Moving Out Of Your Childhood Home
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Moving Out Of Your Childhood Home

What feels like the end is a new beginning.

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Moving Out Of Your Childhood Home
Madison Goldberg

On August 11, 2018, my family and I piled into a car and drove for 13 hours. But this wasn't just any drive. I was driving away from the house that I had lived in since I was five, in the one-square-mile New Jersey town that I called home.

This summer, my family moved out of my childhood home due to a job transfer that took us to the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. For a while, I felt disappointed--how could I be expected to leave everything at once? First, Nashville, and in a matter of weeks, college in Boston? I was full of fear--coming from a family that had deep roots in New York and New Jersey, the idea of moving to the South terrified me. It would be vastly different from anything I was accustomed to.

After much reflection, I realized that I wasn't so hesitant to leave the physical house, or even the town itself. It was the memories created there that made it feel harder to leave- but I could take those with me. After all, no one was telling me to forget these times, or let go of my feelings connected to these memories. It all began with childhood memories that my family helped to build during the many years we spent in Fanwood. The first day of schools, after-school clubs, holiday traditions, birthday celebrations, sleepovers, Christmas tree lightings, and summer movie nights in the park--that all came down to the creation of this very moment. So, I will choose not to forget the many laughs I had with friends at the local diner, or the bagels I went to pick up on Sunday mornings with my dad after church, or the after-school drives home filled with our favorite playlists and bad singing in the car on the way home. The English teacher from Liverpool who made going to English class enjoyable, and the tough yearbook advisor who helped me find my passion for journalism. The everyday ups and downs of life and the stories told through different viewpoints that people shared with me. Every moment that was ingrained in every day, the beautiful small things that became memorable with distance. The familiar sights and smells of my hometown will always feel like home to me.

I left town days before my 18th birthday. My friends gave me a mini birthday celebration and cards before I left because they wouldn't be able to celebrate with me on an actual day. One of my best friends wrote that "home is where the heart is--it is in every single person you gave a piece of your heart to." It reminded me that I have built homes in the people that I love--and they are not locations, they will come with me wherever I may go.

With this in mind, I drove on, knowing that it was time to move on to the next part of my own narrative. When I got to Tennessee, the first surprise was the sky. So vast and open, unobstructed by tall trees. The silence came next. No buzzing of airplanes overhead, or train whistles; just the occasional car. A blank slate that was completely unwritten. I wonder what this town will say to me.

My hometown was a small suburb of New York City--it was built around the train station, home to the train that took people to and from the city every single day. I suppose my whole life I have been living on the edge of something bigger than myself. Now, I have reached the precipice, and it's time for me to go on to find new stories--stories that belong to others, and some stories that will only belong to me, in cities where no one knows my name. Hopefully, someday, they will.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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