The Life That Is Lived Here


I live on the edge of nowhere.

From my property line

Not the middle of nowhere mind you, just the edge of nowhere. If you turn out of my neighborhood and go to the left, you are ten minutes away from a very large town and not far from the city. Everything you could need is no more than a quick drive up the road, but if you turn out of my neighborhood and go to the right, you are venturing into farmville and not much more.

I absolutely love it.

I mean sure if given the chance I would flee this state completely, but if I have to reside in the state that I’m in, then there is nothing that I want more than to live where I do. I’ve said before that I moved here because I love the accessibility of being right around the corner from some very large towns, yet living just far enough away that I feel like I’m in a quaint little town right out of some old black and white TV show.

I love that I can walk the paths within my neighborhood, have a picnic in the gazebo or one of the many picnic areas, let the kids play on one of the playgrounds, or walk three minutes to pick up The Girl Child from school, and at every single stop, we run into people that we know and love.

Want a peek at where I live?

 

 

 

 

Toddler Girl Child

There is nothing better than watching the sun set from my bedroom window or sitting on my balcony and watching the deer graze. Every night when I turn off the main street and start the several minute drive through the fields to my house, I feel a peacefulness of the land around me settle into my soul.

Is it weird that farmland can feel like a resort sometimes? I may not have the beach, but when I pull into my driveway and look at the view around me, I just feel… rested.

But to most other people, where I live is probably pretty boring.

When I left my family some pretty harsh things were thrown my way, words including the phrase “so you are really just going to take your children away from all of this and raise them in the middle of nowhere? What kind of life is that for them? They are missing out on everything they were born into!”

First of all, this is NOT the middle of nowhere, this is ONLY THE EDGE OF NOWHERE.

Secondly, all of my family live within 30 minutes of me, I’ve hardly moved to the moon.

Third, were they right?

My entire extended family is what most would consider well off. Many of them live in the same affluent neighborhood, surrounded by all the luxuries that money can by. Not only do they live in homes that many people dream of owning, but they own resort properties, take lavish vacations, and generally just enjoy the best that money can get someone.

Pics taken at the resort my parents are partial owners of

 

On vacations my parents paid for

 

The Girl Child with my  Ex
Family parties at family houses not far from mine

 

 

 

My Ex

But I left all of that and I took my kids with me, and I’m not just talking about the houses. I’m talking about having access to the kind of lifestyle that money can bring and lately I’ve found myself wondering if my kids are getting jilted because of the choice that I made. That maybe one day they will look back and wonder why I ripped them away from a resort and dropped them in the middle of a farm field. I wonder if the things that drew me here would ever really compare to what we left behind.

One phase of my life that sticks out as one of my more depressing times, was when I was living with my grandmother and two of my aunts.

It was a strange kind of set-up and I felt like the 4th wheel on some sort of “Golden Girls” reality TV show. I won’t deny that they were very welcoming, the three of them hovered over me like a broken baby bird, all the while debating with my parents about what they should do with me, but for all the talking that they did, we never really talked, and I was really never heard.

They lived, and still do, in a large house on a lake not far from where I’m living now. Friends would come over and “ooo” and “ahhh” over the lifestyle that I was privileged to enjoy while living there, and yet I would cry myself to sleep every night, and tears would run down my cheeks in the shower every morning.

 

My Ex and a friend fishing off the dock of the house

What should have been a beautiful place felt nothing but empty and barren to me, for I was there because my parents and I no longer wanted each other, and I had nowhere else to go.

After moving in and and out of my parents house during my teen years, it was the last stop I made before I got married and moved in with my ex permanently, and the way that I felt living there was a big reason as to why I rushed to get married in the first place.

But back to present times I’ve found myself wondering have I done too much? Out of my own selfishness, have I removed my kids from too many things that they might have enjoyed? Should I have put up with my family if only so that my kids would have access to things that I could never give them?

My kids in the yard of the house where I once lived

 

And then I got my answer.

I was driving the kids home from daycare the other day, when The Girl Child pointed out the window and said “look at the sky momma! It’s so pretty! Mommy, we are so lucky aren’t we? We are so lucky to live in such a pretty place.” 

I couldn’t let the moment pass me by, so out of the question that I myself had been pondering, I asked her “why do you like living here?”

