When my family moved from Texas to Michigan, we knew that we didn’t have enough room. Going from a four bedroom house to a three bedroom just wasn’t an option when you had two teenage girls and one more on the way. With that being the case, we made plans for major construction. Our house had potential for expansion–my mom saw the finishing the garage as the perfect bedroom adding alternative and my dad saw finishing out the basement as Plan A. Somehow, my dad got his way, and the basement became my bedroom and a family room and the garage became home for my dad’s tools.
While a finished basement seems like a perfect alternative to no place to park a car, you must understand something. We have a wrap around porch. This porch makes for perfect sunset watching, wind-tickling-the-trees gazing, and story imagining, but it also makes for a lightless basement abode. The only window that provided evidence of a world above ground was a small one in the back of the furnace room. My bedroom was not privy to this snatch of light so once the lights went out, night descended no matter what time of the morning, afternoon, or evening it was.
Once the basement was finished, I was given my options: A.) Move into the windowless basement bedroom that I would share with the subpump and various other pipes that squeaked and whistled or B.) Share a 10 x 10 bedroom with my younger sister. With growls and grumbles I chose the former.
As the days clicked by, the choice between eternal darkness or endless florescent light took its toll. I barely ever caught glimpses of my friend, Mr. Sun. No sunlight tickled my nose to wake me up in the morning; no beam of warmth comforted me during a nap; no patch of light kept me from using up electricity. My options were limited.
So one day, I decided to take a stand.
As evening approached, I gathered my belongings. Finished or not, I needed sunlight. I wanted the joy and contentment that a clear day brings a stuffy room. I wanted to know what time it was without needing an alarm clock. I wanted to watch the world and see life happening. For all these reasons, I did what any normal, intelligent teenage girl would do.
I moved into the garage.
Though my family teased and doubted me, I persevered. Thought my family warned of the mosquitoes, I just pulled the sheet tight up to my neck. Though my family warned of robbers and marauders, I just brought the dogs to share my room with me and plugged in a nightlight. I survived an entire night in that cement floored, pegboard walled, tool coated garage. The following morning, the marvelous sunlight woke me up at 6 am.
Though my stay in the garage was only one night long, I showed my true colors. I stood up for my values and proved to everyone my commitment to my ideal. While I spent the next 8 years in that same basement bedroom, I had my one night of ecstasy where I stood behind my convictions. I didn’t just complain about my lot; I took a stand.
My family still makes fun of me for that evening’s adventure, but I am rather proud of sticking out with what I set out to do. Have you ever had a similar experience? I’d love to hear about it.