I am a curator of memories.
Memories are not just abstract things you think about when someone mentions the familiar. They are feelings. They are visions. They are visceral and profound and deeply affecting.
Memories are experiences.
Rachel and I have lived in our home now for seven years. That’s almost as long as we’ve been married, and fully three quarters of the time we’ve been together. We’ve not only made memories in this place, we’ve experienced some of the best moments of our lives here, together.
And now, we’re saying goodbye to our home.
On a mental level, we knew when we moved in that we would not be here longer than five to ten years. We specifically planned on five, but any time after that was open to change. But on a more concrete, emotional level, it’s impossible not to assign deep meaning to a place where we’ve spent so much of our lives and had so many significant experiences. I’ve curated my memories of our time here extensively, held onto them and kept them safe and oft remembered, and I am so grateful for them. This isn’t to say we haven’t had experiences here we’d rather forget; but curation is about showing the best, and as we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time here, that’s what I choose to remember about this place. And we’re going to miss it.
I can’t look anywhere around me without seeing a memory. I open the front door carrying Rachel across the threshold, and close it after shoveling us out of massive snowstorms that made magnificent waist-high drifts. I walk into the kitchen, where there’s wonderfully fresh morning coffee and lively gourmet dinners with friends at the table. I stand near the sink full of dishes and soap and Rachel’s hugs. In the living room, I’m encircled by family and close friends celebrating during our wedding rehearsal, and embraced by throw blankets and Rachel’s beautiful hair on the countless nights she fell asleep on the couch with her head on my lap. In the office hangs the framed logo for our business and at the desk sit the ideas and work which we have built upon. Our bedroom envelops me in quiet and optimism and hope and love and Rachel’s sparkling eyes lit up by the morning light streaming through our balcony doors.
I hold onto all of these experiences, and more. I cherish them every day, and I will continue to. Because we’re only saying goodbye to where I see them, not where I feel them.
We’re also saying hello. Hello to new memories, hello to new possibilities, and hello to new experiences in a new place. Our home just went on the market this morning, and we’ve just received word of the first showing happening this evening. I sit here looking around with a quiet optimism that this home of my memories will become a home for someone else who will appreciate their time here as much as we have. And I know that our journey west is as old as time itself; an opportunity on every level for us to have an adventure to a new place and remake our lives in a new home.
I am thankful for that, and for our time here.