My cousin's boyfriend drives a truck all across the states, and when I last saw him in Baltimore I invited him to stop in Iowa City and get a hot meal when he next traveled across I-80. Turns out his next trip put him in Iowa last night, and he and my cousin came to my apartment to take me up on that offer. Well excitedly, I straightened up around the apartment and fixed them a yummy meal (baked tilapia, rice sauted with onion and bell peppers, and asparagus). They were my first company from my pre-Iowa life to see my new home. Not even my own parents have been here while I call it home; when they moved me in, it was just an empty apartment with rooms, doors and windows.
Well while my cousin quickly made herself at home upon arrival by christening the bathroom, her boyfriend walked around and slowly surveyed my little one bedroom apartment. "Wow," he said smiling. "I'm in your house. I just saw you in Baltimore, but here I am in Iowa, in Sydnie's house." With his enthusiasm for emphasis, it was quite a profound statement.
Every day I wake up I have many blessings to thank God for and though I am not a particularly materialistic person, I am certainly blessed enough to have everything I need and almost anything I want. That being said, something that I have wanted for a long time is to be self-sufficient and financially independent; since my opinionated and can-never-be-wrong attitude commenced a toe-to-toe match up with my father whom I inherited it from.
Now while in all honesty I can't claim 100% financial independence, as a graduate teaching assistant's salary is literally just enough, I can say for the most part that I do house, feed, and clothe myself without any help; and should anything happen to my health, I'll be taken care of.
I welcome the first of the month every month as a sign of my self-sufficiency. With each rent check written, I recognize that in Iowa, I have been blessed enough to make my own home; to choose the place I want to live and choose how I want to live in it. For me, that is MAJOR and loads of fun. Over the past year I have had the chance to put all my HGTV watching to good use... You can forget about Design on a Dime because I learned to design on a nickel, lol. I have the freedom to leave things messy and clean when I get ready, walk around naked, blast my music, eat when I'm hungry and sleep when I'm tired, with no one else running interference.
Each evening when I cook a delicious meal, or watch tv on my couch, or lay back in my bed, I genuinely feel happy that I can do this much for myself. And to have my family recognize that and feel that pride with me just made me smile and nod, as my cousin and her boyfriend ate up my food until there bellies were full.
I can't wait until I take the next step and own my first home.