After three long years of waiting, and wondering, and stressing about it, the marital home has finally gone under agreement, with the closing pending in a few short days. I have longed for this day for many reasons; imagined what it would be like to be free from the encumbrances – both emotional and financial – of the place where I once lived as a married person. I wore the burden of the home in which I no longer lived like a hair shirt, each visit or event or episode relating to the house triggering a reaction on a deep visceral level that would leave me emotionally depleted, sighing to anyone or anything that would listen that my life would be SO much better/easier/less complicated if this damn property would just be sold.
But now that the day is actually dawning, I find myself feeling rather bittersweet about the situation. Certainly there is the personal financial benefit in the transfer of the deed. The instant jump in my credit score when I am no longer associated with the mortgage will be good for me personally and professionally, and no longer waking in a panic at 3am every night worrying about the “what ifs” of continuing to carry the property should help reduce some of the dark circles under my eyes.
But the logistics of removing the kids’ stuff from closets and bookshelves, and deciding if I want to reclaim the serving platter or carpet that I left behind like a carcass when I moved out are weighing me down, and making me wish that I could postpone or outright avoid the task altogether.
I am no stranger to moving or emptying out houses, but I realized the other day that when I sign the papers and turn the remaining keys and garage clickers over to the attorney, that I am truly closing not only a chapter, but an entire book of my history. I will never again live in a place that my parents knew, where their spirits may linger, there will be no place that my aunt participated in, no room that defined my marriage or wall that contains scratch marks tracking the growth of my children.
I think what I feel most anxious about in this final transaction is the lack of a physical space that is familiar to my senses, a place where I can go and feel, or smell or hear the echos of memories that anchor me to a point in time that defines (or is it defined) who I am.
The future lies in my new house. It’s not home to me yet. It’s too new and not yet familiar. I have been too exhausted physically and emotionally to be able to unpack and decorate, to create a space that is soothing and comforting in a vortex of transitions. A long weekend lies ahead, and perhaps I will find the time or the energy or the courage to carve out a niche that feels safe and nurturing.
But I wish that rather than doing the work – the physical and the spiritual – that I could just click my heels together three times and open my eyes to find that everything is familiar and comfortable and as it is meant to be.