When we split, when Hanne said she was leaving, moving to Massachusetts, as we negotiated the split (financial, property, what have you), I was inclined to be generous. When I spoke with mutual friends, I was still inclined to be generous, and like any dynamic system, I also had folks who vehemently disagreed. It’s hard to fight with your friends about your ex, hard to fight for doing it the right way, the generous way, the kind way. Some folks who are “on your side” will argue for doing very cruel things. I know they do it out of love. They do it out of love for me and they can’t stand to see me hurting.
There are too many factors and too many privacies to discuss here, but let’s say that most people would say that I’ve clearly expressed my generosity in the financial and material arrangements I made with Hanne during the split. This is founded both on compassion (because I do care about Hanne) and feminist politics/ethics (because my earning potential has been so much higher than Hanne’s for all of our relationship, because I can fix most missing things and problems with money, and she can’t, or not as easily as I can). Note that I am not saying I’m rich – I’m not – but my career in IT will allow me to make enough to care for my elders and should also see me well through my own retirement, and possibly even some loved ones too as we all get older.
I’d planned, before Hanne decided not, to spend the rest of my life with Hanne. So we’d accumulated the good, adult type solid wood heirloom furniture that we found at pretty good prices from a local furniture merchant. It’s made of renewable mahogany from Indonesia and shipped here after assembly there. And I had to sell or give most of it away as part of dealing with house sale prep. And I offered, as part of the split, almost all of the material goods in the house to Hanne if she wanted it. So she’s taken freely and I’m mostly okay with it.
So now that her PODS container is almost entirely packed, the house is almost entirely empty. I keep thinking “interstitial”, but it’s really like all the edges have bits and pieces of things in them. I have maybe 10 – 15 12x12x12 boxes of stuff with some additional things that are of odd sizes, to move. The bed is still here but it’s not going (I’ll dispose of it when I move for sure). Same with the 40″ TV (found a home for it) and a couple of pieces of heirloom furniture waiting to go to their new homes or into long term storage.
Most of my new life is in California. I remain here in Baltimore to see to moving my stuff and seeing to selling the house and then I’ll be gone. I don’t know if I’ll come back except for business (i’m working remotely for my current company once in California) and very occasional visits. But even then, I have a few of my own friends, certainly, but the folks I mostly made contacts with were through Hanne and I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in their lives without her. I guess we’ll see.
So for me it’s selling, then packing, then moving. Then cultivating myself in the Bay Area, cultivating new friendships, taking care of Mom and Dad and the property.
I think the worst part is being terrified of being lonely. Which is odd, since when I am actually alone, I’m not lonely. So maybe those are different things.