Yesterday, I left the apartment I've lived in since 2009.
I moved there with my ex-husband after he was asked to leave the seminary when they decided that he wasn't fit to be a pastor (and when he apparently hadn't been paying any of our bills). It was a refuge, an "us-against-the-world" kindof place. It was the happiest I'd been in the two years since I'd gotten married.
Obviously, that didn't last long. Us-against-the-world situations rarely do.
I thought I had fallen back in love in that apartment, but it was just an illusion. Eventually, I fell completely out of love and lost track of who I was in the process. I lived, or I existed, in a mostly alcohol-induced numbness, surrounded by books and foster dogs, until I fell in love with my soulmate.
That apartment has seen a lot. It's seen pole parties with my half-naked friends. It's seen dinner parties. It's seen me coming home drunk on multiple occasions (or just getting drunk in the living room by myself). It's seen a divorce-aversary party. It's seen fights and tears and many rather unmentionable things. It's been the home to 13 dogs. I've snuck out of the house (and snuck into it).
I have memories in every single room. There were love notes on my bathroom mirror and there was dog hair in every nook and cranny. My ex grabbed me by my hair and pinned me to the wall in the dining room and there was a hole in the bedroom where he punched it. I spent afternoons reading in my office. I wrote stories and heart-broken poems there. Mark and I danced in the kitchen. We spent hours entwined together talking on the couch. We kissed at the front door for ages rather than say goodnight.
I grew up there, in a way. I stopped being an immature and naive little girl who was hiding from the world and became a woman, a divorcee, and, ultimately more honestly myself.
It was my first real apartment, and hopefully my last. It was home, even during those long months of my separation when I tried to avoid it as best I could. It held my entire life (and after packing everything up, or throwing it away, I can tell you that that is no small statement).
And yesterday, it was empty and practically sparkling from about two weeks of deep cleaning and painting, with the amazing help of so many of our friends. I've cleaned things I never cleaned before (and never want to clean again). I never want to look at mini-blinds again.
Was I sad to leave it?
I'm not sure I have time or energy to be sad about moving. There's too much else to do. We're getting married in literally one month and we've barely done anything towards that because we were so focused on the move.
It's the end of an era, that's for sure. But it's mostly an era I'm glad to be done with. I'm thrilled that we're going to be living in a place where my ex has never set foot, a place that can be exclusively ours. And as much as I hate and am stressed out by change, it's well past time to move on.
I'm fairly confident that I will be worth it.
Also? I'd better get my damn deposit back.