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Kimberly Haley Wang, on Saying Goodbye to Her Childhood Home

Kimberly Haley Wang, on Saying Goodbye to Her Childhood Home

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(Images: @faithcheryl)

DISCLAIMER:
Hello you. You’re reading this because my dear friend Justin Vanderstraaten dropped me a text after a year of being too busy to hang out, to ask if I could write a little something.

I was asked to write about what I learnt in 2018, and I pondered over his words for days. Not because I didn’t learn anything, I’ve learnt plenty. But perhaps the one thing I learnt to do as the year comes to a close, is to let go.

Sort of.

There are moments in life when you just feel the death of certain things. There are no dramatics, no conflict, no explosions, no words spoken. You just wake up one day, and you know it. Perhaps it’s the silence, or the crater-sized hole it left behind. Your heart feels heavier, sometimes lighter, sometimes all the same.

I moved out of my home this year. For the first time in 27, almost 28 years. This was the place I had my first “birthday party” in as a child. I was 8 and according to my mom, I had gone to school one day and just decided to invite some friends over for a lunch I didn’t plan. She frantically scurried to cook some “party food” while we were on our way back in my dad’s car. He too had no clue what was going on.

This was the place I learnt about stepping up for what’s right when it matters. There were many kids in my estate when I was little, and I was one of the youngest, hence “not cool enough”.

Three siblings from the floor above told the other kids they weren’t being nice and that we should play with everyone. No outcasts. They made sure I was included in every game and took care of me. Now, JJ still says, “Let me know if your boyfriend bullies you I will teach him a lesson”. He’s already moved out and married with 2 kids, but he still looks out for me.

This was the place where I experienced “puppy love”. My date sent me home and while I was frankly 100% cool with going home myself because y’know I’m a strong independent woman and I don’t need no man, it was a sweet gesture. Um, fast forward a couple of dates when one guy “surprised” me by putting glow-sticks in the shape of a heart on the grass patch below my bedroom window and asked me to come downstairs IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

Sweet, but I was also very sleepy and extremely worried my neighbours would wake up.  Hahahahahaha.

This was the place I hid when my heart broke.

I rarely display any emotion when I’m out because sadness is not something I feel comfortable sharing, so home was where I cried myself to sleep when shit happened. It was my hideout, my safe-haven, the one place my friends knew they could find me holed-up like a tortoise.

This was the place my friends surprised me for my 18th birthday! My primary school girlfriends banded together and lit sparklers outside my door while lighting the candles on the cake. It took me awhile to hear them banging on the door and by the time I opened it, I barely knew what was going on because the whole stairway was smoked up by the sparklers. Most chaotic birthday surprise ever, AND I WAS IN MY PYJAMAS.

This was the place I slammed doors as an angry daughter, cried as a broken-hearted woman, laughed brighter than sunshine and loved as a fighter. All my memories, all my life lessons, all the good and the bad, are here. I felt so afraid of leaving my home behind because I was afraid of forgetting. There were things I didn’t want to forget; people I wanted to hold onto forever.

Then it hit me. I remember these moments because it’s the people who make things matter. It doesn’t matter if this facade no longer stands because tangible things have a habit of withering away with time. But people, and the way they make you feel: it’s never lost.

Our memories are weaved together by stories of anger, love, heartache, and warmth. Perhaps this is what it means when people say Home is where the heart is, and mine is with the people who are in my life. The ones who have stayed through time, the ones who I’ve been lucky enough to know, the ones who I know will be there when I call, the ones who I will fight for because they are worth any battle.

So goodbye it is to #42B. But I guess I’m not really letting go because the ones who matter are all still here—in my heart, in my mind and in my life. For that, I am so thankful.

But of course you should let go of the bad because you have the power to decide for yourself if you want your 2019 to be SWELLLL.

My friend’s kids have been watching Frozen and this line is hella good:

“SAY GOODBYEEEEEE, TO THE PAIN OF THE PAST. WE DON’T HAVE TO FEEL IT ANYMOREEEEEE.”

Ignore the fact that the prince in this duet is actually an ass.

May your heart be light. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Now & Always,
Kim

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Kimberly Haley Wang Contributor