“Because momma, it’s fun! We get to feed the ducks and watch the deer. We get to help the farmers sometimes and we get to catch the lightening bugs! But my favorite is that I love looking at the sky with you momma, because you’re my best friend.”

And then it struck me. She does see the beauty of this place despite it’s lack of frills, money, and luxuries, because she sees something more than that. She sees everything that money can’t buy and she thinks it’s beautiful.

She just loves being with me in a place where she feels loved.

In my past I’ve run the gamut of having and not having things. I went through times where I was living out of a trash bag and sleeping anywhere I could find, but I also spent a great deal of time physically surrounded by the finer things in life while hating every single minute of it, because the wealth of that world never quite matched up with the life that I was leading.

This picture (which is actually a picture I just took of a picture, so excuse the quality) is one that when I look at it, it feels like a punch to the gut. In this photo you will see me in Florida with one of my best friends and an extended group of friends. Her family is extremely well off. I’m talking private planes, jetting setting off to Europe, horse farms, houses all over the country, celebrities calling regularly, that kind of wealthy. The benefits for me were obviously awesome, because here we were in Florida, staying in her grandmother’s penthouse on the beach, where upon arrival she was quickly handed the keys to a jaguar. We drove to meet-up with some friends who happened to be driving a Lexus and a Mercedes, and as we sat there shooting the breeze in a parking lot on a beach, we somehow started talking about how bizarre this was. That a group of 19 and 20 year olds would be sitting outside of our beach houses in our luxury cars. We pulled the cars together, got into a goofy calender shoot pose, and snapped the picture that “one day we are going to want to look back on and remember how lucky we were.”

Yet as I sat there surrounded by everything money could buy, my phone had been filling up with messages from my ex, things that I can’t even bear to type out; messages that caused me to leave not even twenty minutes later, head back to the house, and cry myself to sleep.

I had everything, yet I might as well have had nothing, because all the money in the world wasn’t going to change the way that I felt.

It’s a lesson that I learned a long time ago, but a lesson that when applied to my children, I had completely failed to learn.

My children will never have what I had growing up, and at the same time, I’m thankful that my children will never grow up the way that I did. They have almost none of the wealthier things in life and yet they think they have everything in the world. They have nothing that I had, but they have everything I ever wanted.

When most people look around my house they see emptiness, but when my children look around it, they see how filled it is with happiness. They might not always see tangible things that they love, but they will always feel how loved they are, and it’s not things that make a memory, but the emotions that cause you to remember them in the first place.

It’s not their location or the surroundings that they love, but the life that is lived here.

We as a society spend our entire lives trying to get to a place that we feel is worthy of the lives we want to lead. We chase houses, cars, retirements, vacation homes, and anything else that we feel will make us happy, yet what many of us fail to realize is that it’s not the surroundings that make a life, but the life that we create within our surroundings. 

It’s not the view that makes the life, it’s the life that makes the view.

 

********************

If You Liked This, Read These!

“Mind If I Pop You With My Stick?”

“Take A Tour Of Eden’s House!”

“Let Your Soul Breathe”

 

Tags:

You may also like

18 Comments

  • CD
    April 30, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Holy shit Eden, did your grandpa invent the post-it note or something? That lake house is flipping gorgeous!But I get it. And I don't think many people do. “The wealth of that world never quite matched up with the life that I was leading” – NO ONE gets how I grew up with rich, educated parents, huge house, full-time nanny, a Mercedes, extended family with a beach house and a country club membership – while at the same time, being dragged to bars at six years old, physical abuse where CPS got involved, left alone for days starting at age 15, being expected to go to college but having to navigate the process alone. But there was an image to keep up, and I was told by my parents to be grateful for what I had – grateful for what? That I could easily make my life look way better than it really was?With where you live, though? It may not be your grandma's house but I'll tell you there is NOWHERE like that where I'm from. Honestly the environment is similar, it's just the houses that are different. And who really needs that big of a house anyway?Also I laughed for about ten solid minutes at that picture of your ex… he certainly fit in with your family, didn't he?! (Then I laughed more when I realized a) he was drinking a Mike's Hard and b) under that white square there are no teeth.)

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 4:00 am

      Haha!! Nope, wrapping paper!! Just kidding. They just do well for themselves and yes, I think people assume that I grew up filthy dirty in a trailor park, which was so far from the truth, and most likely a big reason as to why no one noticed what was going on. YES!!! NO TEETH UNDER THE SQUARE!!

