Moving sucks. No matter how many times I’ve done it, followed by all the promises that the next time I’ll hire someone, I end up repeating the same old pattern of stress, dread, and packing those boxes myself. I must confess, however, this time has brought more emotional release than I expected.
The house I’m selling is the home Katie Jo and I shared together. It’s the home that we planned for our son in, learned of the loss of his twin in, brought our newborn baby to, and experienced the death of a pet in. Not to be overly dramatic but a house is a chest of memories and not simply an architectural structure, and this one has contained quite a bit. So this go around as I pack up things to keep and discard things to donate or sell, I’ve had to stop a time or two just to be nostalgic. It’s not quite like going through the break-up all over again, but it certainly has unearthed mourning that I didn’t realize needed to be fulfilled.
Why am I moving? Atlanta traffic. The neighborhood Katie moved to after leaving this home was only 10 miles away, and we thought that was close enough to have access to our son in an emergency yet far enough away to be out of each other’s lifestyles. But the transportation of our son between places was interstate-dependent, and the trip would consistently last 1 1/2 to 2 hours, for again, a 10-mile commute.
When it came time for Katie to move again, we discussed Mr. Carter’s situation. Instead of him being forced to deal with traffic and be in the car for what is the equivalent of a road trip every day, the burden would be on us to travel the farthest. That meant we had to pick an area of Atlanta to move to and thus be closer to one another. By the time she moved to our agreed-upon location, our relationship had moved to a better place and we were okay with possibly sharing the same stores and restaurants. In fact, I thought it best for our son not to witness any awkwardness between his parents.
Since I own this home and have to get it ready to sell, the change is taking me a bit longer. But I was proactive and got a storage unit near Katie’s home since I knew it would be near my new home. I slowly packed and moved boxes of things I wanted. That allowed me to begin sorting through the rest of those items. But I now find living with these things I plan to discard has been a challenge, since many of them were shared items that spark some memory of my romantic time with Katie.
The house itself is a memory of that time, and this recent experience has made me fully realize the move is the right decision. But I’m approaching it beyond any negative emotions as if to honor and thank the house for all that happened within its walls and say a real goodbye to the things I share the space with. Then, once I hand the keys over, it will finally be time not only to move but also to move on.