Let me just start off this post by saying, I am not pregnant! I am not sure if that is right where your mind went, but I want clarify that. I don’t think we need to have a baby, or a dog, or even a fish to say that we have become a family. We have only been renting the charming house that we are in now for nine months. But, let me tell you, so much has changed since we unpacked those boxes to now when we are packing them back up.
Joe and I have never had the totally care-free dating experience that some couples have in the beginning. When we started dating we were long distance, I was in the midst of my senior capstone and Joe was in the middle of an apprenticeship. Then my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was living at home and Joe was traveling for work. There was a time in there when we were long distance and renovating our wedding venue while also facing all of the challenges that come when someone close to you is sick.
So we have definitely had to navigate stormy seasons together.
But a lot changed once we really started doing life with one another. There were a lot of times that one of us would have to remind the other that we were on the same team. We had to learn to mesh our previous routines and compromise. We had to hold each others hand when it was easier to be angry. I think Chip Gaines said it best when he wrote “When things come against us, we can either turn on each other or we can come together and turn on it.”
In that way, between all of the laughter, hugs, kisses, tears, and fights, in this house Joe and I became more than just two people who had given each other a ring, we became each others family.
When I think about this house, I think about:
Our first week here when I looked into Joe’s closet and saw all of his flannels and work shirts hanging there. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such an amazing person to share a home and a life with.
The night we picked out and put up our first Christmas Tree together. We decorated it with the perfect mix of brand new ordainments that my mom had bought me and popsicle stars that Joe had made when he was in Kindergarten.
I think about the afternoons I spent teaching myself to cook in the first kitchen that had even been all my own.
The dinner when we had both of our families over. We sat in the living room with plates on our laps eating and talking and singing and I knew I was amongst some of the best people.
That same dinner but earlier in the day, when after hours of cooking, I accidentally spilled the lasagna noodles down the drain and started to cry. Joe held me and reminded me gently that, “Meg, we don’t cry over noodles”.
I think about the summer evenings when I would sit in our back porch and read while Joe pushed the lawn mower through the overgrown grass.
I do not lose these memories even though I am moving away from the place that they were made. I do not lose the lessons I learned here or the person I became just because I am letting go of the physical house. When I look around the house that was our home, I appreciate what this house has done for us and how it was instrumental in making us the couple we are right now. But I am not attached to this house, I am able to let it go.
As we enter the next phase of our lives, I am committed to practicing non-attachment with all of my things. I want to live a life in which my belongings serve me but do not define me. Because if I can do that, then I will always be able to let go of the things that are no longer serving me to make space for more growth and more love.