on houses

There is symbolism in so many things, I think.

I should rephrase. Being mostly of an existentialist mindset, I think there is no inherent meaning in anything, but that the meaning we create is what is of importance. So, more accurately, I see symbolism in so many things.

Houses, for instance.

I just moved - packed up all of my suddenly myriad belongings in two days - hauled all of it to a new place on the third day - cleaned the old house from top to bottom on the fourth. I am exhausted.

When Colin and I first broke up, and I started looking for a place because I thought I'd have to move when the lease was up, everything I looked at was far out of my price range and felt like a coffin: rectangular, solid, confining, with a distinct lack of light. Suffocating. I couldn't breathe in them. It was appropriate, since our splitting up made me feel like I was drowning.

I clung to our house, then, to its light, to its space, to the quirks of its layout. I wasn't ready to leave a place where I had been, for years, happy. And when my landlord gave me until October, letting me pay only half-rent, I thought, okay. October is a long time away. Colin has until October to change his mind, to realize how much he loves me, to come home, before we lose this house forever. In my head, losing the house meant losing any chance he and I might have to reconcile.

Yet life still somehow moved forward. My stuff stretched to fill the house that slowly started to feel far too large for just me and my kid. When Colin and I began talking again, began piecing ourselves back together both individually and as a couple, it was around the same time that I was forced to start looking in earnest again for a place to live.

It seemed an impossible task: find something cheap enough that I could afford on my own if things didn't work out with Colin; find a place big enough that all three of us could fit if we did.

I finally found one and had to put the deposit down before he even had a chance to see it. By then, my mindset had changed: I didn't want the old house, any more. There was too much space. There were too many places where we had spent time in our own worlds, too many harsh memories lingering among the pleasant ones. It was a beautiful house, and it was good for us, but it was time to move on, to start again with something new.

We got back together the week before I moved, and it was him (and a couple other angelic souls) that helped me do it - our first big collaboration as a couple again.

All my stuff is in the new apartment, piled in boxes I didn't even have time to properly label. In the coming weeks I am going to be sifting through everything I own, paring it down, discarding of anything superfluous, of anything that doesn't make me happy. In a few weeks, Colin will be here, too, having done the same thing.

And so we begin again, rebuilding, free of the extra belongings, of the space that kept us apart before.

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