I love being an introvert.
I feel very lucky that I get to live life from the perspective that I have…noticing and feeling things that a lot of people wouldn’t. However, being an introvert can definitely “complicate” one’s life a bit.
A few months ago, after ten years of living in our house, we decided to put it on the market, and everybody kept asking me “Why?”
“Your house is lovely.”, they would say. “Its got so much room and its in such a nice area.” “If I had that house, I’d never want to leave it.”
It’s true that it is a nice home. It’s a lovely 4 bedroom Tudor in a quiet, safe little neighborhood with a lake across the street, and wonderful neighbors. But – I just can’t love it.
Even when we first moved into this home, I was never really in love with it.
It’s in a bit of a wooded area so it doesn’t get a lot of sunlight inside. The actual room sizes are quite small and it needed a ton of remodeling…all reasons why we were able to afford it in the first place.
But we decided to buy the house because we were wanting to start a family and we knew the little house we were living in at that time, situated at one of the busiest intersections in town, was not ideal. This home, although it needed a lot of work, was three times the size, and there wasn’t a traffic light around for miles. It would be a great place to raise kids and we believed that we would grow into the house and that it would start to feel like “home” before too long.
But it never did. Not for me.
I just couldn’t seem to love this house no matter how many remedies we tried over the years.
“Maybe its the darkness.”, I thought.
So we cut down some trees in the back to let more sunlight in.
That didn’t help.
So then I thought “Maybe its the out-dated wallpaper and decor.”
We spent a fortune in both time and money painting and redecorating every room. Found this Rug design guide, how to choose a contemporary rug and got to decorating trying to make the place a little more homier. But that didn’t help either.
“Maybe its the size of the rooms. If we knock down some walls and open things up, that will make things SO much better.”
Nope, another small fortune later, and I still couldn’t love this house.
I have tried to love it. I say to myself “What is wrong with me? I seem to be the only person in the world who can’t be satisfied living in a home this nice. I am too picky. I need to lighten up and appreciate what I have. Nobody really loves their home THAT much, do they? Homes are just walls and floors, regardless of how they are designed or decorated.”
But I just couldn’t quite get there. Every day I woke up, wishing I was not in this house and dreading spending another day here and not really understanding why.
Then recently the house across the lake from us came up for sale.
I had never been inside it but I have admired it a lot over the years with all of its beautiful windows in the back, overlooking the lake. My house has no lake view at all. (Our view is pretty much blocked by trees, even in the winter.)
Just for fun, my husband and I decided to call the home’s realtor and go see the inside. As soon as I stepped in, I knew that this was a home I could be happy in. I felt free from the very moment I walked in the door. Even though it was basically just across the street from the home I have now, the entire vibe of the home was different. It was bright and open. There wasn’t a canopy of trees hovering over it blocking the sun. And what an amazing view of the lake it had! It was a beautiful open view of the lake with a blue sky shining above it.
I could imagine myself sitting in a chair by one of the many windows, reading a book, and just looking at the lake and watching the ripples as they met the shore or watching the ducks swim by. And that is when I realized one thing that I disliked so much about my own house…there was nothing to watch. No people, no traffic, no lake…..nothing.
We introverts need a view!
We need something to watch or look at to give us a break from ourselves. We spend so much time thinking, thinking, thinking. Sometimes we need to give our minds a rest from the thinking. Going into a lovely daydream like trance while people watching or looking at a nice view puts our brain into “idle” mode and lets it just “be”. It is so easy and it is one of the few things that can make an anxiety prone introvert feel weightless.
I told my husband that I really wanted to try to buy the house and because he loved it just as much as I did, we decided to put our home on the market.
I was so excited at the idea of living someplace new that offered me a mental escape every single day. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed having something to look at and watch every day, as I had at my old house with the cars and people going by all day long.
I think that ideally, my perfect home would consist of a tall building and a window seat.
I would love to live in an apartment building on the 20th floor and just sit and stare at the city below me and quite contentedly watch the people live their busy lives. Or I would love to live in a tall hotel like Eloise at the Plaza and have busy-ness and people all around me all the time, inside the hotel and on the streets below, 24 hours a day. The combination of being around people but not with people, and always having something to watch is my idea of perfection.
In the end, we didn’t buy the beautiful lake house although it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Before we could sell our home and try to buy the new house, it was sold to somebody else. I was pretty crushed, but we later realized it was all just as well because our circumstances have changed and it would never have been a long-term solution for us anyway.
I will always be glad we walked through the lake house that day though. It was a wake up call for me and I now know what my dream home really is. It’s not a big house with lots of space and many rooms. It’s a home with a view.
I have come to accept that I probably won’t get my home with a view while my kids are growing up and that is okay. I have so much to be thankful for that I can’t complain. But I have big plans after my kids have all moved on, and they include me blogging on my laptop, sipping on cocoa, in a tall building with a window seat.