Over the last few months, the fact that I don’t have a ‘childhood home’ to go back to has been hitting me hard.
When Andrew & I began dating, and I went to his parents’ house for the first time, I stepped into the time-warp that was his bedroom. He had grown up in that house, and could tell me stories from when he was little. Maybe it’s because I live 3000 miles away from the apartment where I grew up but it made me even more homesick.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve been doing my best to make D.C. feel more like home than it has.
Funny thing about living in an area for 15 years is that there are days the memories around every corner begin to overwhelm you and make you want to run. The next thing you know, you’re walking past a building that used to make your heart stop without even acknowledging it. You feel a familiar twinge subconsciously but not enough to make you stop and re-live any memories.
Because you’re only passing it on your way to your new apartment where your fiance is waiting for you.
I’ve lived in the area long enough to celebrate my birthday at the same restaurant 4 years in a row because I was a lunch regular; long enough to memorize the street cleaning schedule and know when it changed; long enough to spend 6 years commuting from VA every day; long enough to pinpoint my comfort zones; long enough to know where to go for avoiding familiar faces; long enough to call it home.
There are memories that hit me every time I stepped foot outside my door.
Memories that would catch me off-guard if I wasn’t paying attention.
Memories that drowned me in tears.
Memories that made me avoid certain parts of town.
Those memories have been pushed to the past where they belong, by the new memories I’ve made by moving forward.
I learned that the best way to move on isn’t to run away from the memories. They’ll still be there waiting for you when you get back. The best way to move on is to continue living and making new memories.
Now when I run into familiar faces, they can tell, without even speaking a word, that I’m not that same girl.
They may see me in a familiar place from a dark period in my life but know that I am just passing by.
I may not have a physical home that holds my life between its walls. When I have a child, I won’t be able to take them to the house I grew up in – but I’m learning to be OK with that.
Home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart will always be in D.C.
*This is my 500th post on this website. Thanks to all of you who have been reading, whether it’s been a day or 2 years. Much love to you all.*