I have literally been dreaming about having my first home and being able to decorate it since I was twelve. I was a magazine-saver. I had a subscription to redecorating magazines while I was still in high school. I dreamed of the day I’d be able to put together my own themes for each room, strip wallpaper to put up fresh paint, buy a couch, refinish my cabinets… Fast forward to the present, and here I am: nearly 30 and no home for my young family. It’s hard. Some days it makes me sad. I’ve got two kids that have no idea what it’s like to have a super-cool room of their very own, or a backyard swing-set, or a even an area that they can claim as belonging to them. We live with my husband’s mom, and I can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for us, but at the same time I feel the constant friction of too many people in one space.
While I understand that living like this is necessary for our finances right now because it is near-impossible to save up a down-payment amount, there is a certain amount of frustration that comes with the strain of not owning anything. The couch isn’t ours. The TV isn’t ours. The dishes and furniture and bathroom accessories aren’t ours. It’s not that I’m unhappy. I can be content. But I’m unsatisfied, and it isn’t a good feeling. Anyone who has had to live like that for several years knows exactly what I’m talking about. You aren’t ever truly ‘home’ because the house and its insides don’t belong to you. Or maybe bits and pieces of your life are scattered throughout the dwelling, but it isn’t enough to make you feel like you have carved out your own place. You can hope though. You can save, and you can dream.
It’s hard to go around telling people that what you really want for Christmas or your birthday is money. No one likes to give money, and no one likes to ask for money. Feather the Nest is different though because it sends a message out to the world that says: “Hey! I’m trying to do something amazing in my life, and I’m hoping that as my friends & family you will skip the sweater and coffee-maker this year and make an investment in my future instead!”
I’m hoping that when I put it like that, people will see how much their contribution means. It is so much more than just ‘giving money’. It’s heart-warming, it’s sweet, and it’s gifting me something that means more than anything from the store: a shot at a better tomorrow. Plus, in my position, there is a bittersweet-ness to every holiday with the ‘usual’ gifts: sometimes I have no place to put the things I am given. I received my precious grandmother’s sewing machine last Christmas, but I have nowhere to put it. It’s sitting under the dining room table, unused and unseen. I would love to be able to sew to my little heart’s content… but where? Giving to a down-payment fund truly would be the greatest gift anyone could give me, because it means that someday I will have a place to finally put my things, and I will finally be able to say, “I’m home.”