We closed escrow yesterday on our home of over 20 years. The new owners will move in within the next couple days, marking the next chapter in both our lives and the story of the nearly 100-year old house on Whitney Street.
Congratulations poured in from our realtor and our friends. It was no small feat to sell a house in a down market, during a pandemic, from 8 time zones away. It was a harrowing and stressful ride, with a reasonably satisfying ending. Yet I feel a deep sense of loss and grief.
By most outside observations it was clear that I was ready to leave SF. Over two decades of fog, cold, and dampness (not to mention unbearably heavy traffic & feeling increasingly unsafe) had taken their toll on me.
Despite the love-hate relationship I had with SF, I loved that house. I looked at 25 houses before picking that one. My mom helped me move in on her 60th birthday. Over the next 20 years, I curated a life there—from a complete design of a dream kitchen to assembling friends over epic meals and hosting friends’ children for cooking classes.
A home is more than a place to store your stuff and take a shower. It is refuge, sanctuary. It literally and figuratively holds you and your life.
It is both a place where you gather and where you seek solitude.
It is where I spent countless hours cooking with my mom, telling stories. It’s where G & I laughed with our neighbors until tears ran down our faces, our ridiculous glittered New Year’s Eve party hats askew. It was the home of Tavolavila. The walls were a gallery of long ago black and white memories. It’s where I built and nurtured my business.
It was also where I bore deep, heartbreaking sorrow.
The closure of this chapter is made more difficult because we have no roadmap for the next one. It may be romantic and adventurous. But it’s also unnerving, unsettling.
What I do know is this: community is essential. Your space matters. Thank you, Whitney.