I want to tell you a little story.
But first: If you follow this blog with regularity you know the story. Free-spirited wife and slightly hesitant husband quit their jobs, sell all their stuff and set off to follow wife’s dream of exploring the world and writing, as told almost entirely by wife (that would be me).
I have been documenting the ups and downs of pursuing my dream from the very beginning. It began by choosing to acknowledge my dream and then breaking the news to Brian. From there we told our friends and family. Next came a period when Brian came to terms with what it means to chase my dream, then we started saving money, then sold our house and got rid of our things. Basically, this blog has followed my personal journey of giving up a really great life for the unknown, guided only by a feeling inside of me that I couldn’t ignore anymore.
To say that there have been many ups and downs in the past year is a bit like saying that Jaws is just a tiny fish. But I’ve learned something since I started chasing my dream: being really alive means experiencing sadness, longing, joy, exhilaration, anticipation and fear. Before I started down this path my days were muted replicas of each other. Now, some days are extremely trying and others have me floating on air but all of them are oxygenated and infused, like someone snapped the blinds up behind my eyes so I could see the world again.
But to get to the point of the story: Of all of the challenging experiences we’ve had, selling our beloved house is at the very top of the list.
I thought I told the end of our selling-the-house story when I wrote about leaving our home for the last time. I cleaned and cried and walked through the house reliving the memories we’d made there. Then I left the new owners some wine and a note, locked the door, dropped the keys in the mailbox, and closed that chapter of our lives forever.
Or so I thought.
But sometime during the chaotic weeks when we were finalizing the sale of the house and moving into our new apartment, my phone died. I ended up replacing my ancient flip phone with an Android, complete with 3G and Apps and other fancy gadgets that I don’t really understand.
Shortly after purchasing my new phone I pulled up the Facebook app. There in my Facebook in-box was a message dated August 20th, 2011, the day after we moved out of our house. For some reason Facebook had decided that the message was spam and hid it from view on my laptop. Only the Facebook interface on my phone allowed me to see the message, and this is what it said:
I’m not sure you are the correct Kim for this note so forgive me if I have the wrong person. I am the mother of Gavin who just moved into your house and wanted to tell you how thoughtful and nice it was for both of you to leave the wine and the note for him. We were all truly touched by the gesture. We all love the house and your love and caring can be seen and felt everywhere. Have a wonderful time on your trip!
Brian and I were walking home from dinner when I read the message. Tears puddled in my eyes and I stopped dead in my tracks. Brian! You’ll never believe what I’m reading right now!
I read the message to him, and then I read it to him again. We’d been bantering lightheartedly as we walked home but now we fell silent.
Wow, I said, that was so nice of her to write us. I think I needed to hear that our house will be loved even though we aren’t there to love it anymore.
Yeah, Brian said, it’s closure, in a way. I wouldn’t have guessed that I needed it, but I guess I do.
Then I wrapped my arm around his arm and we strolled the rest of the way back to our apartment, talking about how, once again, the universe gave us exactly what we didn’t even know we needed.
The note to the new owners
This post is sponsored by Hotel Club. Hotel Club helps travelers find accommodations in Melbourne.