At Art House America, a marvelous essay from Andi Ashworth about home, and finding it in your own:
During this last round of talks we decided to take a weekend and try out what it might be like to live closer to the city, able to walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and even to work. We stayed in a hotel downtown and spent mornings in coffeehouses, one at Crema and one at Fido, sipping lattes, thinking, and writing. We drove through potential neighborhoods, touring one little house on a street where homes are selling the day they go on the market. We went to a studio on Music Row, walked up and down 12 South, browsed Holly Williams’ new store White’s Mercantile, and savored late afternoon appetizers at Epice, the Lebanese restaurant next door. On our second evening we met friends for dinner in East Nashville and told them what our weekend experiment was about. As good friends do, they listened with their hearts, asked great questions, and gave us their honest thoughts.
For me, some of the conversation about moving was spurred on by the fact that we’d been living for five months inside of two family emergencies, sharing our home with loved ones who were in physical, mental, and emotional pain. I was so often sad, angry, and full of grief over what was happening to the people I love, especially the children. I couldn’t sleep without Ambien. I was an introvert with no time alone to recharge my batteries. We were sandwiched between the overwhelming needs of three generations, sometimes feeling the grace of being carried along, and at other times feeling crushed beneath the weight of it all. On my worst days, the thought crossed my mind that if we didn’t have this place, we wouldn’t always be in the position to take everyone in.