It all started out the week we bought our 1920’s house in a little historical part of Orange County, California. Brian and I sat down on our couch looking longingly once again at an instagram page of a family who sold it all and traveled across the country. While in escrow, we kept saying things to one another like, “this won’t be our forever house” or “three maybe five years tops we’ll be in this house and then we will finally get out of here” or my favorite, “wish we could do what that family on instagram does.” We sat across from one another on our couch one whole week into our this-won’t-be-our-forever-home and I looked at Brian and said: we either stop wishing that we live a life like that family on instagram, or we don’t ever talk about it again. That’s when we decided we would do everything we could to live out the dream that had been in our hearts for quite some time.
Fast forward two years, and our house is on the market, offer-up has become my best friend and the flower shop on the corner might think that I’ve become a drug dealer as their parking lot has become my offer-up pop up shop. We sold the bunk beds that we IKEA hacked, the kitchen gadgets that filled drawers instead of being used, the DIY beauties that I created to help me through the dark times, the numerous pairs of shoes and button down shirts and ties we wouldn’t be needing anymore, the toys (oh the toys!), homeschool supplies that didn’t make sense to keep in storage for who knows how long and so much more. That 2,000 square foot house became my mission to empty. It was tiring and overwhelming (no I will NOT take $5 for the $100 rug) becoming an overnight sales woman.
We sold it all. Well, to be honest, we really sold about 90% of it. The remainder 7% is in a storage unit and 3% resides in our home on wheels. How did I live on 100% of those belongings? I’m realizing 103 days into this experiment of forced minimalism that I don’t even need the 3% of the things that we brought. How is it possible that for the first 33 years of my life I thought I needed so much with more constantly on the horizon when now I realize I can live off so little?
Although leaving family can be hard, the thing that is hardest to leave, are my friends. Four soul sisters to be exact. My longest friendship, with Sarah, ended as we sat across from one another in a restaurant on the eve of my departure and held hands and cried. We spoke words of truth over one another, encouraging one another knowing that breaking bread and having these types of conversation would no longer look like this. Saying goodbye to Diane, my sister and spiritual mentor brought me to such deep sadness. Saying goodbye to Meghan made me wonder if I would ever have a friend that could make me laugh like her in my day to day life again. Mandy was there waving goodbye as we pulled away-we promised one another we would always have Waco and would get there together somehow, someday. My grief of these goodbyes was a deep pain that I didn’t expect. I figured my excitement would drown out any of the sadness but that’s not how life goes, now is it? Three months later and I still feel the depth of sorrow not having them in my day to day life. Greeting them with a hug and watching their laugh lines age and seeing our children grow up was such an honor and treasure.
It was early on Friday morning when our phones chimed with a new text message. A new friend texted asking if we would accept the gift of a goldendoodle puppy. “I can drop her off in an hour or so. No pressure, but if you love her you’ll need to take her because I don’t think I can deal with saying goodbye twice.” We said yes, bring her over and it was love at first sight. We left our 1920’s home in that little historical part of Orange County later that same day to never return. Our dream was enfolding the moment we turned right out of our street with the Chinese Elm tree waving its branches one final time in the rear view mirror.
This is our journey of finding beauty in the everyday in the not-so-everyday kind of life.