When I started blogging in 2003 I used it as a journal. A way to just jot down thoughts about my day, my life, my friends, my tennis career, and my pursuit of Jenn. It slowly morphed from that into a highlight reel of my life. A way for me to have a place to look back on the fond memories. A timeline of events so that one day in the future when I want to remember what I ate in Paris in 2008 when I got off the train I can (it was shrimp risotto from the hotel room service). It's an amazing life to write about. I've been blessed. I have an incredible, amazing wife who's my best friend. I have the best family I could ask for. I have a great job. I get to travel the world. I've been incredibly blessed.
So why say all this? I can't go on writing all of these posts without actually writing down the elephant in the room. I wrote a post two days after Valentines day that was titled "One of the Scariest Days of Our Life." I haven't posted that yet and am not sure I will. The short story is as follows. We had a guy break into our house a month after we purchased it. It was 3AM and Jenn heard something, I went downstairs and found a drunk man in our kitchen. A lot of people continue to tell me it could've been worse. Sure everything could be worse. I just hate that mentality. I get why people say it, they want to make you feel better. They want to make you feel like you got lucky. Sure it could have been worse but I also think it couldn't have happened and man would that have been better.
Jenn and I have handled the situation differently. I try to pretend that it didn't happen and Jenn wants to know for certain it won't happen again. We both have struggled to sleep, to cope, to move on. If there's a bright side, it would be that I believe that this event has drawn us even closer together. Its forced us to rely on each other for strength and guidance. It's forced us to pray more, to trust more, and to listen more. Since it happened, its also made us reevaluate our plans. We thought this house was going to be our home. We really did. We felt like we had God pushing us towards this house. We prayed a ton before buying the house. I don't think we rushed into it. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't have changed anything. It was going to be our home for the next 5-10 years. But nothing has felt right since we got the keys. And after Valentines day, we just were left feeling completely lost.
So we have had a decision to make. We put the house up for sale a couple of weeks after it happened. We had a realtor who had zero interest in pushing our house to get sold. We got one low ball offer and that was it. We cancelled with that realtor a month later and made the decision to try and stay in the home. To give it a second chance. We got new carpet and a ping pong table and tried to make it home. We gave it everything we had. We tried making new routines. New plans. New ways of looking at things. But it didn't work. It still didn't feel like we were in the right spot. I couldn't help but feel like the house was violated and that the peace and joy we had felt before moving in was gone forever.
I know at this point people are thinking we are crazy. It could have been worse right? You should give it more time. Time will heal. We prayed on it. We wrestled with what to do. We knew selling the house would be a loss in the financial column. But I also knew that we couldn't go on living like this. We couldn't live in fear. We couldn't live in regret and sadness. We put the house back up for sale with a new realtor a couple weeks back. One with a lot more experience. Two weeks later we got a cash offer for a little under what we bought it for. We went back and forth on the price and got to a number we both were happy with. We're going to get the majority of our money we put down on the house back. But definitely not all of it. If I'm being honest with myself I would give every penny to help us move forward. For people that know me well they know I'm pretty cheap. I don't like spending/losing money. But when it comes to Jenn and our marriage and our life journey together I'm always reminded at how fleeting life is. How one day it will all be gone. How one day the money we save away won't matter anymore. Why waste life being unhappy when you can change it. When you can make a change that will give Jenn and I the freedom to rebuild and recover. I know I speak for both of us when I say that we both want to cherish every second together and enjoy the here and now. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
From an outsider perspective I'm sure we seem crazy. I'm sure we seem like kids who don't have a clue. And maybe that's true. Or maybe just maybe we should have done this all along. Maybe we shouldn't have done what everyone else does. Maybe a year or two from now we will buy another house. Maybe we will move to Paris. Maybe we will continue to rent. I really don't know. I have no clue. This is coming from someone who desperately needs a plan for everything. I truly don't know what's to come and that excites me. What I do know is that I've never felt more at peace with a decision then I do today writing about selling the house.
The house was an experience. One that I will never forget for better or worse. I will say that Jenn did a spectacular job taking what we had and making a truly beautiful home. I know we both tried our best to make this work. So no more looking back. No more thinking about what could have been or what should have been. Instead it's time to look forward. To be thankful for everything we have and look forward to better days. To plant our flag in a new home and figure out what's next. To eat well, drink well, and live life. Plus at the end of the day it could have been worse right?