When Your Heart Is In Two Places, and You’re Forced to Choose

a hand reaching out of a packed moving box
Image by Betsssssy / CC BY

A few days ago, I visited Dallas-Fort Worth for the first time. I’ve lived in Cleveland for about eight years now, having relocated here from Maine. But dream jobs happen when they happen, and they show up where they show up.

And the new dream job is in DFW. So it’s going to be home shortly.

I was pretty nervous prior to going there. My partner had visited the area interviewing for a new job and told me that I’d love it there.

And while I trust my partner’s judgment a lot, it’s different hearing about a place from someone else. You never know how you’ll feel when you get there.

It didn’t help that I’ve been fed a steady stream of stereotypes about Texas for pretty much my entire life. None of which seemed to have anything to do with me… growing up in Maine with French-Canadian heritage makes you pretty damn Yankee for even a Yankee. And Texas is not only in the Bible belt — it is arguably its belt buckle.

I couldn’t fathom how I could fall in love with it.

But life is funny. I totally did.

As I’m sitting and writing this in my mostly packed house in Cleveland, I miss Dallas.

I Loved Texas Much More Than I Expected To

I was told by those who have actually been there that the cities in Texas are different than the country. Ohio’s like that, too, so I probably should have known. You have some place that’s super socially liberal like Cleveland and it’s only when you venture off into the wilderness that you encounter the “Hell Is Real” people.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Dallas-Fort Worth is basically its own territory plopped down within Texas. Seriously, it’s freaking huge — roughly the size of Connecticut.

I Found a New Home

Our goal when visiting wasn’t simply just to introduce me to the place but also to find a home.

And we did.

When we stood in it together, my partner and I both knew that this was it. This was the place. We were home.

Part of me didn’t want to leave.

Simultaneously Living Both Places and Nowhere At All

It’s a weird state of affairs. A strange limbo.

I love the house that I’m sitting in while I write this. The one that I’m clearing out, cleaning, renovating, preparing for sale. The one in Cleveland.

Until last night, I hadn’t felt much of anything. No sadness about leaving my home of eight years. I’ve been far too focused on executing tasks, barreling through the daily to-do list, and creating the next one from what has fallen into place.

But last night all of that changed. It was at an insultingly mundane moment, too. When my partner was taking down the shelves in the dining room that we’d made together. I’d stained them, he’d hung them up on the wall.  Utilitarian extra storage for us, they need to come down for the staging when the house is shown.

“You don’t need the buyer looking at those and saying, ‘Huh, guess there wasn’t enough cabinet space. I guess there really isn’t much,'” a realtor observed.

It’s funny by the way — how much of selling a house is about appealing to irrational gut instincts of the buyers (or at least avoiding the negative effects of them). And how little is about making it the most functional home it can be.

But yeah. As my partner took those silly shelves down off the wall, I burst into tears. I was so emotional that he came over and held me for a while.

It’s the stupid moments that get you when you’re selling a house. For him, it was the moment when I dug up all the onions from the garden, the ones we’d been growing for several years, harvesting the green onion tops from them. They had to go to make way for flowers that would give the house “curb appeal.”

I’ll miss this place, even though I’m excited about our new place in Texas.

It’s an odd state of affairs. I’m in love with two homes.

And because I’m not made of money, I’m forced to choose.

But until the house in Ohio sells, I feel like I have a foot in both worlds. Like I simultaneously live both places and nowhere at all. Like my loyalties are divided.

I haven’t felt this way since I was monogamous and torn between feelings for one person and feelings for another.

It’s a little different, I suppose… since homes don’t have feelings the way people do. Don’t have free will.

We owe them different consideration.

But it doesn’t feel as different as one might expect.

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My new book is out!

Dealing with Difficult Metamours, the first book devoted solely to metamour relationships, full of strategies to help you get along better with your partners’ other partner(s).

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