Twenty years ago today, the girl whose parents were certain they would have to sell with the house, moved out, and into her first apartment with her girlfriend.
Twenty years ago.
My parents sold that house almost 5 years ago. I didn’t go with it. In fact, I’ve never moved back home since I moved out. (Ok, there was one week during a rough relationship patch that I went home for a “visit”. But that doesn’t count.
That first apartment was huge. It wasn’t in the best part of town. It was actually a slum of an apartment with cockroaches, and an evil landlord. It had questionable tenants, one of whom tried to burn it down when he was evicted. That prompted a move to a new apartment less than a year into this first one. A place we felt safer. A place I lived in for 6 years. A place that had a possessed bathroom that always had a flood. But my life changed, and grew, in those years. Relationships fell apart, and new ones were created.
Six years later I moved into a place with Shawn. We were robbed. We got married. Our place burned down.
We lived for a year in my in-laws’s basement.
We bought a house. We had two dogs. We still own this house, but now have two different dogs.
In this home we own, we have had downs and ups. We have grieved. We have laughed. We have grown together as a couple.
I have a lovely new kitchen.
Twenty years ago, one month before I turned 22, I moved out of my parents’ home and began my own life as a person.
I have made mistakes. I have learned so much. I have loved, lost, and lived.
This may seem like a trivial thing to most. An odd milestone to mark, but for me, a girl with anxiety so bad she couldn’t sleep anywhere except her own bedroom, this is an epic anniversary to celebrate. I still feel like a kid, scared of the dark, and the realization that 20 years have passed since I LEFT home is bewildering.
About two weeks after moving out we had a major ice storm here. Something that will also be celebrating a 20th anniversary soon. It was awful. Everything was ice. People were without electricity for weeks (or months!) And I survived that, as well as so much more in the past 20 years.
I do sort of hope that the next 20 years have fewer challenges though. Fewer challenges, and more whimsy. That’s what I hope for!