Believing in the Let Downs
Who in life has not planned and invested into an idea without knowing whether it would work?
Who in life has not watched as their dreams and plans disappear on one pretext or another?
In my own life I have met disappointment and failure many times, but I know and I believe very deeply that without those failures Garrett and I would not be where we are now.
As it happens, for the past two years of our married life we have been searching very seriously for our first home. We went through several options, and once, almost put an offer in.
It was the sweetest A frame on a quiet lake, a complete jewel lying in years of mistreatment, and after months of staring at it online we decided to take a look at it in person. It was everything I had hoped for; mostly private, very quiet and full of potential to remodel and make our own.
It turned out however, that on the same day we went to look at the house and place an offer, someone, literally hours before, had already came to see it and placed an offer.
Disappointment has a face and it looks like losing your “dream” home, but the funny thing I’ve found about dreams is that they can change and that in reality I probably made the house out to be much more of a dream than it really was. I say this confidently, with consideration that the septic tank was “condemned” (words I never want to hear).
We continued on our home search afterwards, only now with a little less hope and optimism. Garrett, at this time, was working over fifty hours a week, on a swing shift, and while we tried to focus on saving and finding a house, we were beginning to feel like it was a lost cause and with the Holidays approaching decided to take a house searching- try to regenerate enthusiasm- pause.
I’ve always been a person that looks to the silver lining, that sees what good may surface from the bad, but here especially I found myself pulling at these words, forcing them to fit my emotions, to believe that this was meant to be.
How can we try so very earnestly and still fall short?
I thought of this recently, now being so far away from that time in our life, and I laughed thinking of where we are now and where we almost put ourselves then.
Our clarity came by way of our second cross country road trip. We decided this is a life we wanted to adopt; to travel, to explore, to find the wonder, knowledge and excitement that comes from familiarizing myself with the world around.
We realized that we were much more satisfied with living a life than we were from owning a life.
We are home owners now. We paid a hefty $900 for our Fleetwood, less than half of a house deposit, and invested about as much in remodeling it before departing the hole we carved in life.
The hole that we created, the same one we felt had created us, that had pulled us into and sucked us under its life cycle routine. The routine of: childhood- school- marriage- babies- career-old age- death- repeat. Repeat for everyone, across the board, repeat it time and time again, generation after generation.
Of all the societal norms that constrain our personal perceptions and ideas of possible- this is perhaps the worst. To say that we must stay in one place, that we can only have one job, one kind of success, that anything should be limited to a solitary possibility is a lie.
Success is in the eye of the beholder.
I can look back on our years together, my husband and I, and I can list how many times we’ve moved houses, changed jobs, found success and uprooted failure. I can remember every set back, every short coming and every almost possible thing we’ve ever had, and I know for certain I’ve found more comfort from believing in the let downs and in knowing that what did not work out was not supposed to work out.
Through knowing that every step in life leads to another, either down this path or back up that alley, until eventually reaching a place of peace and fulfillment, we hope. We do hope, we do honestly hope, but we may not ever really succeed.
We may do our best to aid ourselves, in pushing ourselves to work or to try new things, and yet we may also hinder ourselves, restricting our growth by limiting, by never questioning why something is or isn’t.
We may continue to distract ourselves with one life event or another, with one job promotion or new house on the market, but eventually the truths we deny will find us.
I can think back to our years in Alabama, the time I spent trying to find myself, to find the confidence to be myself, and struggling to find, even through questioningly deeply, what we could do to make our life better. Now I see that all my frustration, dissatisfaction with life and lack of understanding pushed me to want more, to want to find what more life had to offer.
I think back to my internal misery, the misery that persists for anyone stuck in a hole in life and wondering how they can climb their way out, and I feel thankful for it. For without going through the everyday misery of wondering how and why and when- I would not have been pushed to the point that I am now. That is to be able to focus wholly on our true passions and dreams in life.
To invest our time in ourselves, no longer investing into the prepackaged life given to us at birth.
Through all the wrong turns I’ve taken, to all the mistakes or new ideas I thought would be the right answer, I say I truly, dearly appreciate the long, winding path I’ve wandered down and all the many lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Words and photos by Brianna Holman
I'm Brianna, a simple, honest lady, finding my way through my mid twenties, writing, reflecting, questioning, and improving; always seeking to move forward, to push myself outside of my comfortable norm. Now with my husband and our eight dogs we've chosen to consciously live with less making possible our ability to travel across country in our Fleetwood trailer. I am an admitted, continuous work in progress, in search of more questions to answer, ways to understand, and stories that enlighten. I seek understanding in every aspect of life, I seek empathetic understanding for everyone in life. I seek to reflect an honest life and inspire humble thoughts.