Expat, Family, lifestyle, Personal, real estate, relationships

Nook.

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This week I shared drinks on the sunlit porch of Hank’s conversing about life, work, projects and everything in between. When my home came up in conversation, my friend jokingly but truthfully mentioned that I’d never invited him over to hang out. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel bad about my lack of hospitality at all.

After living in an expansive, modern high rise flat in Phnom Penh with maid service to an airy, bright loft on the marina in Tacoma to a sparse yet lively studio in New York for a few months then back to Tacoma where I am now- I have found my private living area to be just that: private. Gone are the days of sleepovers with friends sprawled on multi coloured cushions across the floor after late nights Ubering or tuk-tuking around the city, hosting parties with friends smoking on the balcony and a fridge stocked full of Zubrowka and Angkor Beer, and girl’s nights in surrounded by dim sum delivery with Sex and the City in the background.

I do hope to eventually host nights again full of feasts and friends- but now is not that time. Of course I enjoy having a friend or two over in my little nook for long discussion and nibbles or watching a few episodes of Parenthood with my mom snuggled into my leather couch or striped chair. They are intimate, quiet nights where I worry little of what to serve and where those who are welcomed in generally know where everything is already.

With friends who own homes arranged and prepped for Christmas parties, summertime barbecues, birthday fêtes and backyard baby showers I get to experience what I used to love to host, now as a guest. I relish seeing each of their homes representing their individual qualities and personalities: some messy to the brim but delightfully quirky with an almost museum-like quality to the extent of material to peruse, others spotless and classic with touches of their parent’s or grandparent’s paraphernalia, and others in the midst of finding their style, figuring out what’s “them” and translating that into their abodes.

For now my little home will just nest me. Surrounded by my growing number of succulents and orchids that I’m surprised aren’t dead, an assortment of candles scented of champagne, coconut, and pineapple and that half-way lived in feel of a few boxes full of books unpacked, bags by the door full of things to take to UXC and more suitcases than necessary for one woman living alone and travelling far too little.

The quiet, solitary solace I feel when here is something I remind myself to appreciate every single day- even when I do feel lonely or in want of adventure and change. At some point I won’t be able to simply rush through the door after a long day to plop down on the sofa and not feel the need to check in or connect with my husband or children and how their days went or worry about what to prepare for dinner. I won’t always be able to leave my high heels and boots in the middle of the hallway because even though I know I won’t trip on them in the dark, someone else will. I won’t always be able to sprawl across the entire bed, taking up six pillows over the course of a night and I absolutely won’t get away without daily sweeping of the bathroom with this mess of hair.

This season of soft, semi-seclusion is significant in my shaping and defining as each day goes by. While I walk through exquisite, charming, and handsome homes every day for work- I crave the place that houses me as I am, just as I am.

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