Before last year, I never understood why women stayed in abusive relationships. I thought, why don't they just leave? Now I know. Sometimes it feels less painful to stay. After years of feeling like I finally belonged somewhere, it was a shock being back in a place and way of life I never understood or felt comfortable in. I felt like a foreigner in my own country, whereas every door was open to me in Paris (I know it's a rough and unwelcoming city for most people, but that was never my experience). I came back to the US with two suitcases somebody else packed; I had no credit score or job prospects. I was hired to positions in my field, but the sustainability departments at these companies were eliminated before my scheduled start date in late November 2016. I have a new appreciation for people who come to this country with nothing and no one. I at least had good friends and family in Cleveland, though I left the majority of my support system in France.
I finally get why people feel such an attachment to material things. It's not always about stuff. It feels good buying things with your own money that you alone chose after never having a say for however long. It feels powerful having something somebody else told you you'd never have or deserve. And it feels safe hanging on to something, when everything you had was lost before. I shouldn't feel this way, but I understand a little better now.
The everything I own posts are my most popular ones, and people say it's because they can't believe I have so little. It feels like a lot to me, especially after these past few years.