I’ve spent 20 years—my whole life—in the same town. This time last year, paralyzed by agoraphobia (which I’ve since recovered from), I couldn’t have imagined calling anywhere else home. Going long distances alone made me feel like I would never find my way back; familiar people were my safety net. Independent, I felt like a child who lost her parents in a crowd and had no sense of direction or how to get back to them. Luckily, I taught myself ways to cope. I still love where I live, but a life on a continuous loop is no life at all.
A movie is spoiled if you know how it ends, so why does taking the leap of faith into the unknown always seem so scary? I want to revel in its excitement instead of fearing it. So now I’m leaving. These photos are a goodbye to the place where I grew up, and to the light that comes through the diamond-shaped window panes in the afternoon, the decorations in the front hall, the buttery smell of the flowers on the tree in our yard, the neighbor’s house I walked past every day but never went inside… all of it. It’s easy to look back and cling to memories, but when I look forward, I see nothing—and therefore anything and everything.