I’m sitting in the living room of my childhood home. My family dog, Wayne, is snoring to the left of me, and the wind makes a familiar whoosh sound through the open back door.
Just three more days until I head back to school, and I’m in denial that I’m going to be a junior in college. I look back and realize how slowly the days go by, yet how quickly the years fly. And here I am, back at home, just days before a new school year, packing up my childhood bedroom.
My mom’s selling our house. It’s a long, complicated, and sad story, but it’s time to let it go. I’ve known all summer. And I live on my own now, in the city, somewhat distanced and removed from the suburban life I grew up in. I still have enormous amounts of stuff in my childhood bedroom. It’s ridiculous how much one can accumulate in a mere 20 years. I feel like a hoarder.
I’ve told myself time and time again that I’ll come home and clean out my room. It’s a daunting task, true, but for more emotional reasons than anything else. I’m packing up my life, letting the stagers come in and take over my bedroom, so they can turn it into something entirely different to sell it to some new family. So they can build new memories and new stories in-between these four walls.
I didn’t have the perfect childhood, but I was a very happy child. I saw a lot of pain and struggle, but I was a very happy child. I witnessed a lot of neglect and abuse, but I was a very happy child.
As I put years of elementary, middle, and high school into boxes, I think about how lucky I have been to have a home to create so many memories in. Good or bad, these memories have shaped me. And I think I’m starting to like who I am.
I’m feeling grateful for not only this home, but my wonderful, eccentric, and slightly disturbed little family that made this house a home. As I grow and learn and begin anew, I’m starting to realize regardless where I rest my head at night, my home is always with them.