The past few weeks have been marked with many difficult goodbyes. Massachusetts has provided the backdrop for first years of our marriage and the births of our daughters. Living here has facilitated professional successes and brought us close to new friends who have become like family. As we prepare to return to Kentucky, bidding farewell to the life we have built here, it is impossible not to be struck by how lucky we are.
Today, we say goodbye to our beautiful house – the house that made us homeowners. As we prepare to turn our keys over to the new owners, I’ve been reflecting on what being a homeowner has meant to me. As many of you know, growing up, I lived with my mom in my grandparents’ house; we often spoke about getting our own place, but it just wasn’t feasible where we lived. Even after I became an adult (you know, a married lady with a PhD and a good job), I watched my friends buy their first houses and had this sense of “not me.” I had always heard you needed a 20% downpayment and, in Boston, that’s a lot. Eventually, someone mentioned that we could put as little as 5% down and all of sudden we were going through the motions of house hunting! Originally we were in the market for a condo in Somerville, but they were SO expensive and simultaneously SO shitty; we pretty quickly expanded our search to the ‘burbs of Medford. Our house was the first one on which we made an offer and, as anyone who has tried to buy in the Boston area can imagine, it was competitive (i.e., multiple offers). We were prepared to be rejected but were thrilled to learn that the sellers had chosen us!!!!! Even today, 4 years and 8 months later, I can’t believe I’ve gotten to live in this beautiful house. Being a homeowner feels like the American dream; it feels like stability and security, along with the pride that comes from being able to give those comforts to my children. Being a homeowner also comes with tremendous gratitude for the privilege I’m afforded that allowed us save even 5%.
Saying goodbye has been emotional, to say the least. I’ve been acutely aware of all the “lasts” here – last time I’ll chat with my neighbors on the sidewalk, last time I’ll put Fiona and Skylar to bed here, last time I’ll cook a meal in my beautiful kitchen, last time I’ll drive up at night to this house all lit up, last time I’ll stalk a turkey around the yard (see photo above – taken yesterday), and the list goes on. Today was the last time I’ll wake up here – the movers are literally disassembling our bed as I type this. I’m sad. I am leaning in to this sadness today because I know it’s here to remind me how much I love this house; I’m grateful for a life that makes moving on to the next adventure really hard.