Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dear Cottage

How do I even begin this? You have been my safe place, my refuge, my best and hardest teacher, my very own cozy corner of the world. Five days ago, I walk across your green + brown stripped carpet and lock your door behind me one last time. This has been a breakup that was months and months in the making, which makes it more painful and less painful all at the same time. More painful because it has been looming over us for so long, and less painful because I have had time to etch every detail of you into my memory.

I want to remember you, and I know that while so many things about you can't be photographed or typed out on a keyboard, there are some things that can be.

Like the way that your back door only opens if you turn the knob to the south. Or the horrid color of the carpet (that I have secretly come to love). Or the fairy tale castle sticker on the front window that is still there from the previous occupants. Or the cracks in the back door that let in early morning sunshine and frigid fall air. Or the spiders that crawl on your walls like they own the place. Or the chilly feeling that your cement walls invoke as the weather turns cold. Yes, even your cement walls are something that I want to remember, even though they have been a source of much despair.

I want to remember your tiny shower. And the slugs who liked to traipse across the kitchen counter and clean dishes. And the neighbors who started (loud) projects at 6AM on the weekends. And the pretty much zero storage and how it has taught me to be really organized.

I know I will never forget the way the evening sunlight through the trees dances in our living room. Or the sunrises and sunsets that I have witnessed from your front porch. Or my little baby plants that I rescued from certain dumpster death, that are now happy and healthy in the dirt around your foundation.

You are where I learned to bake cheesecake. Where I got insanely sick and gave my self (yet another) concussion. Where I cried some of the hardest tears and laughed some of the hardest laughs. Where I shared bowels of ice cream and deep conversations with friends. Where I was sitting when I heard my nephew's name for the first time. Where I made a mini studio and photographed my niece for Father's Day. Where I went home to after hard, hard days and snuggled up inside your cocoon of safety. Where I had movie nights and game nights and sat in your living room with my (now) boyfriend back when he was just some (really handsome) guy my friends called "Howell".

You're not perfect, but then, the best things in life never are. There's always some caveat to the things that warm your heart and make it nearly impossible to say goodbye to.

I don't know if I will ever have *this* hard of a time saying goodbye to a building ever again. In the days leading up to saying farewell, in the midst of boxes strewn around your living room and dashing from one place to another, every once in awhile I found myself stopping. Stopping and just looking around you, memorizing your cracks and blemishes. Reminiscing about how I had found you and everything that had happened within your four walls.

For years I had dreamed of you, but I didn't know it was you I was dreaming about. I dreamed of a cozy little house for just me and Sabrina. You have been all that and so, so much more. You came into my life like a majestic firecracker…one that you knew must be coming but then surprises you with it’s sheer beauty and the way it rocks your world. I never thought that dream of my own little house with just me + my pup would ever come to fruition. But it did. And it (YOU) were greater than anything I ever could have imagined. 

I make no claims to be a non-sentimental person, and saying goodbye to you has brought out more of my sentimental/must not let go of the things I love side than just about anything else this past year. The nights leading up to saying goodbye to you were…hard. Watching your one room slowly (and yet somehow, so quickly) empty was hard. Taking a few last precious photos of you was hard. Deciding what went first and what went last was hard. Hearing my voice echo inside your emptiness was hard.

Saying goodbye?

That was HARD. 

Dear little cottage, I will never forget you. Thank you for 873 of the best + worst + craziest + most wonderful days of my life. My life won’t ever be the same without you in it, but my life is better because you were a part of it for even so short of a time. 

Goodbye, little cottage. I love you. 

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