This month will mark one year since I started this blog.
When that realization hit me last night, I decided it was time to do something I’d been putting off this entire time.
That’s right. I needed to define domestiphobia.
What does it mean, anyway?
The truth is, I’ve never really known, because I’ve never taken the time to define it myself. Until last night.
And honestly, I think its meaning to me has morphed and evolved a great deal over the past year. The word is fluid and subjective, and when you read it, it might mean something different to you than it does to me.
The following is my current perceived definition and subsequent explanation that I wrote on my newly revamped “About” page:
: the exaggerated, inexplicable and/or irrational fear of domestic life
Example: Her fear of leading a stagnant, lethargic life devoid of personal growth and meaningful experiences could be described as a mild case of domestiphobia.
1 : tame, domesticated <the domestic cat>
2 : of or relating to the household or the family<domestic chores>
3 : devoted to home duties or pleasures <leading a quietly domestic life>
My name is Katie, and I’m a domestiphobic.
I didn’t know it when I married my wonderful husband in 2006 at the ripe age of 23. But, for reasons I didn’t yet understand, I slowly began to feel a terrifying sense of suffocation as all of the “expected” pieces of a “normal,” domestic life began falling into place.
Stable office career? Check.
Fixer-upper in the ‘burbs? Check.
Couple of mutts? Check.
Kids? Now wait just one damn minute.
These were the things I was supposed to be doing, but did I really want them at all? My actions were leading my life into a revolving door of repeated days, weeks, years. The same morning traffic, the same weekly meals, the same company parties, the same family gatherings. Maybe it’s because traditions are one of the most painful castrations in a divorce-torn family like mine, but my newfound sense of repetition provided me no comfort.
In fact, it was quite the opposite.
In what can now only be described as a quarter-life crisis, I quit my job in 2010 to travel to Costa Rica with a dear friend (and temporary blogging cohort) for a couple of months. The experience only further spurred an itch I’ve been longing to scratch for a long, long time.
Now I realize some things. I have some wants that lethargy simply won’t feed: I want to be a better person. I want to be a better partner. I want to change, and grow, and experience new people and new cultures and new cuisine. I want to learn how to play the guitar and become fluent in at least one other language. I want to write and make people think. I want to inspire. I don’t ever want to leave without leaving something good behind.
I’m not afraid to say what I want. I’m not afraid to be selfish or make mistakes.
Because, it turns out, I can’t be who anyone else needs me to be until I embrace who I need me to be.
Today, I still live in the ‘burbs with my (astoundingly supportive) husband, the mutts, and zero babies. But now I’m trying to find that thing that feeds my wanderlust – both physical and emotional.
This blog is a journal of my domestic and non-domestic experiences – where I struggle to tie together the things I’m fortunate enough to have with the things I’m crazy enough to want – where you will find me learning to cook and working on home renovations when I’m not playing with ‘gators in the Everglades or jumping out of planes in Hawaii.
Welcome to my world.