7 Lessons I Learned from Saying Goodbye to My Childhood Home

Hi, beautiful souls.

I’ve been away for a while, partially because I’ve taken two trips back to Virginia in the past six weeks. My homeland.

This past year, it became clear that it’s time for my father to sell the house I grew up in on Canterberry Road. We moved there from Vienna, Austria when I was 4 years old: just old enough to remember, but not to understand how big of an impact this place would have on me.

It’s where I started my formal schooling, made and lost friends, underwent the depths of my battle with anxiety and panic, attended countless hours of therapy, searched for myself in all the wrong places, discovered my talent for writing, found myself in singing, applied for and got into colleges, and became a full-fledged adult.

It grew me and made me.

There are few words that can adequately describe the experience of going through every object, document, photo, and memory from my childhood over the course of two week-long trips. My mom and I have agreed that we entered some sort of time-warp-vortex on Canterberry Road this past month that might never be fully explained to the outside world.

I don’t have the words for what it was like to say one final goodbye to the home that built me, but I have gleaned some lessons from it that I’d like to share with you.

They apply to all things – letting go, moving forward in life, and evolving into new versions of yourself. There is something in these lessons for everyone.

I am grateful to Canterberry Road for the blessing of these wisdoms.

1. Get rid of what you’re not using. Seriously.

Okay, I’m starting out on a pretty light note, BUT this lesson is not to be overlooked. It’s not until you’ve scavenged your way through thousands of crumbling photographs, 20 years worth of school assignments, and a whole childhood’s worth of dusty old toys and games (let’s just say I was very grateful to have my KN95 on hand, lol) that you realize just how much of it you didn’t need to hold on to. Keep what’s most precious, sparks joy, and tugs at your heartstrings. Donate the rest. Make it a point, at least once annually, to get rid of that which isn’t serving you in your home. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s gotta go. You deserve to love everything in your space, and your possessions deserve to be loved fully. If they aren’t, someone else will love them for you. Keep your load light. You don’t want to get to the end of a 20-year period and realize you’re weighed down by hundreds of thousands of objects you thought you’d one day use. It will be easier to move forward in the world, because your evolution won’t be tied to so much here in the physical. Stay light, my loves, for the sake of your mind, body and spirit.

2. Homes are sacred space-holders for our wide range of human emotions and experiences. They deserve our utmost gratitude.

I know firsthand that even in the most stunning of living spaces, not everything that happens within is beautiful. In fact, beauty on the outside often masks depths of pain underneath. But what an incredible blessing to move through the seasons of life held by a structure of beauty. To be held in the warmth of her wood and earth through pain and trauma. To be fully supported by her steadiness while my world fell apart. To be loved by the laughter of her flowers when spring came and I remembered my wholeness again. Homes are steady pillars for us in this life. Whatever happens within, they stand. In joy and sorrow, they carry us, provide shelter, and hold space.

They absorb the energy we pour into them, so it’s critical that we say thank you by taking good care of their bones, cleansing their air, and purifying their vibrations. Say thank you to your home today. Give her a sage, a Palo Santo, a sacred ritual. Or utter a simple, “I am grateful for you.” She will hear and understand.

3. Nature