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A House Is Not A Home

I was sitting in the living room of a friend’s apartment last Sunday, and it got me thinking. She lives in this place by herself. She moved to this place when her marriage ended. I don’t know her most personal feelings about all of it, but I do know that she loves living where she lives. And all I felt was this overwhelming sadness and sense of loss.

Three years ago, one of my lifetime dreams came true when my name was officially signed onto the deed of a house. But it didn’t take long to realize that a house is not a home, and that house never felt like home. Not for one minute.

Then I moved to a much more modest apartment, and for the first time in a long time, I was home. My home. All mine, and no one else’s. I loved loved loved every minute I spent there by myself, and sometimes in the company of loved ones. I never regretted or lamented that I was there. I never took it for granted, and I repeated over and over to anyone who would listen how everyday when I went home, I just wanted to put my arms around that little apartment and hug it because I loved and appreciated it so much. A place where I could think, and sleep, and come back to who I really am. Home.

And then for reasons beyond my control, I had to leave. Leaving that apartment was harder and sadder than leaving my marriage, by leaps and bounds. I didn’t leave because I wanted to, I left because I had to. I left because he made it so I couldn’t stay. It would have been different if I had left of my own volition, but he didn’t really leave me with any choice.

So I bucked up and moved on, and have now landed in a place that feels like home again. But something about being in her living room last Sunday brought it all back, and it was almost more than I could bear. It made me angry at him all over again for doing what he did to me. It made me sad that I had to leave a place I loved, kicking and screaming and crying on the inside the whole time. It made me long for the chance to do it again and have the choice to leave, when I want, to where I want, on my own terms.

Then I had a good cry in the shower and closed that chapter for good.

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