I have changed cities countless times now. I have rented places and uprooted my existence for a little over four. I have pushed doors and flung them open with a backpack and a few suitcases in my hand. Eventually, when my life got heavier with more things to carry and even more to remember, I hired the movers to help me out.
Slowly, I have watched empty rooms take shape and fill with little trinkets and things that make it all a home. I have learned where things were, where they were meant to be, and, more importantly, where they felt right. I have had places where books were on a desk, on a shelf, in a corner, or on the counter. I have slept more on couches and rugs than on beds, and I have spilt coffee on all three occasionally. I have spent drunken nights both in and out, dazed, confused and lost in a delirium I cannot make sense of clearly still. I have learned to do the dishes, cook the little I can cook, clean ardently and regularly, take care of myself when I’m sick, and discipline myself when needed. In many ways, I have done it all alone.
And this was my worst fear growing up—doing it all alone—and so I craved love, and I begged for it, and I wanted us to build a home of our own, and there you were, and there I was and yet, I seem to have missed it all.
There is so much to learn about life still, but I have learned most of how to build a life, build a home, and I have done it by myself, and I don’t see how that will change anymore. And sure, I will let you bring things to the table, but the table will already be there, and it will already be set. I’ll clean the house a certain way, and I’ll have my lists and my todos and places where things will already be kept.
When I meet you, if I meet you, I will already have a place of my own. I can’t wait for you to ask to change the curtains because grey is a bit dull or add more plants because nine is still not enough, but before all of that happens, before we spend afternoons baking and making a mess of the kitchen floor, or slow dancing in the bedroom with the lights out, I will hesitate because you see, love, I’ve spent so many years building homes by myself, I never quite learned to share the key.