by Amelia Kanan

I swallowed my insecure instinct to say "That's what you think I look like?" and told her "I LOVE it!!" because it honestly made my day.

I tossed and turned last night, even though I was exhausted. If this is really happening, my move from Los Angeles to Detroit, then I need to get a few things straight. I have a plane ticket back to L.A. on the 5th of January. These are the things I need to take care of while I’m there.

#1. My car. Excuse me, my van. Currently it’s parked in near Balboa Park in front of one of my favorite families’ houses. It’s been reported to me that the green sheen is making Gilmore Street shine like it never has before. Even though I’m glad to bring that sort of beauty to their block, I obviously can’t leave it there forever (even if they beg me to do so). Plus, in typical Amelia fashion, I left some valuables in it and when I say “valuables” I mean-hiking boots, documents and some kitchen ware. My mom suggested that I should just “Give the car to a nice immigrant family”. Although I would love to pretend to be the host of a game show and prize a “winner” with my automobile for free, I told her I would rather sell it to a junk yard and get the least amount of money for it.

#2. My storage unit and its contents. A friend of mine this weekend told me I need to just get rid of it and everything inside. Anything I can’t ship back or carry with me, I don’t need. Maybe I’m fighting this inkling because I already feel as though I’ve given up so much and one of the things that gets me through these tough times is dreaming about my actual valuables in wherever my new home might be. It’s my light at the end of the tunnel. Not to mention, he doesn’t understand the kind of relationship I have with my bed. Some might call it unhealthy. The bed itself is only a full in size but it stands so high that I have to stretch to crawl in it. It’s made of hard wood, with thick sturdy posts and the mattress itself is like a cloud. It’s my dream. Plus, there’s the emotional attachment. This bed was, believe it or not, my first one out of the crib. When I was little my parents had me sleep against the wall and built a barrier of pillows so I wouldn’t fall out (sometimes the barrier wasn’t that strong though and I’d roll right off). It’s gone with me everywhere, Michigan to San Diego to Michigan to Chicago to Los Angeles. I know it’s just a bed but it’s shared so many of my secrets, cradled me when I was alone and at my lowest and forgave me before I forgave myself for letting undeserving people sleep in it. But maybe, this is why I need to let her go. I need to free myself of the past. I can hold moments within my heart but letting go of guilt, attachment and standards will liberate a new layer underneath my skin that I need to expose. It hurts. It makes me cry. It’s just a growing pain, though. I need to remember all the times I’ve hurt before and how much taller, stronger and beautiful I became because of it.

#3. Real Goodbyes. My friends and the adults in my life know what’s up and since it’s been a dialogue, I’m not so much worried about them but more concerned about all the kids I’ve nannied. The other night, I face timed with “my” little three old, Cutie. She asked “When you coming home, Melya?” “Soon”, I said. When we hung up, I cried. It’s so hard to stay connected to people, let alone children that are three time zones away. I’ve known Cutie since she was 10 months old and even though, technically I only worked three days a week, I was over almost every day for years. I can’t help missing kissing those little cheeks, chasing her little pony trot, watching her little face when she tells me a story and holding her in my arms while she just lays there, answering the questions I ask about her day. Ok, I can’t go on anymore with this one…tears are already streaming and I’m in public, I gotta pull it together. The point is, I need to say my real goodbyes to all the kids that have depended on and expected me to be there to eat breakfast with, read stories to at night, get snacks for, heal bloody noses, snuggle them when they’re sad, make a game out of getting them dressed, listen to their frustrations, go on adventures with, make them clean up, bake, play, laugh, talk to their teachers, solve problems…I’ve been there for so much of these kids’ lives and it really hurts to just walk out of them. Obviously, I need to say goodbye for myself.