I have just gotten back from Colorado. Although it was filled with laughter, hiking, rock collecting, and ice-cream; there was something I wasn't quite ready for. That was saying goodbye to our house.

When I lived in Colorado, I had just gotten back from South Africa; it would be the last place my dad would ever be stationed, I would have my freshman year at a public school, I competitively swam, I found a passion for robotics, I sang for my church choir, I got my driver's permit, my baby sister Addie was born, my dad was deployed, I met Stephen. This, of course is among the "few"main events that happened. 

When I was fourteen and fifteen living there, I don't really remember any "good" this I do not blame on my father and step-mother, after all they were moving back to the US too, and they had their own stuff they were going through. But, for me, it was possibly the worst year of my life.

If you are not familiar with "Reverse Culture Shock Syndrome," and are planning on traveling outside of your home country, I ask you to come familiar with this term. Well, when I moved back, I was more South African that I was American; even if I am a US Citizen.

A few memories I have are, I made friends with a group of girls, and I began to play with their hair. Apparently, this is not a symbol of friendship in the US. I also stood at my desk, expecting my teacher to greet us, and tell us to sit; my teacher ended up sending me to the office to get a tardy slip. Not to mention, the classes were way easier, there were drugs involved in schools, people were meaner, etc; it felt as if I didn't fit in with anyone. I had one friend.

After that harsh year, I ended up moving to my mother's home which was overall better for me. Although I miss my baby siblings, I have had more success and happiness here despite whatever my other family might say.

After leaving that side of my family on not the greatest note, I made my voyage back home for the first time since last summer. Except this time was different, the house was practically empty, my step-mom and baby siblings were not even there at all, it was time to say goodbye.

As I was sitting in Starbucks two days ago, asking my mom what I should do, she told me I should write a post on leaving this house. At first, I was confused, she knew that I despised this time in my life, I had constant anxiety and depression. In fact, I wasn't sure I would write a post about this at all; growing up the military kid life, I was used to leaving houses and saying goodbye.

But that doesn't make it any easier.

When I got home that day, I looked around and started reliving memories. I saw different doodles of crayons on the wall, and thought of the moments my dad and step-mom would yell at them to stop, or the kitchen where so many arguments happened and my step-mom rushed out and left the house and I was left crying, the place where my dad slide against the wall and tears pushed out when he realized he would have to let me go to my moms and that it was better for me, the hallway where I threw up at 3 am and called my dad to clean it up, the bed where I cried for hours wondering if anyone cared, the closet that held my robotics goggles and choir dresses, the corner where my desk was when I first met Stephen. I think it hit me more than anything that there was so much that happened in that house. Two nights ago, when I laid down to sleep, all my pent up anger just flushed out of my system.

As I stepped out of the garage door for the last time, it represented a change that I was about to undergo that would alter the rest of my life. I have grown up. My dad is no longer in the military, this would be the last post I would ever live at. Pretty soon, I would be on my own in college pursuing my own dreams. This place represented the end of my childhood, and leaving represented the beginning of my adulthood.

So, filled with anxiety, I said goodbye to that part of my life; I said goodbye to that house. Nervously, I am stepping into adulthood, but I know God will lead me towards the newer chapters of my life.

Published by Ashley Chapman