My family and I are looking to move. We’ve been going to see lots of houses. That has a built-in set of stressors when we are going into other people’s homes with our small children who are curious and not always the best behaved. Overall, it’s been going well. We are slow-moving in this process. We rarely see more than a few houses on an outing.
The number of houses on the market has been increasing throughout the spring but we see few houses that we can afford and fit our specific criterion for our family. Many of the houses we see are empty; others are still busy with their owner's lives. We are forced to judge the houses, which never really feels fair to me. I must rank them and categorize them based on my personal preferences. I still believe that my judgments have some truth outside the confines of my own mind.
We found a house that was in our price range and we liked the space and location. We fairly quickly made up our minds to put in an offer on this particular house. As we were meeting with the realtor to sign the paperwork to put in an offer, the realtor called the selling realtor. After a very brief conversation, with my partner and I sitting hushed nearby, we learned that another offer had been made, much better than ours would have been.
My partner and I were quiet as we drove home to our small house. Finally, I spoke up to say, “I can’t believe how sad I feel.” We laughed a little. How could I feel so sad about "losing" a house that wasn’t ever mine? I still feel a twinge of that loss, now a few weeks removed. It seems natural enough to feel sadness of all of the would-be hopes and dreams I had begun to carry into that house on my first time ever seeing it. I was living well into the future. I allowed my future to take up residence in a place that wasn’t mine.
I still wrestle with this sense of loss. I am much more careful when we go to see potential new homes. This is no easy task. When looking for a home, I am forced to evaluate them as to how well they will be able to provide shelter for my dreams. I remind myself to leave the hopes and dreams back at the house we live in now. I am saddened to have to leave them behind but it must be done. The alternative is to feel a sense of loss with each and every good house we see. So my beliefs about the future are left at the door, locked inside my old home for all these past years. And what of the persistent bits of the future that cling to my skin as we look at new houses? I try to leave those in the car.