After nine years of indecisiveness, I finally decided to paint our home’s entryway and hallway. At least, “indecisiveness” was the explanation I gave. But, looking around the other painted and decorated rooms of our home I finally realized there were many other reasons it took me so long to decide on a color for these supposedly welcoming areas of our home.
Moving away from my hometown with my new husband, I had entered our home – a blank slate at the time as we were its first owners – feeling overwhelmed by the fact that I knew no one in this new town and had no idea how I would decorate the three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, breakfast nook, and living room. I so badly wanted our house to feel like a home, but at that time, it all felt so foreign – marriage, living on my own for the first time, a puppy. I was so terribly homesick, that for a little while, I was convinced that we would move back to my hometown and away from this overwhelming house.
Yet, over the next couple of years, our bedroom was painted, as was the bathroom (twice), the breakfast nook and kitchen (also twice), and ultimately our firstborn’s room. Our son’s room was beautiful, with a light green chair rail, light brown walls, jungle-themed bedding. His room was the most welcoming in the house. I always kept the entryway and hallway on my “to do” list, but our second baby (and beautiful room) and two jobs later, lack of time always seemed to be the excuse not to finish this project.
Over those years, my once close relationship with my parents cooled for a variety of reasons, their health began to decline, and their visits to my home became less frequent. The rejection stung, so to avoid feeling the pain of this loss, I busied myself with my children, housework, and other activities and put the entryway and hallway project on the back burner. It just seemed easier to do that than make a decision on paint –
or to deal with my feelings.
After a couple of years, I realized I could no longer bury my feelings of rejection, hurt and loss, and sought the help of a counselor, who guided me through a process where I ultimately found happiness – and began to focus more inwardly on my own family, and less outwardly toward the family I once had.
And then one day, upon returning home from picking up my son from school, we walked into the house, and I realized how unwelcoming it looked to us – the white walls, the lack of pictures, and the lack of warm window coverings. It was as though – through the pain, rejection, depression and more – my feelings didn’t allow me to take the final steps to making our house a home. It was as though I was waiting for my parents to tell me that they were planning to visit, and walk into that entryway again – which was the “perfect” excuse I was seeking to finally finish this project. But, my journey toward acceptance – accepting that my parents may never visit my home again, that I may never be fully accepted by them again, that my husband and children were the most important members of my family – finally revealed what I needed to do: paint away the past and look forward to a beautiful future with my family.
It seemed that my husband was just as excited about this final transition. He happily helped me paint over those white walls, removed the white blinds from the windows in preparation for warm colored curtains, and reveled in the transformation that our home underwent, with a simple coat of paint – “Harvest Brown.