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without leaving
by Yee-Fan Sun
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Right now, when I look out my kitchen window, I can see it. There's a for sale sign parked in front of my little pink house. And already, this house -- my house -- is feeling a little less mine, a little more distant, like it's the one moving away, and not me.

I hate looking at that sign.

For four years, this house has been home to me and the boy. When I moved in I was 25, newly engaged, angsting daily over what to do with my life; now I'm nearing 30, a not-so-old (thank you very much) married lady. I'm still a little vague about where I'm aiming career-wise -- okay, a lot -- but mostly, I'm enjoying this winding journey all right.

At a time when I was feeling least confident about where I was supposed to be heading in life, this house has made me feel a-okay about exactly where I am. In the four years since we first bought our house in Tucson, a lot of good things have happened -- to me, and the boy, and to me and the boy. And everywhere I look, I see reminders of how ridiculously happy we've been living within these stuccoed walls. There's the patio that we slaved over to install, scene of many a fine time with friends as well as lazy weekend brunches alone; there are the wigs that line our kitchen display ledge, the ghosts of crazy costume parties past; there's the big window looming over our bed, the world's best natural alarm clock, gifting me nearly every morning for the last four years with a sunshine-filled good morning. This house has brought me many smiles and much laughter, and there's so much of me and us in every single corner of every single room that it's hard to think that in a couple of months -- less, even -- someone else will be making this place theirs.

Last week we started packing -- mostly old books and picture frames, obscure kitchen appliances and knickknacks, the little things we don't really use, the stuff I figured I'd miss the least. But just the sight of all those empty shelves made me feel so sad. As soon as we finished clearing a bookshelf, I immediately started filling it with yet-unpacked stuff -- "so the house won't look so depressing to potential buyers," I told my boy. But who's kidding who: I'm the one who's depressed.

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