Quite literally, my entire life is in a box right now. Well, a series of boxes to be truthful – but they are all stacked neatly in the attic closet, with labels that are mostly truthful. I spent the whole of yesterday, and a good portion of this very early morning, finishing (ahem – starting) packing. I left this morning on a red-eye flight to New York City for training for my new job. Ok, so I didn’t leave a midnight, so that is not a technical “red eye-flight” – but trust me, my eyes were red at 6:25am as our plane left the ground in the rain. And not just from staying up all night, but from the amount of crying I have already done!! I am just going to be in New York for three weeks, and leaving this morning was immensely harder than I ever thought. As I pulled the final bag out of my room around 2:15am – I looked around my now very empty room – that was my home for two years – which is longer than I have lived in any one location for over 8 years! The only things that remained were my bed, which was on the floor, since my parents took my bedframe back to Florida with them last month, and my calender hanging on the wall. I cannot begin to describe what a sad feeling I had in my soul last night. I know that God is leading my next foot steps, and they just happen to be taking me to Hong Kong – but I have loved my life in Kentucky. I have made some amazingly wonderful friends, I have a fantastic boyfriend, the world’s sweetest (if not dumbest) dog, and a house that felt like home. I had a home that I painted, decorated, bought furniture for, worked on the landscaping, mowed the lawn, chatted with the neighbors, hosted cook-outs and surprise parties. There were overnight guests, international potlucks, Thanksgiving dinners, movie nights, dog-fests and the house to hang out at after work. My home was a place people felt welcomed, and I loved playing the host. I had a terrific roommate, Nathan, who was more than just a roommate – he was a friend, a brother, yes, a trouble-maker at times, but always a source of both laughter and comfort when I needed it most.
Now I am sitting in a Columbia University dorm room, staring at the hole in my wall that overlooks the noisy street below, waiting for the other interns to arrive, and I am missing home. But then the pain hits, my home is all packed up in a box; my room – my quiet, peaceful, green bedroom, is being painted over to make room for the next person. My dog is getting ready to move to Nashville, and my roommate and boyfriend are learning what life after Liz is like. It is hard to imagine not living in the cute little white house with the red door on Rosemill. It is hard to imagine not coming home to a herd of dogs and a DVR of Friends and a bowl of ice cream waiting. It is especially hard to imagine not spending my days with Kris or Nathan, or the other wonderful friends in Kentucky who have filled the last four years of my life with such joy! I know the next 18 months will be hard, challenging, exciting and wonderful, but I just have to take this moment to remember – and be a little sad, for what I am leaving behind…an attic full of boxes and a heart full of memories.