A Letter to My Childhood House

House, you are the only place I can ever really remember living. We built you when I was young, and I remember watching as you were assembled. I remember exploring you, climbing over your unfinished pieces, and balancing on the beams that held you together. I remember the first time I ever stayed in you. I felt safe and content, like this was exactly where I was supposed to be. I think I loved you from the very beginning.

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House, I always thought that you were the place I would return to when I was older. I thought you would ground me, no matter where I was, that my parents would never leave you, and I would always have a home to come back to. But that isn’t the way life works. I know that now. I understand it. Sometimes we have to leave, even when everything in us is telling us to stay. It doesn’t make it easier to leave you, House, but in the end, it makes it all right.

House, you saw me through every one of my embarrassing stages — through the days when I was obsessed with ghosts and all things supernatural, through the times when all I could talk or think about was Lost, and through every one of my poorly written, painfully embarrassing diary entries about boys in elementary, middle, and yes, even high school.

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A new couple is moving in soon, and perhaps they’ll have children who can grow up here. House, you can be the place you were for me for a new generation of kids. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Imagining that these walls will help raise others and give them glorious memories like the ones I have makes it easier to leave.

House, within your walls so many moments changed my life. I watched shows and movies that would inspire me to pursue a career in filmmaking. I fell in and out of love with more songs, people, and places I hadn’t yet been than I can count. I read and wrote and learned about myself. This is where I grew up. I turned into a woman within these walls, and I’ll never forget the influence of this place, this county that I usually felt like I hated, but always loved somewhere deep in my heart.

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Dear House, I know that moving away from you isn’t the end of the world. My life will go on. I’ll move to the places I’ve always dreamed of moving to, and, hopefully, I’ll do the things I’ve always dreamed of doing. You won’t be there to see it. But I promise, House, that I’ll never forget you.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be back in this place. I would like to say that I will, but life is unpredictable and promises are hard to keep. But even if I don’t make it back, I’ll keep you in my heart, dear House that I grew up in. I’ll remember my best moments and my worst ones, the times that defined me and the times that taught me all the things I believe. I’ll keep growing, House. I’ll keep learning and living and loving the next place that I settle. But you, House, you will always be my Home. No matter where I go in my life, it’s you that I’ll think of when someone asks me where my home is. It’s you I’ll tell them about.

To the House I grew up in: Thank you. I owe so much of it to you.

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