Why Denver? And about leaving Chicago.

“Want to move to Denver?” Chris asked one day back in the fall of 2019 when he was thinking about potential new jobs.

“Sure! I love apres ski.”

I also love the idea of change, always have. The actual act of it? Well, that’s a different story. One of my many faults as an idealist/dreamer is that I often forget there’s a difference between ideas and executing. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

The plan was never to stay in Chicago forever, necessarily. See, Chris and I aren’t planners, so “the plan” was that there never was one. We’d take each day as it came. And slowly but surely the seed of moving somewhere new was planted and we both started to get a little excited about the idea of a life in the mountains.

We’ve gotten too comfortable here. It’s time to explore somewhere new. We need to immerse ourselves in a new environment and try new things!

That’s the kind of shit we said. And I actually believed it for a while. It sure sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it? Look how mature we are! Cut to our first open house and I’m sobbing in our car screaming at Chris, why are you making me leave our home??? If you saw a couple at Begyle Brewery that Saturday morning slamming beers at 11 a.m. while the woman cried behind her dark sunglasses and their sweet old dog watched on like what in the hell is happening here? Well now you know… That was us. Sorry about that, it was a rough morning.

But I’m getting ahead of myself once again. Let me back up.

I was on board with the move from the start. There I said it, Chris. But several (SEVERAL) unforeseen obstacles popped up along the way that had me second guessing every single thing we did and wondering why we’re leaving a place we love? But such is life. It’s always changing and there was never a guarantee it would be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is.

The days leading up to listing our home for sale I went a little… well, crazy. But in my defense there were a few things working against me. Like the fact that I was alone, a lot. (More than usual for me.) Chris had just gotten a new job and he was traveling for weeks at a time. So I’d sit in the living room of the home I loved so much, where I spent far more time than the average person, and wonder, why are we doing this? Where will we move? We’d been looking for homes in Denver but striking out every single time.

I went into full 90s sitcom kid mode and did everything I could to stall the listing of our home. I avoided calls from our realtor. I thought about hiding fake cockroaches around the house before the open house. Maybe a giant fake rat? What could I do to stall this? And then Chris came back from his work trip and reminded me I’m 32 not 8 and we had to do this… Damn him.

And so we listed our home. The day I saw the photos online I cried. A lot. When we got our first offer within hours of it being listed I cried again.

Everything about our home was us. It’s our… our home. Why would we sell it?

“Getting offers is good!” Chris kept reminding me, “we want this to sell.”

“We do?” We do.

We listed our home at the end of the week and “the goal” was to only have one open house. I have a weird personality quirk where I enjoy sharing my life (I’ve had this blog for over a decade…) but on my own terms. The idea of hundreds of strangers coming into our home, looking through our things, while we hid out at a brewery, made me wildly uncomfortable. I don’t know if this an introvert thing, or a hermit thing, or just a me thing. But the open house was very difficult for me.

It also happened to be the week that once upon a time I’d originally thought we’d be bringing home a baby… The due date that never was. So many of us have them and they all sting when that day rolls around. Because no matter hard we try to avoid it, our mind likes to remind us of what we once thought this date would mean, from that first ultrasound when it was finally spoken out loud and went from being just another date on the calendar, to the day everything would change.

So yes, that made things just a little harder (and more emotional.) Now do you understand why I was crying at the brewery? I’m not excusing my tantrum, just giving you a little more insight.

I also do this thing when I’m spiraling/feeling out of control where I grasp onto things from the past, or dare I say “ideas” in my head regarding situations and the way they should have gone. It’s a very healthy practice, let me tell ya! As we drove away from our home on the day of the open house, I dove face first into the rabbit hole of, this weekend should have gone this way. We shouldn’t be moving and full of all of this stress and uncertainty, we should be welcoming home a new baby. Because in my mind, “welcoming home a new baby” doesn’t involve stress or uncertainty… I KNOW, I KNOW. Like I said, I was grasping.

The good thing about Chris and I is that we communicate, a lot. Sometimes too much. We got everything out (before the brewery) and then had some beers while I did the post cry hiccup thing. He reminded me that we chose to do this move together, something I kind of kept forgetting when it was convenient. And here’s the thing, deep down I knew the move would be right for us. Even amidst my breakdowns about leaving Chicago a tiny sliver of a feeling kept reminding me that this was the right next step. But I got scared, because change is scary. And fear can be so damn loud sometimes.

Long story short, our home was sold by the weekend. But everything was going to be okay, now we could really focus on finding a home in Denver. The spring market was rumored to be hot, lots of homes would pop up! We’d find something in no time.

And then we learned about the coronavirus.

Part 2: Moving In A Pandemic. Coming tomorrow!


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