I looked around my childhood bedroom one last time. It was the morning of my return flight back to Denver, back to the life I had built 1,000 miles away from this one. I walked around the room trying to sear into my memory every inch of its strange shape. The vaulted ceilings and big windows. The area that once housed my desk. My tiny closet that still held some of my past in it, waiting for donation or to be sent to the landfill. Memories flashed into my mind: pacing my room while talking to my best friend on the landline in a language that only we seemed to understand; typing away on my computer wondering if I could actually become an author when I grew up; smoothing out the comforter on my bed while listening to my mom reciting advice from her library of life experience. This was the space that lodged the aches, pains, and joys of my growing up. Not enough room. Not enough time.
It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it? Being in a space you know you will never return to for the last time. I wish I could freeze that moment and hold onto it like a totem or heirloom. This is a long and eventful chapter in my life that is coming to a close. Should I save the contents inside the countless boxes my mom put together? What about the various notebooks I used to spend hours writing in? What will I remember from the time spent surrounded by these walls?
I like to imagine that when my dad got off the phone, he smiled, closed his eyes, and sighed a deep breath of relief. After a long, exhausting search, he finally accepted the offer for his dream job. He and my mom would be relocating to sunny Boca Raton, Florida, which had always been a dream of theirs; trade in their winter coats, hats, and gloves for an endless summer.
When the news dropped to my brothers and me that our parents would be moving to Florida, I didn’t know what to think initially. A variety of emotions arrived: there was the shock of excitement, the dull pain of nostalgia, and the slow bleed of sadness. The usual suspects that knock on the door, suitcases at the ready, whenever a momentous change is underway.
There are so many wonderful things on the horizon for my parents and it’s exciting to see that unfold. But there is also a part of me that is a bit sorrowful that we’ll be uprooting our deep, seasoned Cleveland roots.
This last time back home, it was bizarre watching my parents experience the same series of emotions I did before I flew off to Colorado. Is this the last time I’ll do this thing with these people? When will I be here next? How much time do we have left?
It’s funny how many of us are in such a rush to take the next step in our lives, whether that be in our relationships, careers or what have you. It’s important to have ambition and goals and hopes and dreams, but it’s also important to not rush through life too fast. It took me a few years packed with mistakes, successes, tragedies, and lessons learned to make that sliver of life advice stick. The most important thing we can do is to be present.
I grabbed the doorknob of my bedroom door and peered around the room one last time. I hesitated slightly before I flipped the lightswitch and walked out the door.
Author: Kat Ambrose
Author Bio: Kat is a twenty-something aspiring writer living in Denver. She lives with her boyfriend and their succulents.
Link to social media or website: https://www.kat-ambrose.com/