I remember the house I grew up in as if I still tip toed through the halls every morning. I remember the room I shared with my sister, with the bunkbed pushed in to the corner. My parent's bedroom down the hall, where I sat with my father to watch "just one more" episode of Rugrats. The kitchen where I watched my mom cook. The living room where my father's radio sat in the corner. The basement where I would rollerblade and catch the kitten curled up in the corner. The long gravel driveway where I taught myself to ride without training wheels. Right by the back yard where we laid the slip and slide and played in imaginary tree houses. I remember it all. The moments on the front porch, pushing each other through the snow on a giant shovel, watching our sheltie, Princess, chase the bus down the road. I remember shaking in the basement as tornadoes rumbled outside. I remember waiting impatiently in the middle of the bedroom floor on Christmas morning. I remember all the birthdays and all the holidays, the sleepovers and the timeouts. I remember it all, all the way up to our last day; I remember sitting in the back of our van with tears streaming down my face as we said goodbye to our Princess. It's all right there, as if I'm still living it -- but I'm not. I said goodbye to that home, those memories and spaces fifteen years ago. I found new crawl spaces, new basement corners, new bookshelves, new imaginary tree houses, new backyards, new swing sets, and new faces in it all. Then I would come to leave those behind, but only to, once again, find new ones.
I am only twenty-two and my heart aches with missing faces and spaces. Little moments still frozen, embedded in my soul -- but I can't get them back. I am only twenty-two, and I am afraid of what else may slip into this echoing abyss. My rib cage echoes with sorrow of goodbyes and forgotten words. I ache for the words not spoken, and the hearts that slipped right by.
Here's the truth.
There is no cure to growing up. No pixie dust to bring us to a place where goodbyes don't have to happen -- but there is today. There is the right now, and it we are lucky enough to realize that, we will also be the lucky ones that won't get lost in the midst of the inevitable growing up and saying goodbye to faces and spaces.
We can be the ones who dance and love and grow and give and fight. We can be the ones who don't fear saying goodbye; the ones who welcome every new face and every new space. We can look back and laugh and glow and burst with love for the moments we did have; we will not drown in what we did not get, and we will not lie in the fields we did not plant. We will bloom and we will thrive -- with every goodbye and with every hello.
That's the thing, sometimes we will have to say goodbye, and sometimes we will get to say hello. Life gives us great adventures in both, so don't get lost in the sorrow and regrets.
I may miss that little home I grew up in, and I may miss that little girl I once was -- but when I look at who I am and where I am today, I am thankful for the goodbyes I had to venture through. I am okay with the new faces and spaces I had to find. And I will be okay when another goodbye trickles through my soul.
we will be okay.
I am only twenty-two, and I have come to say goodbye to many faces and spaces -- but no matter how many I have said goodbye to, there was always a new one to welcome me home. There will always be a new one to welcome us home.
It is still a great sorrow that goodbyes have to exist, and an even greater one that we don't always get one - but we venture on, and we get to say hello to something new and something wild.