My parents moved out of my childhood home yesterday.
16 years of memories cleaned up in 9.5 hours of loading and unloading.
And despite what I try telling myself (usually along the lines of "man up, woman. You haven't lived there in two years; heck you haven't lived in the same city for two years!"), I am really upset about it. It's hit me to my core.
The movers probably thought I was nuts because I literally spent almost the entire day (and my dad's entire data allowance) Facetime-ing with my family to watch every single boring second (hence no blog post yesterday). I literally instructed them to leave me on windowsills throughout the house so I could watch them cleaning, packing and loading all those memories in all those boxes to move away.
But I had a very valid, emotional and psychological reason for it (my mother's a Psychologist. I checked).
I am a home body.
My home has always been my base, and to see it being emptied out and handed to some new (very nice) young family hurt.
It hurt a lot.
Sure, I have been in and out of that house for almost 6 years now, stopping in from my various gap months and years before university before leaving for good to move interstate with my husband. But it's always been there for me, like a beacon of light at the end of long tunnels waiting to invite me home.
It has always been my safe space, my refuge from the big bad world, my point of relaxation where I can be me without the stresses and worries of everyday life (the backyard pool certainly helped with all of that). It's where I got my period, first experimented with makeup and recovered from severe bullying in Primary school.
My room is where I would sit late into the night watching YouTube, Facetime-ing my now husband and planning my wedding.
It's seen my engagement, my wedding and my beautiful daughter. It's been with me through thick and thin, there, my ultimate sanctuary.
For my family, saying goodbye to the house was hard, yes (my sister told me she cried the first time she showered in the new place last night because it wasn't our bathroom), but they have the excitement of a new home to keep them busy. Unpacking, setting up and renovating are occupying their time and providing them with a fresh new start.
I don't have that. I will have never lived in this new place, never called it home. It will be their home, never mine.
Of course, home is where the heart is and my heart is there with my family (and here with my husband and daughter), but my memories of everyday living is gone. Every time I go I will be creating new memories, but I will never have those old memories infused into the walls. I will never know the sounds of my father walking along the corridor as well as I did at home; I will never know the rythym of my mother on the stairs or the dog running to the door. Those sounds are gone, replaced with new sounds that will never be as intimate and familiar.
All of this, all of these thoughts and emotions have made me come to the realisation - more than anything else including getting married, moving away and having a baby - that I have grown up. I, like my house, have moved on. My family and I are always going to be tight and close knit but we are moving in separate directions. Our lives are carrying us forward and evolving separately from one another. And that's a good thing.
Change is good.
Growing up is good.
Difficult. But good.
Let me know if you are like me when it comes to change, or if you embrace it and seek it! I would love to hear from you.