Your Next Step Isn’t Your Last Step

After 25 months of living the attic, as my host family’s kids grew (literally), and I grew (figuratively), our lives were becoming too full to sustain them all under the same roof.

Though the housing option I’d been waiting on was still not ready, my host family and I talked and decided I should look for a new housing option.

As had been the case before — and was now really the case — all my roommate-possibility friends had married or moved away. I reached out to some acquaintes, tried to meet people through social circles, church, and gym for roommate options … and nada.

Ultimately, I discovered a quaint studio guest house on the back of a middle-aged woman’s property. It was cute and met my needs, and I lived there for a year.

Remember how I said that living in an attic forced me to swallow some pride? Living in that studio house had the same affect. My studio house was formerly a one (maybe one-and-a-half) car garage, converted into a home. And while it was nice, acknowledging it wasn’t the typical or expected route someone would take brought feelings of shame to my soul.

I felt like a failed mid-20s professional because everything else in my life was basically perfect. Dream job: check. Fun hobby: check. Good friends: check. Loving family: check. I think when everything else is perfect, it’s healthy to have a little bump-in-the-road situation that brings us back to relying on God.

There were things I was thankful for in my little house. It wasn’t big enough to accumulate clutter. Rent was cheap enough so that I could allocate budget to build savings and pay student loans. I didn’t have to have a roommate(s) to offset costs. The neighborhood was peaceful and neighbors were friendly. And perhaps this one “abnormal” piece of my story was one of God’s methods of reminding me I don’t have everything together, I don’t need to have everything together, and that’s OK.

When I imagined moving out of the attic, I pictured landing at my ultimate home. What I actually did was take the next step down the path paved for me. Since then, I’ve lived in a house with eight other girls, back at my parents’ for a few months, and now in my own apartment.

I’m not at the end of the road; I’m just walking the journey. So often, I want to jump from my current state to my end goal. But I have to continue diligently on my path, with the goal in sight but not idolized.

Wherever we are is probably not where we’ll be forever. But it’s where we are right now. So we need to appreciate it, care for it, and accept it.

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