That’s all that’s left. I have 30 days until I move to a whole new city. A city of strangers. A city of adventures. A city that will change the course of my life.
It’s actually a little bittersweet.
I can still vividly recount the last night that my family and I spent in our childhood home. I had one more night to be Jessica from Arlington Heights. I spent that last night in my familiar room, in my familiar bed with one of my close, familiar friends, Bethany. The next day a new family would be moving in. A new person would be sleeping in my room. A new child growing up and measuring their height on the wall in pencil. A new dog running around in the backyard. A new family tradition in the living room. A new lazy Sunday on the balcony. A new life that was about to push us out.
I hated that house for so long. A chasm of events that are impossible to describe happened there. I lived through the best and worst times in that house. I was abused for years in that house. I had screaming matches with my mom in that house. I watched my family fall apart in that house. I watched my family pick up the pieces and recover in that house. I opened Christmas presents in that house. I watched my father walk away from us in that house. I watched my mother marry a monster in that house. I sang my heart out in that house. I had amazing pets in that house. I graduated from high school in that house.
I hated how much I was going to miss that house.
Laying there in the dark while my friend was asleep, I cried my eyes out in that house.
I guess you could hate something so familiar so much that when the time comes to let it go, it feels wrong.
I think now I realize that I’m so different from that teenager I used to be. I’ve managed to pick myself up, beat depression, survive a breakup, save money, turn my life around, plan everything out down to the last minute detail, and -for lack of a better term- get the fuck out of this small town.
Alright I probably could’ve thought of a better term, but I’m Jess and my middle name is crude so…
Though this town feels familiar, I don’t hate it. I just feel trapped by it. My roots have outgrown the pot and now I’m stuck not being able to grow and learn to my full potential.
I grew up a small town girl, but I am a city girl at heart.
What I failed to realize the next morning as I put the last boxes in the car and said goodbye to my house was that though a new family’s memories would eventually phase ours out, I now had the chance to do the same elsewhere. I’ve been here in Illinois since the day I was born, and now it’s time to move forward.
No matter what or who I leave behind… The show goes on.
Austin, TX. Khaleesi and I are on the horizon.
Get ready for me.