It is a victory.
A small house, a cottage with bluish-green or greenish-blue paint rests on a corner in my town. It belonged to someone else and someone else before that, but now it belongs to me. The wood floors are warm, the plaster walls are solid. The windows open to let birdsong and breeze inside. The screen door bangs as kids dash in and out. The bathroom door whines and the dryer thumps.
A piano guards the front door, a skillet the back. Hostas lounge under the trees and raspberries tangle in the garden.
It is just a house, just a small house. But it is a huge thing. I bought it. I did, just me. Without help or opinion or advice from well-meaning bastions.
The first year was about survival. About clinging to the ledge with my toes and fingertips as the mountain swayed and the valley hid in waiting. That year was flinching and gnawing and aching and debriding an open wound.
The second year was about climbing back up to find secure footing. About shining a light in the dark places and discovering joy. That year was grounding and growing and reaching and learning.
This year, the third year, is about flying. About shedding doubt and loving the unlovable. This year is about leaping and trusting my wings and soaring and living.
It wasn’t a war. It wasn’t a game. It was my unexpected life and it is now my victory.