To be honest, I wrote this post in advance. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to write it before leaving. I know myself. I suck at goodbyes. Seriously, I cry like a baby when I have to say goodbye to one person. Saying goodbye to my entire home? Nope. Nope. Nope.
So, this is my goodbye letter to Valpo.
Hi. It’s me, Katy. Remember me? I’m the girl who grew up in the purple house. I’m the girl with the dorky red glasses and the oversized shirts. I’m the girl who struggled to find herself for years and years and never seemed perfectly happy. Well, it’s been 30 years since you became my home and in that time I’ve changed. Long gone is the shy, awkward girl in the purple house. Now I am a confident and utterly awesome woman with much cooler glasses and a fondness of low cut shirts.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but I have to leave you. I know. It’s hard for me, too. We’ve spent so many years together and we’ve both changed so much. Why, I remember when you were a young, cute little town without a single roundabout to be seen! Now look at you! All grown up with seven of those little buggers dotting your developing urban sprawl. I love the city you’ve become and I love the woman I’ve become while living in you.
Both of us will continue to change after I’m gone. You’ll get bigger and bigger and I will, hopefully, get smaller and smaller. New people will come into both of our lives and new memories will be made. I won’t be skipping around downtown any longer judging men by their cars and you won’t have my giggles echoing. The people I love will still visit you though. Be good to them. I’m leaving my loved ones in your care and I want you to give them the amazing life you’ve given me.
You know that you’re more than a city, Valpo. You’re a home. You bring people together and create community so naturally. And for so long now, you’ve been my home. I worry that I’ll never love a place as much as I love you. I worry that I’ll never feel like I belong anywhere else. Leaving you in scary. You’re so safe and familiar. But I know that my time with you has ended and now another small town is going to be my home.
There will be tears when I drive away. There will be a lot of tears. Part of my heart and soul will latch onto you and linger here the rest of my life. I know that I can always come back, but we both know that it won’t be the same.
Thank you for all of the people you brought into my life. Thank you for the job, the co-workers, the parks, the worship, the beaches, the movies, the nights out, the First Thursdays, the shopping, the laughter, the plays, Listen to Your Mother, the schooling, the bad times, the good times and the horrible little apartment I’ve been calling my own for the last three years. I will miss it all.
Thank you, Valpo, for being my home. You’ll always be my hometown and I will always miss you.
Until we meet again,