Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Closing Door

The time has come...

I was filling a spot on the wall this evening that my dog had chewed (yeah, my dog chews walls. Is that not a thing dogs do?) when he was a puppy, and it suddenly hit me: I’m leaving. I’m not too proud to admit that I promptly burst into tears.

I’ve lived in this house for nearly five years, which makes it my longest place of residence since I moved out of my mother’s house at the age of eighteen (and again at twenty-five, but let’s not go there). It’s tiny - the archetypal two up, two (okay, three) down and, though I haven’t actually experimented, I doubt one could successfully swing a cat in the living room. But that’s okay: there’s only one of me. I had a massive (and - I swear - haunted, but that’s a story for another day) flat last time round and all I ever did was clean the damn thing; I didn’t need the space. This little house worried its way into my heart very quickly and stayed there, and, though it doesn’t feel like it’s mine anymore, now that the stuff is mostly gone, I can’t imagine closing the door on it forever on Sunday.

I fell in love here. I had my heart broken here. I brought my puppy home here. I turned thirty here. I finished my doctorate here. I turned into a Trekkie here. I’ve plumbed the depths of depression here, and I’ve soared the heights of victory here. My youngest niece was born while I lived here (though the eldest has never forgiven me for moving away from the last place, which was beside the sea). The two newest members of the family - my sister’s twins, due in October - won’t ever see the inside of this house.

The sacrifice feels… right; it feels like I’ve wanted this life to come too easily to me, when I haven’t been prepared to give anything up to get it (apart from sleep, sanity and a social life, but those are all things that are generally kind of hazy for me regardless), and it feels like this is the grand gesture that starts this terrifying journey. It feels like I do need to close, firmly, this door, so that another one can open. I have this in mind as my super-writer origin story, a la J.K. Rowling - I’ll come back here in fifteen years time, having conquered the world, to look at the place where I used to live back in those days of constant struggle, where I wasn’t always very happy and where I hoped for something better. But right now, I’m looking around the wreckage of my little home and sipping from a glass of wine, and I just feel… lost.

Christ, I’d better bloody well succeed at this now…

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