Moving on

by Kim on August 29, 2011 · 12 comments

Brian and I have moved into our new apartment.

I said in a previous post that my heart was flip-flopping thinking about what it would be like to pull out of our driveway for the last time.  In the end, it was as hard as I imagined.

We had to be out of the house by Friday at 5:00 p.m.  We spent Thursday night moving and slept in the apartment that night.  On Friday, we went back to the house to clean up and to make a few final runs to Goodwill.  We split the duties: I cleaned and Brian loaded the Uhaul with our donations.  Because of our divided duties, Brian and I said goodbye to the house at different times.

Our empty living room

Our empty kitchen

Though I’d envisioned leaving the house for the last time with Brian (hand in hand ala romantic dramedy style), I was glad I was alone when the time came.  Truth is, I was a mess.  I was sobbing, and I walked through each room of the house and let myself remember all of the memories we’d made.  I indulged in the sadness and man, I was sad.

Despite all of the tears, I’ve never once felt that Brian and I were making the wrong decision.  I know that this is the right path, but as a brilliant friend and co-worker of mine reminded me today, very little in life is black and white.  This is exactly what I want, but a part of me mourned the life Brian and I thought we would have in that house.

I know not everyone will understand, but selling the house was more than just selling a house.  It was giving up a whole way of life, the life that we were headed towards when we bought the house, newly married and starry-eyed.  We thought we would renovate, add-on.  We thought we would have babies in that house.  As I grew older and evaluated my life, I realized that that was not the kind of life I wanted for myself, at least not now, maybe never.  What I want is exactly what I’m working towards right now, but there is still a mourning for what I left behind, for what I said no to.

So, leaving the house for the last time was as hard as I imagined.  I left the new owners a bottle of wine and a short letter that read We hope you love this place as much as we have and make many fond memories here.  Welcome home, Kim and Brian.  When I wrote welcome home I truly lost it, but I wanted to leave on a good note, and I wanted the new owners to walk into a place full of love.  I want them to be happy there, as we were happy there.

A note to the new owners

What I didn’t imagine was how quickly my sadness would pass.  I allowed myself to mourn and then, it was over it.  I needed to let it go, my old life, and I have.  I keep thinking of a Bob Dylan line: I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

In our new apartment I’ve set up a table in the corner, a bulletin board hangs above it, a world map just to the right.  I call it my World Travel Headquarters.This dream feels so much closer now.  A fellow RTW traveler and friend, Amy of the Roaming Rileys, left a comment on this blog the other day, something along the lines of, you must be beginning to feel so liberated.  At the time she wrote it, I didn’t feel liberated at all, but now, just a few days later, I can feel the freedom beating inside of me.  I feel like singing and dancing.  I feel like, finally, nothing can stop us from doing this thing that we dream of.

Nothing worth doing is without sacrifice and, sometimes, making the hard decision is the same thing as making the right decision.  This step of the journey, the selling-the-house step, has been difficult.  But we have come out the other end, and I am so ridiculously excited about what is to come.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah August 30, 2011 at 7:29 am

This post is so poignant. Anyone who has left a home knows that peculiar sadness that comes as you walk from one empty room of another, listening to the imaginary echos of laughter and conversation from your time there. I don’t mean to make light of that because oh! I know how real it is!! But Kim, you and Brian are not so much downscaling as upscaling!! You’re leaving these four walls to embrace the world! I’m excited for you and proud of you for following your dream!

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Carmel August 30, 2011 at 8:54 am

Oh my gosh, it’s getting so real. Sorry my last comment was deleted–I’m sure it was pure gold. ;)

I cried when I left my first apartment (a lot). I cried when we left our house last year (even though I’m sure it was killing me slowly with its black mold). It was our first place together and where we got engaged.

These steps forward in your adventure really inspires me when I’m getting nervous about our own dreams because of car repairs and the like. Thanks for being so honest and open.

By the way, that was just about the nicest note ever!
Carmel recently posted..Cultured Butter

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Rhonda August 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Beautiful post! I’m so happy that you’re one step closer to following your dream and yet realize that with any ending comes sadness. Just remember Thoreau’s quote: “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
I think, especially as Americans, we find our “selves” so entwined w/ our “stuff”. As you let go of the life you thought you were going to lead I hope you embrace the new, unencumbered life of a traveler.

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Monica September 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

Wow, this is so beautiful and so touching. I can relate to so much of what you’ve shared, the sadness and loss of change and moving on mingled with the excitement and fear of moving into a new life. I’m so thrilled for you to begin this journey. Very inspiring!

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Amy September 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

We share a brain and a heart and many emotions. Thank you so much for putting in to words how I feel. I have the feeling our time will be soon…or is it really an intense hope : ) but when I read this:

“This is exactly what I want, but a part of me mourned the life Brian and I thought we would have in that house.”

It described exactly how I feel.

Thanks Kim for your honesty and bravery in writing. Thanks for being real.

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Amy! I think the intense hope is so important… put all of your energy that way. I am pulling for you guys and I always will be.

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lana September 26, 2011 at 5:45 am

I just stumbled upon your website. . . and I love it! Life is absolutely about adventure and pushing ourselves. I am also from Oregon, and my hubby is from Kentucky, and we just recently moved to Serbia. I have been keeping a blog/journal of our lessons and adventures thus far. If your travels dump you into Serbia at any point, let us know! We would love to meet you. I feel like we all have a lot in common.

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Kim September 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Iana! Hello!!! Thanks for your kind words. I will check out your site. I love the name of it. I will let you know if we make it to Serbia… who knows where we might end up?

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