I just got back from my lawyer's office. I was there to pick up the final paperwork from the sale of my house. Also, I picked up a very large check. It is a check that means I will be free of debt, completely. As in, I will not owe a single cent to anyone. This check will give me security for the first time in years. This check means I will not have to live on Ramen noodles. This check means I can enjoy a dinner out without thinking the whole time about how, when the check comes, my boyfriend will pay and I will feel lousy. This check means I can finally take him out for dinner. I will be able to pay all my bills on time. I will not have to ignore the constant phone calls from creditors. I will be able to sleep at night instead of lying in bed in a near-panic thinking about how I'm going to pay my gas bill. And yet.... I'm sad.

Selling my house is the last step in separating from my ex. We own the house together. We've been separated for over two years, and the split was (mostly) amicable. We bought this house when we moved to Chicago six years ago. The move, and the house, were so promising at the time. Out relationship had been a bit cold for a while, and I thought the move would help improve things. It didn't. The house is a beautiful old Greystone in a ridiculously nice neighborhood, but it needed a little work. Which was great, because that is ex's forte. Six years later, nothing had been done. It was depressing, and it was frustrating. It's a big part of why the relationship finally ended after 16 years. This house represents all the failed aspirations and un-achieved dreams I had when I moved here. There are so many memories - both good and bad - associated with this house, and I'm sad that I will soon be leaving.

My friends keep talking about how I can finally get some "closure" once the house is sold. I don't really get this. What does this even mean? That this part of my life will be "closed?" I don't want "closure." My ex was a part of my life for 16 years. Though I wasn't happy for all of those years, I still treasure them. I learned so much, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without them. I've moved on in terms of my romantic life - I have a wonderful, caring, amazing boyfriend - but my ex is still part of my life. Not physically. I haven't even spoken to him for weeks, and that was only to discuss house-related issues. Everybody says "He'll always have a place in your heart." I don't think so. I don't love him, and haven't for several years. I'm not even sure I like him. He does not have a place in my heart. Sure, he has a place in my memory, but not my heart. I'll always remember how I felt in our relationship. How I felt less attractive, not as smart, not as witty. I was always made to feel "What does Ex see in RedLineRanger?" I will carry that with me for the rest of my life. I don't want to ever forget how that felt.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here. I'm so happy that the final tie between me and Ex is severed, but it's also sad. I'm sad for all the things that could have been, for the dreams I had that never happened. I'm sad that I was so unhappy for so long. I am sad, yes, but I will never close that part of my life off. I will never forget what it felt like to be in a loveless relationship. I will never forget the feeling of freedom I had when we finally ended our relationship. I will never forget the day I realized I deserved better, that I deserved happiness. I don't want "closure." I want to remember. I want to remember so I never find myself in the same situation. Ever.