The walls glare back, bare. It’s funny how in only a year you can learn to call a concrete box home. But here I am with the tattered remains piled on either side of me as mark the end of the longest, most challenging and transformational year I’ve had.

You want change and seek it and ask for it and run to it- then you start to move and the roots that have grown without you even notice- thick and rich all the same- jerk you back into a mess, a pile of tears and memories and lessons and kids, mainly kids, that have all changed your life.

And this is how it always goes. It is how it’s always been and I’ll never stop being a mess and I’ll never stop crying with every “goodbye, goodbye”.

And here is what I want to say to these walls and to the voices that have bounced back and forth from them (too loud and crazy and emotional- but isn’t that exactly how I feel sitting here now). I’m sorry I planted roots in your life only to rip them out because while the dirt flies up with the yank, I know you feel let down and I’m sorry. This year was hard because life is hard and we’re all humans and this room saw a lot of human, me human and you human.

You need to know that your human is loved, real and raw. And ripping down posters from walls feels like betrayal and I’m sure you feel the same way a little and I’m sorry.

A co-worker walked by as the tears rolled down and she just said, “you have to really say goodbye, the whole mourning of a goodbye, to be able to be really emotionally ready for a new hello”. And that was perfect and true and sad and beautiful at the same time and I think I’ll keep those words in my pockets for a while, because God only knows how many more times I’ll plant and water roots before ripping them out again.

New chapters are exciting and I’m thrilled to go back to a school that isn’t really starting over at all, but going home. But at a certain point, you’ve made yourself home in so many places, your heart doesn’t really know how to sit back and soak because it’s all so temporary. Your shoes stay on, ready to dash because life hasn’t stop tossing your around since the day you left that sweet school to begin with.

And I know that somewhere deep inside, I’m trying to heal some bit of losing myself in the turbulence of life where this little girl full of too many emotions fell behind. So you cover bare walls with colors and quotes and you love the heck out of kids who piss you off daily and it’s your life. And you live it until the day you have to rip it up again. And you know it will be great, but there is something about those bare walls, bare walls.

You sit with them. Mourn the bareness. Leave the roots unhinged. And above all, you get ready to plant again.