the one about selling

I have never been good with change.

Some people live for it…others hide from it. I'm kind of in the middle. While I welcome new experiences, my stomach still balls up in knots when I think about actually committing to them. And I think that's pretty normal.

So when I recently found myself signing the acceptance of an offer on our first home in Indianapolis, I had tears in my eyes.

We haven't even lived in this home for four years now. It has seen a few rounds of renters, and we decided it was best if we simply try to sell it and part ways. When we listed it with a realtor, I didn't expect to have an offer on the table within 24 hours.

I figured I would have more time to get annoyed with the selling process…to watch the weeks and perhaps months go by without offers…to keep checking our bank account to see if we could handle two mortgage payments. I figured by then, I would just be so ready to see it go that I would just put a "FREE, COME AND GET IT" sign in the yard and walk away.

So I wasn't ready for 24 hours later, here's an offer that you should accept. And I certainly wasn't ready for the flood of emotions I would be feeling…everything from sadness to peace to anger?Somehow, I had envisioned it differently. I pictured Luke coming in with the offer, and both of us joyfully signing away this first home and hugging and giggling and high-fiving and clinking wine glasses together.

I never pictured laboring over a full-price offer. I never pictured regretting my signature when it was still wet enough to be smudged. I never pictured debating and discussing and even raising our voices over the sale of a home we haven't set foot into in years.

But see? This was our first home. I remember going to the Open House and falling in love right around 7 years ago this time of year. I remember writing the offer in a McDonald's with our realtor, and putting down our earnest money, and waiting for the call. I remember signing all the papers at closing, and being handed the keys and thinking, "I can't believe we did it." 

I remember picking paint for each room. I remember dreaming of upgrades and parties and babies and the Christmas tree.

Our realtor told us (me) to remove the emotion from the house. Which is the most ridiculous statement ever. HOW does one do that? Remove the emotion?

How do I remove the emotion from the house when I remember so vividly walking out of the bathroom to tell Luke I was pregnant for the first time…only to lay on the floor of our bedroom weeks later in a ball of tears upon learning we had miscarried that child? How do I remove the emotion from the house when it was in that yard that our family planted a cherry tree in memory of that baby we never got to hold?

And how do I remove the emotion from the house when I remember jumping on our bed a hundred times because I knew when Luke got home that night, I'd be telling him I was pregnant again. Remove the emotion from painting the guest room into a nursery? From bringing a newborn through the front door? From the path we wore in the carpet from the midnight and 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. pacing with a fussy baby?

Remove the emotion from the house where friends and family piled into the living room for bridal showers and baby showers and bachelorette parties and Christmas parties and football games and eventually the first birthday of our first baby girl?

Remove the emotion from the house where we tried our first home improvement projects? Where we thought painting the kitchen cabinets would be a quick and easy thing to do and laying tile in the bathrooms led to cracking and replacing an entire toilet.

The realtor sees carpet that needs replaced and old appliances. I see carpet that has been slept on, worn in, and played on. My daughter walked her first steps across that carpet, pushing a little shopping cart.

I see appliances that burned lots of cookies and chicken before I learned how to cook. Before I made that special dinner for Luke on the night I told him I was pregnant with Noelle. Before I chilled obscenely shaped Jell-o shots for my friend's bachelorette party in that refrigerator.

But the house is selling. Too small and located too far away for our needs, we were never going to live there again anyway. We are now playing the hurry up and wait game, and if all goes according to plan, they will be pulling my clingy, white-knuckled hands off the porch railing in no time.

And if I could tell the new owners one thing, I would say not to repaint the master bedroom. The foggy gray color looks beautiful on an overcast day. I would say that the Christmas tree works best by the back patio door. I would also say that the bar in the walk-in closet likes to fall down if it gets over-loaded and it will scare the shit out of you when it does. And I would say that one year, we put all new Christmas lights on the giant evergreen out front, and if you haven't already sliced the cord with the lawn mower, you should definitely plug that in.

That was more than one thing.

But one more thing.

Please don't cut down the cherry tree.

I guess I'm not a remove the emotion kinda gal.

1 comment

  1. Oh Ashley I'm sorry. So hard. Bittersweet. All the hardest things are.