A little bit over a year ago we moved into our first home together. Even at 25, I was scared to move out of my parent’s home. I had never really lived on my own and depended on my mom for a lot. But it was hard on our marriage to stay under my parent’s roof and it was time.
Towards the end of the summer, we began searching for a place, to little avail. It was hard to find something we liked, in a relatively safe area (that my mom agreed was in a safe enough area), in our price range. One day after work, I was searching on craigslist and found something that looked promising. A cute little red apartment in a town about 20 minutes from my parents. I felt drawn it and sent the gentleman who posted an email, and we got to look at it that night. We really liked it and didn’t want anyone else to take it before we did, so we applied asap, and we ended up signing a 1 year lease at the end of that week.
Moving into our first home together was scary and very emotional. I honestly didn’t even know if I could function apart from my mom directing aspects of my life. I remember the night in the realtor’s office signing the lease. It felt surreal and like we were opening the next chapter of our life together; like the real part of our marriage- apart from living under parent’s roof- was beginning. I wondered what it would be like.
A few days later it was moving day. It seemed quite unplanned, especially because we did not need to bring all of our stuff over right away, and we left a good deal of our items at my parents house. We only brought the essentials that night. Two of our friends came over to help us move. They borrowed one of their parents van to help us transport our stuff. They arrived in the evening. We packed our items into the van, while my mom sat in the living room and cried. We hugged my crying mother in the driveway and then drove away in separate cars. As I drove from my parents house to our new home, I thought about how this drive that seemed foreign at that point would become such a common drive. I was right… now when we drive on that road that connected my parents home and our first home, it seems very familiar and homey. Sadly we will not be driving it often anymore.
The next few weeks were filled with excitement as we made our new apartment our home. We furnished it. We decorated it. We made it our own special place. And we came to love that home. We also had the sense that we would not be there long. We didn’t buy all of our furniture. It was tiny, on a busy road, not a child friendly properly. We hope to have children soon, so we knew even if because of that we would likely move in a year or two. Our landlord was rude and constantly high, and sometimes the apartment wreaked the stench of cigarettes. This too was a bit upsetting. But even though we knew it would likely not be long term, we cherished it as if it was.
We built many memories in this home. Good and bad. Our first year of marriage was filled with many ups, and also lots of downs. I have many memories of these wonderful and terrible moments in this home. I have memories of crying together on the couch realizing we needed marriage counseling and wondering if we made a mistake and having my husband tell me that the past few months had been the worst of his life and blaming me. Memories of my husband confessing difficult things to me at the kitchen table and us brainstorming recovery options. Fight’s where I’d sleep on the couch. One night we even stayed up till 1 am not getting along and then we ended up making up and having a lovely night, and calling in sick from work the next day. Drama with my mom coming over unexpectedly our of worry. I have memories of happy times with friends and family. Lovely conversation. Hot love making. Coming home to love notes left in the living room. Learning more productive ways of communicating. Happy walks in the beautiful nature of the area. Our low key first anniversary celebration. Wonderful homemade meals cooked and eaten together. So much learning about and growth in our marriage happened there. So much personal growing up happened there. And now they are all just… memories… and a few photos.
An opportunity came to move recently (for work), and we took it. That was sad and scary too in a different way than a year ago. I know we will be fine now, but it’s saying good bye to all of those memories that is sad. Nine days ago the moving truck came and our families helped us to move to our new home, a little bit over an hour away from our first home. After getting all of our stuff out, the house looked so bare. It was a sad, weird feeling knowing we would never again be in there. Soon it would be someone else’s home. It wasn’t ours anymore. I walked around for one last time trying to take in every part of the home, even though it looked like a corpse of the home it once was. And then with tear-filled eyes, I shut the door to that chapter of our lives, and walked to the car and sobbed. It is sad when a chapter comes to an end.
Thankfully, a new happy chapter seems to have started. We have moved to an even larger apartment in an area that has lots of farmland; it is beautiful. No rude alcoholic landlord. It doesn’t reek of tobacco. We could see ourselves living here more long term, at least until we have 2 children (at which time we’d need something larger), and even ordered the last of our furniture this past week. I could see myself raising my babies here (which I never could in the other place and even worried about being pregnant there with the tobacco issue), which is important as we are trying to start our family. There are happy children frolicking around the complex grounds. Lovely parks all around and side streets that I could take my children and feel safe. It feels clean and safe. It feels like a crunchy enough area. 🙂 And there is enough room for a baby and maybe a small dog in this apartment. We are happy. But I still will always keep our old apartment in my heart and will cherish the memories good and bad. It was our first home and it is special. We were truly blessed that we got to live there for a year.