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Not Looking Back

I did a favor for The Ex today…partly for him…partly because it could potentially benefit me (I’m not an idiot)…but it required that I go back to the old house – the house still on the market…it was harder than I thought it would be…

I agreed to go searching for his birth certificate in our old shed – a shed he filled with his few worldly possessions before he left town a couple of months ago – on Wednesday or so…I dreaded it all week…it messed with my head a little bit…

The dread turned into emotional baggage by Saturday…I cried a lot – for no good reason…this morning, getting ready to go, my stomach hurt…by the time we got on the road, I was in agony…it’s just a house now – none of my things are there…but I haven’t been back on nearly a year (one week until the year anniversary of my move, actually)…

I wondered if it would look different…I wondered if new neighbors would notice the strange car, the strange woman, the loud children…

I pulled onto a side street that I could probably navigate in my sleep…every nerve in my body was at attention, just waiting for…something…I pulled down our old road…the boys chattered away about “our house.” It stung to hear, but I forget they don’t have bad memories attached to it like I do…to them, it was a house they were growing up in, with loving parents, a dog, a life they enjoyed…

I never found his birth certificate…I found mice droppings, a gigantic bug, and lots of leaves…but not what I came for…I texted The Ex to let him know, packed up the boys, and drove off…I didn’t look back…

I could feel myself getting mired down in the weight of that old life…I had a 50 pound weight on my chest…I felt tears stinging my eyes…

And then…

Aidan: “Tell me to fart, Sean!”

Sean: “Fart, Aidan!”

Aidan: “Blphhhhhht!”

Followed by peals of delighted laughter…

Thank you, boys, for keeping it real for me…that place is a part of the past…I won’t forget it, but I won’t dwell on it either…driving away from town, the weight lifted…

I’m only looking forward now…

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I’m Home…

I’m home…such a simple concept, right?  But that thought hit me tonight like a ton of bricks…

I’m 100% unpacked…99.9% of our stuff is exactly where I want it to be…that other 0.1% is still a work in progress…my house is clean – once I finished unpacking, that was the next must-do on the list…and I didn’t mind (too much)…

People were shocked that I unpacked so quickly…I don’t do well in chaos and a house full of boxes is nothing BUT chaos…part of it is an effort to not live in chaos, part of it is that I want to spend the rest of my vacation playing a little…but part of it is that I’m excited to set up my own home…before this weekend, it had never been mine, it had always been ours – The Ex and I – and because I always had to rush off to work each time we moved, he decided where every thing went…who knew that putting things where I want them to go would be so important?

The reason this idea of being home is so big (and warrants an entire post) is that tonight I realized that for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of where I live, of the home I’ve created, and I want people to come visit me…that’s huge in my mind…

For years, I have offered to go to someone else’s home, meet them somewhere, anything to keep them from my house…was it because it always smelled like cigarette smoke (how in the hell did I marry a smoker?!)? Was it because something was always broken down, busted, or falling apart? Was it because it was never clean enough (in my mind) because I depended on The Ex to take care of it and that never happened?  Is it simply because it’s mine?  I don’t know…

But I’m home…and I’m happy to be home…and I will take care of this place so that when I move out one day in the future, someone else can be proud to live here, too…

I’m ready to create new memories…I’m ready to live in this home…live, not just survive, not just exist…but really live.

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