One day I am going to look out from my porch, backyard or the balcony of my bedroom and see endless blue skies peppered with clouds and smile.
It is going to be a different sort of smile than people have seen on my face for a while. It won’t be the kind of smile that is reserved only for a special someone but the one a person gives when they realize they have weathered the storms of life and come out the other side.
Part of the joy of blogging is the way it allows you to chronicle your journey through life and this one has seen me hit some of the highest and lowest moments I could have ever imagined hitting.
I don’t readÂ The Story Of A House- The Final DaysÂ very often because I haven’t put enough distance between me then and me now.
Sometimes I still hear the echoes of the past and I make the mistake of opening the door and walking back in the room. I know exactly what I am going to see and the combination of frustration and anger lingers in the air.
That guy screaming into the phone at the faceless person on the other end who refused to acknowledge the importance of the matter and told me that if I had been a better provider was truly lucky they were not face-to-face with me. I might have actually earned a pair of silver bracelets that day.
I had spent more than a year talking to loan agents of every sort and had applied to hundreds of jobs. Loading and unloading trucks, writing jobs, construction jobs, marketing, grocery stores and more yet nothing came through but more bills.
I wasn’t in that position because I had been living beyond my means. I was in that position because after almost a decade of working for the same company I had been let go.
Live And Learn
For a while I thought if I could just hold on a bit longer I would be able to save the house and keep the children in school. But I was wrong and all I did was empty my savings and a big chunk of my retirement account.
The net effect in the short term kept us in the house and them in school for several years longer than we should have been. We should have bitten the bullet and made the hard decision much sooner.
We should have sold it and gotten out years sooner. I would have had more money in the bank and less aggravation now.
But we didn’t do it and sold it those years down the road.
Most of the time I shrug my shoulders and smile. I did what I thought was best to protect the family. I kept a stable home for the kids for a long while and by the time we had to move they were older and better equipped for it.
Or at least this is what I tell myself.
Some nights I believe it and even convince myself that it prepared us for the days to come but there are those moments where live and learn is an expression that angers me because it is so…trite.
But most of the time I don’t think about these things because none of it matters any more. What happened is in the past and what is done is done.
Most of the time when I look back at old posts it is to find funny stories like The Sloppy Kisser or fun stories about the kids.
It is important to me to point out we were never homeless. No one ever went hungry by anything but choice and I am grateful. We got some help from family and figured out how to make a go of it on our own again.
But it doesn’t negate the hard feelings nor would I want it to.
When they come and I think about where I have been I view them as proof that I am not some sort of slacker who fell down because he was a lazy fool.
I was just one of those people who got caught in the times. Doesn’t matter if it was destiny, bad luck, karma or coincidence because the operative word here is was.
Now I want to take was and change it again.
I want to find a new home and establish some roots for a while. I want to be somewhere for a while and know I am going to be there.
The name is Jack Steiner, not Jack Reacher.
I can do and have done the Reacher bit but that is not what I want, at least not now.
What Comes Next?
I am not entirely certain what comes next. If I said I know things some people would roll their eyes and tell me to come up with something new.
My response is simple, I will and I am.
It makes me think of a text I got when I landed last year and I was driving back to my apartment. It said ‘welcome home’ and something about that has always felt and sounded right.
Can’t say today if there is anything to it or not but I am less worried about the place and more concerned with the feeling. I am ready to have that moment where I look out at the sky and know I am home.