There comes a time when you have to say goodbye.
Goodbye to people we've met, goodbye to things we've lost or broken, goodbye to things we've outgrown.
But there is nothing like saying goodbye to the place you grew up.
The place that saw your first steps, and your first kiss on the porch. The place that dried all the tears from the scrapes and bruises on the outside, and inside. The place that watched you literally grow up.
Overtime, a house molds and changes as much as the family living inside it does. It takes on a certain smell that, even when you've been gone for months on end, the moment it fills your button nose you know you're home. The stairs develop creeks and squeaks in them from the years of running up and down them, either in fun or rush. And those very same squeaks and creeks are the dead giveaways you missed curfew years later. The living room couch that was once the only mountain you were able to stand on because the ground was lava becomes the very same place you and your mom spill all the gossip. The room you've slept in from day one changes colors over the years, but it's the only place that knows the deepest and darkest secrets of your soul, and keeps them hidden for you in its walls like a best friend. Your house becomes a home.
Saying goodbye to a place that means so much can be both liberating and heartbreaking. Liberating in the sense that you are starting fresh; you are pulling out a blank canvas, and you can paint it any color with any design. You can make your new house a part of your new beginning. Heartbreaking because you are leaving a huge part of you in a place that you can never go back to. You are losing a piece of you to the soil that holds the foundation sturdy on the ground. You are leaving memories and moments that make up you and your family.
You are also saying goodbye to the neighborhood you grew up in. It may not have been the safest, or the friendliest, but you could navigate that road with your eyes shut. Every bump, pothole, and turn. You could give a detailed description of every house in the surrounding area, cars included, in a heartbeat. You knew everyone else's schedules based on the time the cars pulled into driveways and lights shut off at night. That road is just as much a part of your house as you are. The people, too. They say it takes a village to raise a child, right?
Leaving something behind is always scary, and a little sad, but there comes a time when that very same house is no longer the best place for your family. Yes, it will always be your home, but it may not be the best home for you at the moment. Maybe taking that hunch and moving across the country turned out to be the best decision for you. Or, letting your parents downsize because they can't afford the same place it better on them.
That house will always be apart of you, and even though you may not realize it, you will always be apart of that house too.
So, while you're still there, take a minute to thank it for always being there for you. For being the best friend, guardian, confidant, and shelter you could have asked for. Now, take a deep breath and remember that feeling you shared. Hold on to it tight.
Goodbye, Russia Road. I'll miss you forever.