Base: a thing on which something rests: bottom, foundation. a starting place or goal in various games.
I must admit, my first thought about the word base was to write about Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, but then I looked up the above definition. I realized I needed to write about something else. Rob Base shall not be forgotten, though…
I owned a home, and it was my base. It was a foundation, a place to start, a place for me to stand. I’ll give you the sh0rt version of this story, as the longform may be for another day. I moved into this house in 2005. It was not big, but big enough to have one’s own space. I shared it with two close friends–my family, as it were. One of these friends was the homeowner; on paper, anyway, as we all considered it our house, collectively. It was our sanctuary, our hidey-hole, our inspiration. I will stop short of calling it our muse, but it was close.
We had big plans for the place, building and decorating. At one point I had an idea for a website which would feature the house and our DIY-style work on it. In a sense, I thought the house would be my source of income, that it would support me.
Then one day I realized how much I depended on the place. I had bought the house from my friend in 2009, but we all still lived there and ‘owned’ it together. Circumstances seemed to be on the verge of a potential shift a couple years later, and talk arose about one or both of the others moving away. At this point I realized the foundation that the house provided me. With it in my life, I felt grounded, secure, tethered to the earth and my place in it. It was a source of security for me.
Fast-forward a few years. The physical state of the house has deteriorated, and since I had the household’s only steady income, there were no means by which to make needed improvements. And then I met sweet KLS, my beloved. This woman appeared subtly in my life, and then almost overnight true love found me.
My friends rejected her, for their own selfish reasons, but I found myself starting to slip away from my old life. When my love realized she might need to move away for work purposes, I knew that I wanted to follow her. Suddenly, this house which had been my sanctuary, my home base, had become a ball and chain. I saw that I was locked into a deal it would take some time and a great amount of effort to get out of. I was no longer tethered to the earth. I was a captive.
It would take me two more years, filled with heartache, confusion, toil, and financial grief, to sell this place and be able to move. That’s when I experienced true freedom. I found that not being tied to a place gave me the security I so craved. Being free to move about as I wished brought me back to home: me. I was at home where I chose to be. I was secure through my freedom. Having no commitments, I had found a foundation within myself.
A friend of a friend recently commented that, although she had messed up plenty in her life, as least she could look back and feel good that she had not taken up smoking. In other words, she managed to avoid some major challenges through it all. Similarly, although I have made some dumb moves in my time, I stand here at 50 with my health intact, my heart full of love, and my feet planted firmly on the earth, wherever I choose to stand.