When was born, I was brought to a decently-sized house that I would live in for the next 20 years. Now, it's time to say goodbye.
I grew up with two parents, my sister, and always at least one cat. I always knew that if I was bored I could just walk right outside and run around for hours. I was loved for, happy, and healthy.
This isn't the story of how that changed, but rather a story of the happy memories before and after it did.
As a child, I was aware of where I lived. Not living near my friends was the price I paid for having a huge yard, but that huge yard gave me so many memories.
When I was younger, my birthday party was one of the big events of the year for my 20-person elementary class. My parents made sure it was huge October event, complete with hayrides, scavenger hunts, and painting pumpkins. I remember looking through magazines all year trying to pick out which toys I wanted to give my guests. After all these years, I don't remember the presents I got, but I still remember all the good times I had. Almost 15 years later, some of my classmates still remind me of how funny some of our adventures were. (Hey, Aaron.)
That yard was my practice mat for years of cheerleading and gymnastics. I can't tell you how many times I hurt myself, but I also can't tell you how many times I finally hit the jump or trick that I was going for.
When I got mad at my parents, I'd run outside and hide in one of our numerous trees. At that time in my life, I thought I was connected to nature on "another level," and it always made me feel better.
But inside, my house had just as much to offer. Inside I experienced most of the worst heartbreaks of my life but also some of the happiest moments.
I can't share every story I've had in my house because clearly that'd be much too long for an Odyssey article, but I can say one thing: I'm gonna miss that house like hell.
For 20 years it has been my safe haven and one of the only places I can virtually get to with my eyes closed. I'm not sure if that will ever change. (Quite honestly, I think I'll accidentally drive there when I go to visit my family.)
Now, though, after 20 years, both I and my family are moving out. Myself into my first apartment, and all of them into a home better suited for our needs.
Thank you for giving me 20 long years of support, even when you were kind of falling apart.
My last visit will be in about one week, and I'm dreading it, but I'm also excited for my future ahead. Because like so many say, if you keep looking back, you'll never move forward.
Goodbye, home. Goodbye, Republic, Ohio.