I distinctly remember the moment I learned that I was not good at drawing.
Or coloring. Or papier-mâché. Or painting. Basically anything that involves an art instrument or kiln.
I was in 3rd grade. My friends and I all sat in a circle with our Lisa Frank notebooks and colored pencils. “Let’s each draw what we want our wedding dress to look like,” Maria suggested. We spent a solid 15 minutes sketching and coloring before tearing perforated pages out of our notebooks and passing them around to one another. I peered at everyone else’s masterpieces. Gorgeous. And then I realized two things:
- I couldn’t wait to grow up and wear a jazzy tulle dress
- I sucked—and I mean sucked—at art
Their hand-drawn pictures were all so perfect. Maria drew a tall, slender woman cloaked in a puffy, glistening gown. Jenny’s Gone with the Wind-esque Scarlett O’Hara throwback hoop skirt ruled. Jill’s rocked, too. My girlfriend Chrissy, however, was a bit of a tomboy, and she flat-out broke the rules. She didn’t draw a dress at all—she drew a tree frog. And I’ll be darned if it wasn’t the most handsome tree frog you ever did see. Vibrant emerald green, perfectly shaded, lumpy warts in all the right places. I made a mental note to ask my dad for a pet amphibian.
Me? I essentially drew a root vegetable with a head and some stick-figure appendages. Mrs. Potato Head’s dumpy cousin from down yonder, probably. I mean, to be fair, I colored in the lines, but man, were those lines rough.
Fast-forward 25 years: my husband and I now own a beautiful home. To some, it’s a suburban house on a pretty neighborhood street. Cute lawn. Great patio. No neighbors behind us (thankyouthankyouthankyou). And it’s on a hill, so the daily sunrise is truly breathtaking. No, there aren’t any sidewalks for the neighborhood kids to race their scooters down. And maybe staring at the guy across the street’s messy open garage all day isn’t all that appealing. And OK, yes, the yards are a bit close together. But you know what? We live in a straight-up palace, my friends. Because it is OURS. And two years after getting those keys at the closing, we still look at each other several times/week and murmur, “Can you believe we own this joint?”
We scrimped and saved; plunked down a down payment; and ordered up a mortgage. And now we call this house our home. OUR home. It has everything we need—more than that, actually, and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not excessively grateful. We love it. It’s cozy as hell. (Not that hell is all-that cozy, I’d imagine…)
I couldn’t wait to decorate. But you know what? As it turns out, home design doesn’t come naturally to us. And for a while there, I was getting pretty frustrated. We moved into this glorious, spic-n-span abode (thanking our lucky stars that the prior owner was a neat freak) and immediately felt overwhelmed by the undertaking of making it “ours” by changing up color pallettes, adding backsplash, hanging wall decor…
But we cannot be good at everything. NOT ALL OF US WERE MEANT TO BE ON HGTV, OK? Man, that was a doozy to admit.
I’ve come to accept this. So we learn. Within the first month of home ownership, we bought a couch on a whim that we now loathe and cannot wait to donate. We bought some artwork because it was on sale, but now it doesn’t really jive with our vision. Fine. One weekend we randomly decided to paint an accent wall in the kitchen eggplant—not our finest hour, but it’ll do for now. When we first moved in, I was so desperate to make it perfect now, now, NOW—but now that I look back, I remember the annoying elders who told us “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And they were right. They were right.
So we’re still building our own Rome. Errr, home. We’re making it ours. And we’ll continue to do so. I’ll keep you updated on the progress. 🙂
With good cheer and peace,
Mandi – XO