  • afairytale84
    April 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    My mother's father and step mother lived on a huge farm when I was growing up. They weren't farmers or anything, but their house was kind of plopped down on a large farm, so there was a lot of farm land and animals all around it. Their house wasn't huge by any means, but it did have four full bedrooms with a finished basement that slept five or six very comfortably.We went there all the time as kids and I absolutely loved it. Lots of land to run around on, woods to get lost in (whoops!) a big river to go fishing in (and almost drown in – whoops again!). Plus they bought us pretty much everything we could ever want.But as I got older, I noticed things just weren't quite right. My mother was MISERABLE whenever she was there. She wanted nothing to do with anyone the entire time we were visiting my grandparents. She would lock herself away in a room and wait for the vacation to be over. My father drank more while we were there, too, because my mother wasn't doing anything to try to limit his alcohol intake.I later learned that my mother's father and step father were very abusive towards her – similar to what you describe your parents doing to you. She put up with them because her kids loved them and she wanted her kids to have grandparents they could see on a regular basis (my father's parents lived 1,000+ miles away, her parents lived only 2 -3 hours away).But then when my grandparents realized they couldn't hurt my mother much anymore because when she was around, she wouldn't talk to them or she'd just laugh off their cruel comments, they started trying to hurt her in other ways – by hurting her kids. They called me fat all the time, and while I could definitely have afforded to lose a little weight, I was 12 and their comments hurt. They told my brother he was weak and pathetic because he couldn't play multiple rounds of croquet outside on a 100+ degree day. This is a kid who has had several open heart surgeries and a pacemaker by the time he was 13. They told my sister one Easter that the Easter Bunny wasn't coming because her mother was a bitch.So, this long, winding post is basically a KUDOS TO YOU. Wealth cannot buy you happiness. I sometimes miss the farm my grandparents lived on and the fun we had, but I do not miss them. I do not miss the cruel words that were slung mine and my siblings' way when my grandparents could no longer hurt my mother.Kids notice things, even at a very young age. If you were to put yourself back in that environment, even if your parents were extremely kind to your kids, what are the odds they'd be kind to you? And your kids would likely notice something was off.You live in a beautiful area and your kids obviously really get a lot out of all the activities you're able to do with them. The love in your household makes you far richer than anything money can give you.*hugs*

  • afairytale84
    April 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Okay wow, that was A LOT longer than I thought it was going to be…

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 4:03 am

      Thanks for the reassurance that I am in fact doing the right thing. It’s sad to hear you talk about what you went through, but helpful at the same time. And you are right, good memories can exist without meaning they were worth the bad ones!

      Thank you so much for being so open with me!!

      *hugs*

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I want to see more of the scenery!!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 3:50 am

      Lol, apparently you are not the only one that thinks I didn’t post enough “pretty pictures” of where I live. I’ll have to do a scenic post or something 🙂

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2015 at 3:42 am

    I like your secondary titles 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 3:49 am

      🙂 Thanks!!

      *hugs*

  • Zoddbrah
    May 1, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Sure, your kids might not be surrounded by all that wealth but at the same time they're away from your abusive and messed-up family. They're happy and loved (by their mother at least). That is worth more than any amount of dollar.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Exactly!

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Your Mom looks kind of deformed. Normally I wouldn't say anything about that, but given what a monster she is I don't really feel bad.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 1, 2015 at 3:48 am

      Ha! That’s not my mom. 🙂

  • Luciana Nogueira Soares
    May 3, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Wow. Man, I'm always surprised how far some guys can go. This is insane.

  • Luciana Nogueira Soares
    May 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Humans doesn't need things, we need meaning to our lives. And I guess there is no better way to live than a life full of love.

  • afairytale84
    May 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    It was mostly my grandmother (mom's stepmother – I realize I put stepfather in the original post. Meant to say step mother) and less my grandfather. He wasn't all that kind, mind you, but he wasn't downright mean. She was horrible to all of us once she realized her comments and my grandfather's comments no longer had any effect on my mother. My grandfather just gave up trying and ignored everyone.

  • Gila
    April 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Eden, just curious, why would you prefer to flee the state you live in, if you could?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 7, 2016 at 3:34 am

      The weather is awful, the politicians are worse, and the traffic is horrendous!

LEAVE A COMMENT

I’m On Facebook!

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Things You May Have Missed: