The Growing Space

Every day, when I pull up to my home after work, I’m struck by how much space I have acquired. Previously, I lived in a duplex in a cramped neighborhood where we each had a one-car garage, small driveway, and no curb parking. Being the only person who lived alone on that street, I was also the only person who only had one car. Everyone else owned 2, 3, or 4 cars and as such, the street was lined with parked vehicles from one end to the other. Our yards were almost non-existent, and there was no point in being precious about your personal space – anything outside the duplexes was fair game. The kids in the neighborhood played in everyone’s yards, having no recognition or care for property lines.

Everything was achingly cramped – enough to make me grit my teeth every time I turned onto my street and had to navigate between the tightly packed parked cars and children running back and forth across the street.

Now, 20 miles away, on the edge of another town, I live on a sprawling lot with a huge lawn. There’s enough space on the curb to park at least 5 cars – and no one parks there. There is a house to the west of me, but nothing else. My home is at the end of a 3-way intersection, so it faces a street – not another house. And there’s a farm behind me. The lot tapers into a point at the east end, and there’s nothing more there but the farm and the road.

Space. Everywhere.

And silence.

There are children in this neighborhood, too. They holler and laugh and run past my windows over and over, sometimes riding their bikes in my big driveway. But other than that and the train that passes by on the nearby tracks, it is so quiet in my neighborhood that it sometimes makes me anxious.

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Inside, funnily enough, is the opposite, as far as space is concerned. My old duplex was close to 1,000 sq. feet and this house is a mere 600 sq. feet. It is almost hilariously small. I literally have to walk sideways to make my way around my full-size mattress in the bedroom. (Imagine if I wasn’t single and had a queen or king-sized mattress – there’s literally no room for that in my house!)

As I move in, it’s a genuine challenge for me to figure out where to put furniture – how to fit it all in and do so in an effective manner. And it’s even more challenging (but also fun and freeing) to decide what items to let go of.

I find it so fascinating that I went from a spacious interior in the most cramped neighborhood I’ve ever lived in to a huge, open area with an interior space that could only house 2 if both ascribed to serious minimalism (and had a very tiny bed).

I’m glad, however, that my outdoor space exceeds my indoor space. This means I’m moving in the right direction. Ultimately, my goal is to either have a small ranch property, or to buy my mother’s property someday and bring it back into farming life. I want at least 30 acres – preferably 40 or more. I want my own forest that I can cultivate and protect.

Three years ago, I reached for a goal I never thought I could achieve on my own – owning a home in this wildly inflated market. Truthfully, I didn’t really think it could happen, but I kept finding ways to talk myself into taking another step.

And then....it actually happened.

So me having a huge lot, a lot of space outside the house, and a ranch behind and beside me…I know exactly what that means. My little farm is on its way.

In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying my teeny-tiny nest.