In the past two years and eight months since Dan died, I've toyed with the idea of moving out of our house a number of times. We bought our dream home in January 2013. We were married in June 2013 and I lost him to depression only six weeks later, in July.
The exact moment he lost his life, at 11am on a winter Wednesday, I was planting some pot plants near our clothesline. That night, the police stood in my entrance way and told me about his tragic death. For weeks, I sat in the front room, staring out the window watching the cars come and go and drinking endless cups of tea.
I thought we'd have a lifetime of memories in this house. I thought we'd raise our children here, that they'd play in the street and we'd walk the five minutes, through a park and over a creek, to my sister's house to visit her family.
But we only got six months. The very start of a perfect dream life before it was ripped away.
Since he died, I haven't wanted to be anywhere else. At first I felt closest to him here, it bought be so much comfort to sleep in our bedroom and keep our house, as if I were still doing it for him. Slowly I started making changes, painting his office to make it more my own. Changing bed linen and doing small improvements, like building a wooden deck out the back. It started feeling less like 'our' home and more like 'mine'. I haven't wanted to move but knew that when the time came, I would know.
And I think a new home is now calling for me. Recently, I've been feeling very lonely in our house. Not so much from the lack of company (although that too is tough) but more so a sense that I don't quite fit in to this space properly anymore. It's too big for a single, 35-year-old woman.
It is a space that needs to be filled with laughter and noise and people. I only ever use a small section of the house when I'm here on my own and while I have kind, friendly neighbours who check in on me regularly, they are all families. I'm the only single person on my street and the feeling that it's time to find a new space that better fits the life I'm living has been growing stronger and stronger.
I want to be in a smaller space. I want to be around other single, professional people and a more bustling community, close to restaurants and cafes and close to Brisbane's beautiful river, where I can catch a ferry to my job in the city. So, this morning I went looking at apartments to rent in the inner-city.
Right now I feel 70 per cent excited, 20 per cent overwhelmed about the mammoth task ahead and 10 per cent freaked out and sad that I have to take this next step forward into a life without Dan. It's not the life I would have chosen but I didn't get to choose. I have to find my new path and right now it's pulling me in the direction of a new home.