leaving a familiar place to dream bigger

My husband and I purchased our home together in 2011 - just weeks before our wedding. The timing, horrendous. The house, a dream. Ranch-style, four-bedroom, three-bathroom, open concept living + kitchen area, a basement with a pool table, a back patio that opened up to a quarter-acre backyard, a two wide/two deep garage (perfect for our boat, vehicles and some chart-topping parties) complete with unruly plants out front.


The bedrooms were never there to fill the house with children, we decided early on not to have those, but for family and friends to visit - to fill the house with laughter, love, and maybe a few too many drinks.


I hired an interior designer to bring my big ideas to life in our living room. She got to the core of my design aesthetic: bold, clean, modern… anything but “charming”. Anytime I hear that word on HGTV I change the channel, it’s not for me -- no, that crack in the wall will never be cute.

[Disclaimer: One of my dear friends is obsessed with charming. I love her, and I would watch her show if she ends up on HGTV.]


The house was located in a neighborhood just west of Minneapolis about 12 minutes. I don’t use the word suburb because that label has a connotation I’m unwilling to subscribe to. I drove a Toyota Camry for almost the entire time we lived there. I drove around the Twin Cities A LOT + to Wisconsin for work (sign language interpreting work). I despised living on Highway 169, the traffic was infuriating, especially after they upped the speed to 60 mph and everyone still drove 55 as if they had no need to check the speed limit sign.


Of our time in that house, 99% of my memories were comprised of sheer happiness. We were beyond blessed. Of the 1% of memories that I wish I could erase from my mind - one of those was losing one of my best friends to cancer. I still remember being hunched over in our king-sized bed, shaking the bed with my sobbing at 2am. I hated the house for a few weeks after that news.


My friend who passed, Mary, would be annoyed with me for being such a Debbie Downer, so I’ll pick it up with a story from the 99% of memories. Flash to a kitchen filled with people around a dark wood table accompanied by four teal dining chairs + two off-white ones at the end. Those people are playing cards and throwing their heads back in laughter, my Dad and I in the kitchen taking a Jell-O shot, now out to the garage where music is blaring beyond the consent of the neighbors and people are dancing their hearts out, drinks spilling outside their red solo cups (which of course I recycled in the morning). Cup runneth over, in all the senses of the phrase.


When Kent and I got serious about what we wanted our lives to look like, we knew that house was not going to be in the cards (if we wanted to get our fairytale started without delay). We had visions. We had goals. We had dreams, dreams we were unable to shake. That house was tied to the perfect way to start our life, but it wasn’t tied to our future.


I was ready to begin building my business and he was ready to say ‘yes’ to the calling of being on the water for a living. I tell myself we had to depart the house solely for financial purposes (which indeed was true), but it was more than that. We had to depart from that house to give ourselves the opportunity to grow, to change, to be the people we were dreaming of becoming. That chapter in our lives had to come to a close, both tearfully and thankfully.


To the outside, it looked like we were being reckless and giving up on the perfect house and the perfect life (two stable jobs, a kitty, and a turtle). In reality, if we stayed, we would have been giving up on us, our life, and our dreams.


All that to say… saying good-bye to something you love is heartbreaking. But if there is one thing I learned in 2019, it was that we are allowed and capable of having more than one emotion at the same time. Sadness does not negate excitement. Fear does not negate courage. Being uncertain does not negate hope.


I was not planning to write this blog. Not today - not ever. But, I was driving on Saturday and something inside of me said I needed to get this story out there. Maybe I wrote it selfishly, for me to officially close that chapter, but I’m hoping it’s for you... who needed to see you aren’t alone in the changing of seasons.


In an effort not to leave you in the dark, we sold the house in July 2019. We are currently renters + RV owners. We spent the winter between Florida and Texas, soaking up the sun, and not missing the snow for one second. Every time I get nostalgic for the house we left behind, I remind myself that we are letting our passions lead. It’s not perfect and we have no idea where they’ll take us next, but the ‘how’ is not ours to know. We are just responsible for the dreaming.


Here's to you!

Melissa


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