To the house that raised me:

I opened the garage door, walked up the familiar back steps and went inside my bedroom of 16 years. I looked around and saw the suitcases and boxes that scattered all along the floor, and that’s when it hit me. That’s when I finally realized I was going to be moving 300 miles away. That’s when I accepted I was going to have to try and establish a new sense of “home” in a new place, with new people. That’s when I understood it was time to say goodbye to the house that raised me.

I took you for granted. I slammed your doors and spilled on your carpets. I ran into the garage with the side of the car when I wasn’t paying attention. I tore up your grass when I wanted to go sledding down the hill one more time, even though all the snow had melted. I scuffed your floors when I dragged the chairs to the dinner table, despite mom telling me not too. I flooded your tubs and nailed holes into your walls. I took you for granted, and you gave me so much.

You gave me the nights my friends would all pile in the tv room and we would laugh until we cried at ridiculous reality shows. You gave me the dinners I shared with my family that lasted hours, just talking about our days. You gave me a street to learn how to ride a bike all by myself. You gave me afternoons when my dad would make us all help clean the attic or organize the garage. You gave me a place to come when I felt scared. You gave me a place to learn when I made mistakes. You gave me a place to grow and become who I am today. You gave me a home.

But now the time has finally come to load up the car and travel those 300 miles. You’ve watched me fail, you’ve watched me succeed, and now you will have to watch me leave. I am thankful for every memory and every moment I had in that brick house on a hill. Thank you for giving me a place to grow up in; thank you for giving me a home.