To say the past few days were “busy” would be a laughable understatement.
We sold our house, and the closing was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on June 1, 2018. So basically, I had until the end of the day on May 31, 2018, to get everything packed, to get the entire house emptied and cleaned, and to avoid keeling over and/or losing my mind in the process. Of course, it didn’t help that lion’s share of the moving occurred on a Thursday, which meant that several of my friends and family members had to work and were thus unable to offer assistance. And I don’t own a truck. Nope. I drive a 2013 Ford Focus — great gas mileage, but not exactly famous for their hauling capacity. Fortunately, a few people were able to help, and we managed to buy a little more time with the title company, giving me until 2:00 p.m. on the day of closing to finish up, but it was still a daunting, Herculean task.
Think back to a time when you’ve done a really strenuous workout, or maybe a lot of manual labor outside. Remember what it felt like when you finally stopped? As if the adrenaline was carrying you through everything, and then once you sat down to relax, your body went, “What the hell what all that?!?” and you felt more sore than you’ve ever felt in your entire life? Your body was just one giant ache, and even though you worked hard enough to be really hungry, you lacked the energy to chew? Remember that?
Well, that was me on Friday night. Whew.
Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Why didn’t that lazy idiot start packing and moving things out sooner? What a goober! Why wait until the last day?” That, my friends, is an excellent question. In fact, it’s one I’ve been asking myself lately as well. Oh, I could easily make excuses and say that I couldn’t get anything done since I was still actively living in the house, half the time with two young kids who needed access to beds and toys and food and whatnot. And while that’s all true, it’s still a bit of a cop-out. There were things I could have done. So why didn’t I get started earlier?
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you may have noticed a theme in some of my recent posts. There’s a reason for that. Sadly, my wife and I have been separated since January, and I’ve had a lot of time alone over these past few months for introspection and soul-searching. So when you read blog posts like this one, and this one, and this one… well, those are all snapshots of me working through the mess that we’re in right now and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Because my sole focus in life right now — other than being a good father to my two boys — has been doing all I can to mend and restore our relationship. And that means trying to fix my own internal flaws while actively loving her, in whatever capacity I can right now, in a way that makes her want to come back to me.
So what on earth does any of that have to do with moving? I mean, our separation isn’t the only reason we decided to sell the house. My wife also started teaching again, and her new school is in a different district around 35 minutes away from our neighborhood, so continuing to live there just wouldn’t make any rational sense. Plus, I was out of work for nearly three months myself, after the company I was at for almost five years decided to eliminate our department and fire everyone, so money got tight as well. But yeah, the separation was obviously a big part of it, and maybe that’s why I was so hesitant to start putting things in boxes. It made everything… too real, I guess. Despite the fact that I knew the house had been sold, I think maybe I subconsciously avoided packing up and moving out because it was a symbolic admission of finality. This was all really happening. I’m sure that part of me was in denial. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking that she’d just come home and everything would be okay again.
Now, I’m not one of those people who gets really sentimental about old places where I’ve lived. I certainly don’t feel the need to drive by the house I grew up in as a kid and bask in the unfettered nostalgia. So when it comes to this recent move, it’s not the house itself that I mind leaving. It’s what the house represents. I mean, it was a good house in a nice, friendly neighborhood, and I’ll definitely miss the other people in our cul-de-sac. But it was also our first house together, and we lived there for 7 1/2 years. It’s the house our kids remember. It’s where we brought our youngest home after he was born, and where our oldest learned to ride his bike. It’s almost emblematic of our life together.
But on second thought, maybe leaving that house is ultimately a good thing. If, as I said, it’s emblematic of the past, then perhaps saying goodbye to it can also function as a symbolic break from that same past. After all, it was the mistakes and failures of the past that made my wife want to leave in the first place.
I’ve told her on multiple occasions that I want us to begin again — to have a fresh start. I know that both of us are very different people than we were 13 1/2 years ago when we first started dating. The house has been sold, we both have new jobs, we’re living in new parts of town, our oldest will be attending a new school in the fall… everything is different. Everything is new. I have no idea what the future holds for us. I hope and pray for reconciliation, but whether that happens or not is ultimately beyond my control. I can only control myself and my own actions. So I’m going to continue trying to be the best version of me that I can possibly be, and if that leads to forgiveness and restoration for the mistakes of the past, then so be it. And if it doesn’t… well… either way, this is definitely a new beginning.
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.