Kind of quiet and without applause or music. The screen just fades to black and then the credits roll. Silence.
That’s what it kind of feels like every time I close the door to the garage of my house after setting the alarm, lately. I sit down in my car, close the garage door, watching is in my rearview mirror as it comes down, always making sure it always goes all the way down and stays there, as if I’m concerned by tech-savvy thieves trying to pilfer the open/close signal and then rob me after I’m gone. And then I back out of the driveway and I pull away, continuing to look at my house in the rearview mirror. Often times, I verbalize the words “alarm set, garage closed,” so I can have some degree of self-confirmation that I’ve secured the place, before I often times get hit with a wave of paranoia 500 feet later that I forgot to do one or both.
With each time I do this in recent days, I’m ask myself if this is the last time I’ll be doing it. The answer has always been “no,” because there’s always been more chores to finish, more walls to paint, more cleaning to do, and more things to haul away, whether it’s to trash, storage, or my new home.
However, today marks the day in which there might not be a “no” at the end of the day’s query. If everything goes according to plan and schedule, my house for the past 13 years will be empty of all personal effects, and I will have effectively moved out entirely. When I pull away from the house tonight, and ask if this will be the last time, the answer won’t quite be “yes,” but it’s also not necessarily going to be “no,” either.
It will be “yes” in the sense that I won’t be coming back again to live here, leave my belongings here, or rest at the end of a day. My life as it, at the first home that I’d ever owned, is effectively over; realistically, that’s been the case for a little while prior, but taking everything out of the place and seeing the house completely empty definitely creates that sense of finality and that the road has truly come to an end.
I will obviously periodically be stopping by, to check the mail, and take some melancholy walks through my old home, but it’ll be primarily as a visitor, and not like the person who pays the mortgage and lives there, despite the fact that I’m still on the hook for the mortgage until it officially sells, and hopefully not after too much time.
But after weeks and months of frantically packing, relocating, cleaning and freshening up, the ride is coming to an end. Jen and I have moved out.
Although I am looking forward to the endless amounts of work put towards clearing out and prepping the house for the market, all the work done after work, and throughout several weekends now, no amount of preparation or expectation gets me ready to say goodbye to my house.
Just the other day, I went through the day stressed, agitated and moody, and I couldn’t wait to get through the day’s tasks, so that I could leave. It dawned on me later that it was my house that I was clawing at the doors to try and get away from, and then a wave of sad realization washed over me and I felt like shit afterward. Sure it was tremendous amounts of tedious and time-consuming work, but when the day is over, I should really feel like I owe it to the place to send it off as appealing as possible, not just out of gratitude, but for the sake of potential financial security.
Homeownership, for the unforeseeable future has come to an end, and it’s something of a newer path in life that we’re embarking on. Sure, there’s excitement into venturing forward, but to overthinking reminiscers like myself, letting go of the past is sometimes difficult to do.
Anyway, this is what’s going on in my life in this stretch. Moving. And a lot of emotional turmoil that comes along with moving. After things settle down on this front, hopefully sooner, rather than later, I’ll be back to writing about less self-depressing and atypical bullshit like trucks crashing on Atlanta highways, or news articles that fire me up.