We officially sold the house this morning. Not moving until June 12, as we’ll rent back until Mara’s nearly done with school.
I’ve had such mixed emotions about selling our house. Partly because its so much more than a house.
We bought our home when we were newly married and pregnant with Mara (in fact, we found out I was pregnant the morning we closed on the house).
I was in my early 30s, newly married to a fabulous man, had a successful career, was pregnant with my first child and had just bought a huge, 3 story house that I only could have dreamed about. I hit the quintessential definition of “life success”. I had the career, marriage, kid, and now the house. Check, check, check, check. All that was missing was the picket fence and it would’ve been the idyllic American dream (however, I don’t want the picket fence so to me this was the life dream). I now had everything you’re supposedto grow up and want and get. And I did want it.
So in a way, this house represents “success”. It proves to me (and others I suppose) that “I made it”. I know that sounds narcissistic, but I only mean it as it was a goal I reached sort of like running a marathon and finally crossing the finish line and feeling like “I did it”.
This was also the house I built my family in. Both my children were brought home from the hospital to this house. I lovingly decorated the nursery and waited for my new babies to arrive. I sat for countless hours in that same nursery rocking them to sleep, feeding them, soothing their hurts, singing to them, and loving them.
My daughter said her first words in our master bathroom. Both my kids took their first steps in our family room. Both kids experienced their first snow, first spring, first bike ride and more right outside the front steps. My family has grown and flourished in the confines of this house.
So this house also represents “home”. And “family”. And “togetherness”.
It also represents the culmination of so much effort. All the time spent painting, decorating, fixing, replacing, getting it just so. I truly set out to make this house into our home surrounded by things we loved. And I got immense pleasure by sitting on my deck looking at the flowers or growing the vegetables (the ones the bunnies didn’t eat), by watching the kids play on the playset, by sitting in the living room I designed.
Now its time to move on. And as much as I have all these emotions tied to this place, I also realize it’s just a house and not nearly as important as the family and our dreams. I know there will be other houses and other homes too some day.
Every time something leaves, I feel excited though. I feel lighter. I feel like I’m moving forward. But then the sentimental side of me sneaks in and I get a little sad and misty too.
I think that’s just how life is for me (and a lot of other people). Steps forward sometimes mean leaving things behind. And its often bittersweet. There is that tie, that fear of change, that sentimental pull, but there is also the sense of moving forward, of excitement, of freedom too. And for me, all of that is wrapped up in this house.
I had no idea how I would feel today. Would I cry? Would I be excited and break out the champagne? Both?
Well it turns out that I feel free. I feel like a big weight has been lifted. A big sense of relief.
But even if later the sentimental side sneaks back in, I know it’ll be ok. And very soon I will fully move on.