Saying goodbye is hard. Whether you are saying goodbye to a person, a place, or the past, it’s something I don’t think you can ever be prepared for. It sends you on an emotional roller coaster down memory lane that is filled with mental pictures of moments that have somehow sculpted you into the person you are today.
A few weeks ago I said goodbye to my first apartment, but more than that, I said goodbye to the person I was in that apartment. I said goodbye to the life that I created and the life that I lived in that apartment. It was the first time I had ever lived by myself, and more than that, it was the first time I lived in a city where I knew no one. A part of me grew up in that apartment. I discovered who I am and what I want out of life in that apartment.
Iranian author Azar Nafasi once said “You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you will never be this way ever again.” I find this to be very true. I have never felt so far from myself as I have since I moved back to Rocky Mount. It’s weird. It’s as if I don’t fit in here anymore. I decided to move back in with my parents now that I have graduated and I couldn’t feel more out of place. The house I grew up in, no longer feels like home. I look around and, while everything is familiar and comfortable, it’s not mine. It doesn’t have my furniture, my sounds, or my decorating style and it isn’t filled with the smells I love; the scents that made my apartment unique. I feel like I’m on an extended vacation in someone else’s home.
I don’t feel like myself either. It’s almost like I feel trapped in this place and I’m fighting my way out. After living on my own for a few years, having alone time is something I got use to, something I fell in love with, and something I will crave for the rest of my life. There is something serene about the peace and quiet. There’s no better healing powers. It’s just me and my thoughts. I have lost that since I moved back home. There is always someone around. Always. And they can’t just let me be. They always have something to say. I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is have some tea and think about the day ahead. Instead I’m followed into the kitchen by someone who wants to have a conversation with me that it is way too early to have. I get home at the end of the day and it’s the same thing. And there is no such thing as quiet. From the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night there are TV’s blaring all over the house, phones ringing everywhere, and someone constantly calling my name. And sometimes it just gets too much and I just want to scream. And sometimes I do yell. It’s not that I mean to, it’s that I can’t take it anymore and it sort of just happens. I love my family more than anything in the world, that’s why I moved back home, but I’m not the same person I was before. Going to college, surrounding myself with people from all different walks of life, learning new things, having new experiences, and not going home and being subjected to my parents ways of thinking every day has allowed me to form my own views and my own opinions and I’m starting to see that they don’t always coincide with the views and opinions of my parents. Things that matter to me don’t necessarily matter to them. I also began doing things my own way, and now I like those things to be done a certain way; a way they do not do them. And it drives me crazy. And sometimes I get the feeling that living at home is pushing me backwards and that scares me. It scares me because I know that staying where I’m at will not help me grow into the person I am meant to be. And I now realize that sometimes growth is painful, and so is change, but nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.