For the past two years, I've thought it and said it and muttered it more times than I can count.
I just want a door to paint.
A door that's ours. A door that feels like home. A door that means roots. A door that isn't connected to a stranger's by a shared exterior wall. A door for wreaths and knocking and threshold conversations. A door that says, but doesn't scream, "Maggie & Kyle live here." And, maybe, Maggie & Kyle's kids.
But the funny thing about life is, it's not about you and your wants, your whines, your wishes. So I'm learning contentment all over again, just like I did last spring. Every time I get antsy and frustrated by the stagnancy of early adulthood, I chant to myself, Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Because sometimes, I want to do what they do, with what they have, where they are.
Last weekend, we got out of the city and took a long, deep, country breath. And this farm girl loved every little second. As we drove to my parents', I looked out across the fields along the way and said to Kyle (multiple times), "How could anyone not love Indiana?"
Before you roll your eyes, let me first say to the kids I grew up with who moved away, I GET it. I totally get your desire to see and experience life beyond the Hoosier state. All I'm saying is, there's something to be said for staying. Indiana sure shows off in the summer and fall. Seeing the soybeans and corn make their entrance in May and take their final bow in October is what dreams are made of. (Well, my dreams.) Indiana does it right.
Each time Kyle and I contemplate moving toward the Appalachians or the Rockies, we come back to the people. Our people. Being a day trip away from the house that built me and the people who love us is a gift. Such a gift.
Not to mention, I still get to do all the projects floating around in this rent-loathing head of mine. I promise I didn't bully my mom into letting me paint things. Also, can we talk about how cute she is in her pearls and plaid paint shirt? My dad wore that shirt in high school, people. I kind of want it for myself. It'd give me some street cred in this hipster town.
Painting tips I've learned along the way:
1. Preparation is nine-tenths of the law. Tape, tape, tape. Tarp, tarp, tarp. And maybe some goggles, because yours truly may or may not have splattered paint in her eyeball a time or two. Oops.
2. Prime with foam brushes. They're 79 cents and you can throw those suckers away!
3. Don't be afraid to buy 3-4-5-6 different paint samples ($2.99 at Lowes) until you get the color just right! We picked Valspar Beehive. It looks completely different online than it does on the door, in the sunlight. Yellows are tricky business! But just like with love, you'll know when it's right.
4. Ask for opinions, but YOU be the ultimate judge! Mom kept saying, "What do you think?" I'd make her tell me what she thought first. Because, sadly, it's not... my... door. (Waaaaaahhhhh!)
5. To all the girls like me, watching Fixer Upper and drooling over the magic of Chip & Joanna Gaines, remain calm. Paint someone else's door (with permission, duh). Someday, you might miss this apartment, this rental, this time.
The struggle is part of the story. And we like stories here.