It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to the good old blog, and while I can give you the flourished and romantic version as to why the short of it is that I get paid to write now so writing for free is a luxury I rarely give time to. When it comes to sharing snippets of my life, I decided that 24-hour access to an Instagram story is more than enough for strangers on the internet and with age have opted to hold a few more things close to the chest. While sharing my feelings is often how I sit in the discomfort of growth, deciding not to wear my heart on my sleeve felt like a life hack to package my emotions in a tiny little box and tuck them away for someone else to deal with later. That someone I affectionately refer to as Future Vicki and my favourite thing about her is that she’s never actually here with her arrival constantly being pushed further and further away.
Well turns out that a gift promised by Future Vicki arrived and while I knew it was coming, not knowing when or how made it seem as if it wasn’t actually real. Three years (almost to the exact date) of my father’s passing we sold his house, my childhood home and with that unpacking all of the stickiness surrounded around a house that I spent the past decade avoiding.
It would be easy for me to slip into talking about the complicated emotions surrounded with losing an estranged parent and maybe that’s an essay for another day (hell, it could be a whole fucking saga) but for now I wanted to share my feelings around saying goodbye to my childhood home.
For the past three years I could not wait to offload this fucking house. I was annoyed to be dealing with it because I didn’t (nor do any of my siblings) live in the same city this house is in and selling a house in a city you don’t live in during a pandemic is a part-time job where the paycheque is severely delayed and not promised. The last time I was in the house was shortly after my dad’s funeral and the time before that was when I left Lethbridge in 2013. Being in it again in June 2020 was the most jarring experience. The last time I lived in the house was over a 11 years ago and going back also had me feeling like Alice in Wonderland when she eats magical cake that makes her too grand for the house. The countertops I remember standing on my tiptoes to access I now towered over (don’t laugh – I know I’m 5′) and rooms that use to spark my imagination with their grandeur seemed only large enough to accomodate a bed and maybe a humble dresser.
Something I’ve learned about grief is that the person I am sad for is Past Vicki and selling that goddamn house means that Past Vicki is moving in with me. While we can keep delaying Future Vicki (because trust and believe I can self-sabotage myself from growth) there’s not much I can do about Past Vicki, she already exists. I think about my younger self and often disconnect us because saying that she didn’t deserve all that hurt is easier than saying that I didn’t deserve it. I tend to give her the best parts of my life while my current self sits with the feelings of guilt and grief but something about selling the house feels like a reckoning of the two colliding. In an instant the suit of armour fell apart, like when Iron Man takes the suit off in one fluid motion. From fully protected to fully exposed.
While the blogger in me wants to be able to have a nice concluding paragraph for you, but I don’t have one because I don’t know how it ends yet. I often think about physically being around a younger version of me (if you really want to cry, think about hugging your younger self) and upon realizing that I don’t ever have to step into that house ever again I imagined walking through it one last time with Past Vicki.
“That’s the driveway where I learned how to ride a bike.”
“But that’s also the same driveway where my dad would sit in his car after work to sneak in a drink or two before coming inside.”
“This is the room where I learned how to be a big sister.”
“Yeah, it’s also the same room where my first boyfriend use to look at me and say ‘you know I don’t love you right?'”
“Here’s the room where I learned how to walk.”
“And that’s the corner where that boyfriend pushed me into a glass coffee table resulting in a big ugly scar on my face that I’ll have to look at every single day for the rest of my life.”
“Oh… it’s also the same room where our dad died right?” *
“It is, but we don’t have to go back anymore.”
*also it fucked killed me to type that out