Life / Sex & relationships

The Divorce Files: Upsides of Moving Out

So you’re saying goodbye to your home. The space where friends and family have gathered in celebration, where you’ve found solitude and much-needed solace, where you’ve taught your children the alphabet and marked their heights on the doorjamb.

No, it’s not easy, this leaving. It’s heartrending. But if you stay present with it, you might notice some gifts:

1) All those little things you’ve lost over the past ten years? You’re about the find them, dusty but intact, behind the fridge, under the bed, in the corner beside the couch.

2) All the files you’ve sworn you’ll purge, the boxes of photos you said you’d organize, the bathroom drawers you’ve never actually cleaned out: done.

3) You get to take only the things you really want into your new place, into your new life.

4) Yes, you might need to let go of some of the things you really want. But then you get to realize how easily you can live without them, without most of the things, really, if you have to.

5) Yes, you’ll probably run across some treasures that squeeze your heart a bit too tightly—a snapshot of the two of you that you don’t remember seeing before, in which you look so relaxed together, so at ease. But isn’t that okay? To feel the tenderness of leaving, the tenderness of change?11951274_10206492799830811_5008386047195455950_n

6) You’ll also find artifacts from your life before—like the origami crane a student once placed, wordlessly, in your hand. And you will hold it again now, just as you did then, watching it as if that bird will, at any second, lift its wings and fly away.

7) And then you’ll remember yes, there was a life before all this confusion and struggle and unsettling change. And this will lead you to believe yes, there will be an after. And that thought: it won’t always be like this; there will be an after–it will arrive like revelation, over and over again, in the cloudy, weary, sometimes numb moments, as you move your way, box by box, into your new life.



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  1. Deborah Goldstein says:

    I’m so grateful you shared this moment, these thoughts, this beautiful ache. Wishing you an easy transition and much joy in the after.

  2. I love this article. You shine a patient, thoughtful, hopeful light on another one of life’s dark and tricky moments. You show how it can be a catalyst for growth and insight. I like the way Deborah put it . . . a beautiful ache. Thank you!

  3. When I was in this kind of space, I used to talk to myself as if the present were the past tense. I would say “remember when [horrible, difficulty] was happening? Wow, that was really hard!” Silly maybe, but it reminded me that Now is not All.

    • Sometimes silly wins the day. I’ve used lines from Kimmy Schmidt, too: “We’re not really here” works surprisingly well! As does, “I can do anything for ten minutes!”

  4. Pingback: Divorce Sucks: The Birthday Episode - VillageQ

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