’d ever owned. Most for the living room were gifts or family heirlooms I’d accumulated over the course of 40-years.
Have you ever noticed that no matter where you live, when you put up the same familiar wall décor it looks like the same home in a different place? Maybe you have to move as much as I have to notice. It’s amazing, really. No matter where you move the feeling of the home remains the same.
As close as I felt to those old items, each for different reasons of the people and places behind them, this time I wanted – needed – a new look: A look that is Me today. A condition of living that symbolizes the freshness of life, not that reminded me of a stale abusive marriage to a just as stale & miserable mean old devil. (I refuse to refer to him as a ‘man’ and implying he had a soul would be overreach.) God knows, I’d endured tremendous agonies to finally attain it, I wanted this home to feel good.
Wh-e-l-l. Have you priced wall décor lately? OMG, even the inexpensive items aren’t inexpensive. So I found my heart in the land of fake-expensive … flea markets and thrift stores.
I’ve always loved perusing secondhand stores. After being so down-trodden it actually took several days for me to realize that I could give myself permission to go and to spend as much time & money as I wanted in one! No one to hmph & moan because I spent $5 on something not for him or to pout & snort with dirty looks because it wasn’t something he wanted to do so I had no right to want it.
Do you have any idea how invigorating that realization is?!? I laughed in pathetic refrain as I recognized it had taken days for me to come to it. It’d been two-years since leaving, but that’s what 20-years of abusive marriage does. It didn’t take long to replace sad reflection with the joy of a child who’d just been told they could go to their favorite playground or pick out a toy at their favorite store.
Setting aside the old wall décor for other rooms I began the process of creating new memories. I’ve found three original paintings that are truly lovely, very much my cheery taste, reasonably sized and less than $40. Just one of their ornate frames is worth the cost of all of them. I have loved every moment of experiencing this “all about me” freedom for a change, casually perusing the local flea market to my heart’s content or until my legs give out, whichever comes first.
There is an impressive number of rare dish collectibles, already having more of those now than I care to pack again. So I’m waiting for the day when I find that one treasure beyond all others … what someone’s misidentified as a fake painting when it’s not. After all, isn’t that what secondhand treasure hunting is all about?
Until then I’ll keep enjoying the spirit of endless perusing, nabbing unknown artist originals and filling my walls with fresh new “remember whens” in discovering this whole new me.
Written in response to WordPress Daily Prompt, Fake.