TaraTrips: In This Home
by Tara Quinn
When I got sober back in 2010, due to the circumstances, I moved back home with my mom. I was 23 and grateful but disappointed that this was my situation. Then a wise woman, overhearing me talk about how difficult this was going be, told me, “Grow where you are planted Tara.”
And I held on to that for the next four years. My mother let me live with her while I learned to stay sober; while I learned to get financially sober; while I learned to be a kinder daughter and sister. Those four years helped me cut my student loans in half, and those years back at home helped me make living amends to my family and build relationships with them. It allowed me to get some footing in a foundation of learning about myself.
At 28, I moved out. I had been dating someone for a while and we decided to live together in Lakewood. We found a duplex and moved in right after the new year. And so began the beginning of four years in a home that would be the walls and floors that held me through the transition of becoming an independent adult.
I learned to find my voice in this home. I learned to ask for what I needed and that I am allowed to pause and gather information. That there’s periods in time where I don’t have to make a decision and other times when tough choices need to be made.
It was in this home where I spent hours studying and learning and it was in this home when I fell to my knees when I saw “Passed” next to my name for my BCaBA license. I experienced the joy and frustration of rescuing a boxer and thus caring for two dogs on my own in this home.
I felt the pain of two heart breaks in this home, and it was this home that created a safe environment to heal that brokenness. I filled this home with great thrift store antique pieces and thrift store books. I covered my walls with art that I loved and learned I am really good at killing and then reviving plants.
It was this home that gave me so much joy to returned to when I spent about 2 years constantly leaving to places like Indonesia and Nigeria. It was this home that I learned to live alone. As the oldest of five, it was the first time I learned I can sit in quietness and cultivate gratitude for that solitude.
And it was in this home that women trusted me to listen to their heartache and frustrations and accomplishments. This home is where I found out it was a baby girl, and this home is where she had her first sleepover with me the past weekend.
I learned to be a kind and helpful neighbor. I learned the importance of community in this home and there was a part of me that never wanted to leave. I loved my street and I loved my landlords and I had grown where I was planted. Uprooting from the safety and warmth I had created felt overwhelming. And then one day, six months after I was approved for a mortgage, there was a “For Sale” sign across the street. Literally, across the street.
I took a picture of the sign and sent it to my aunt who is my realtor, not thinking anything would come of it. Buying a house in Lakewood is a battle. Everyone wants a piece. But I sent the picture anyway, and then the easiest purchase in Lakewood history happened.
No other offers, no one else looking at the house, and I appreciated green light after green light. It’s as if something wants me to grow there, across the street. And that it wants me to grow where I am planted with a view of the beautiful home that changed me.
The one that held me while I was being carved into the women I’m being asked to be. So, as I move in this week, carrying boxes across the street, I get to look back and give such gratitude to the home that held me through so much growth. And I get to set boxes down in the home that I am being planted in, opened to the blooming that will take place across the street.