Yesterday, after an intense couple of weeks to get it ready, my house went up for sale. I moved here five summers ago with my now ex-husband. For the last three years my daughters and I have lived here as a happy threesome. In that time we’ve had three Christmas mornings, eight birthday parties, countless sleepovers and several book launch parties here. There were home cooked dinners, wine with friends, cuddles on the couch watching our favorite shows. This was our life and we loved it. This was our home and we loved it.
And now we must let go. It isn’t easy. Not because it’s a possession or status symbol or even because it’s beautiful. No, it’s that this is our home, and home is where one feels safe. Despite the emotional and financial hardships that came with my divorce, the girls and I have had our home and one another for comfort and support.
Regardless, it is the right time to sell. The practical side of things dictates this, mostly – the market is hot and all that, plus I can’t afford to keep it on my writer salary. But there’s the mental health portion of this as well. In order to move forward, sometimes we have to let go of symbols of the past.
We all know life is a series of letting and go and pulling in. You can’t have one without the other. Yet, sometimes I wonder how we all walk around doing normal activities like shopping for apples when we have so much loss. But we do. You do. And it inspires me.
When I saw the photographs of the rooms where we have loved and lived go live on the Realtor site, I felt a sharp pang in the middle of my chest, reminding me of all I’ve lost. The life I wanted and thought I would have was not to be. God knows, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I took a lot of risks, both personally and professionally. I trusted people I probably shouldn’t have. I tried things and people that didn’t work. As a consequence, on paper things don’t look so great right now. On paper it looks like I’ve lost enough that I should be crouched in a corner with my face buried in my hands.
But here’s what I know. The risks I’ve taken will somehow lead to the right path. There was not a word written – not a hard decision made – that will not somehow lead to something more beautiful than I can imagine.
Because no matter how the numbers look, I have spent the last ten years doing what I love, raising my children and writing. Yes, the end of my marriage was painful, but necessary. Was it risky to give up the corner office in order to write eight novels? Hell yes. But without these risks, I would not have a chance for the life I dream of.
So I’m letting go of the house. I’m taking even more risks with my career, knowing that giving up is not an option. I’m embracing the love offered by a phenomenal man instead of crouching in fear. Yes, you read that right. I met someone last February. Someone that fits just right. Someone to love, to see. It is better than I could have ever imagined.
Love – that’s really it, my friends – the only thing that matters. Whether the cars, houses, bestseller lists, bank accounts are either gone or there, love remains. Love is why we’re doing all this hard stuff in the first place. To love and be loved, to see and be seen – this is the best of it, the sweetest of all human experience. I had it with my girls, friends, and family all along, which gave me the strength to keep pushing forward during the darkest moments, yet I hoped for a love like the ones I write about. I almost gave up hope – thinking perhaps there really was a limit on how much love one person could receive. And then, out of the proverbial clear blue sky, this man was delivered to me at my lowest point. He held out his arms and I held out mine, despite how truly scary it was to be that vulnerable and it turned into love – the kind that continues to obliterate the pain in my chest and makes me brave and beautiful and joyous.
So this fact is true: without the risks I’ve taken, I would not know this love. So there you have it.
Do I know the future? Of course not. But I will be brave, despite how frightening it is to run headfirst into the unknown.
Love is the opposite of fear and I will not crouch. Because, ultimately, we can crouch or we can rise. I choose rising, every time.