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.