The movers are here. The rip of packing tape and the rustle of paper fill the house, and I'm hiding away. I've come a long way (baby), but this is the part that I find really hard: watching what you until very recently called home being transformed, drained of your life.
In college, I remember sitting in my dorm room the first day, looking at the bare walls and wondering what the year would hold for me. My parents had dropped me off early, on a Saturday. The banks had closed, and I had no access to Canadian money (I had to open an account Monday morning.) After feeling up to my hairline while living with my family for so long and longing for a room of my own, that afternoon was one of the loneliest times of my life. My mom had packed an air freshner for me - Glade Country Garden scent. To this day, a whiff of it and I feel lonesome, and I can all but see myself perched on the twin bed, looking at a blank corkboard, while somewhere outside a lawnmower whined.
It was just as hard at the end of the year. Packing up my things, saving for very last the task I dread - taking down the posters. When those come down, it's really over. The room returns to its original state. You have to face that you don't live there anymore, and that someone else will the next year.
This time around, I'm not doing the dismantling. I sat and had a good look at "the first home I ever owned" before the movers came. I made my peace. And then I scurried away and hid in the spare bedroom so that I wouldn't get in the way, and so that I couldn't watch.
The ship has been launched, California here I come (right back where I started from.)