People change. Schools change. Homes change.

"My nails hit the clean white desk and the little chip on my ring finger nail catches my eye. Nothing screams stress like a small but mighty imperfection derived directly from my anxiety-ridden nail biting habit.

My brain feels like it has way too many tabs open. My heart feels like it misses a place to call home. I am stuck holding on to something that is no longer there.

I click the home button on my jet-black iPhone again, and then again once more. I search for something important to catch my eye, something to distract my already wandering mind. My pointer finger heads right back to that home button.

Disappointment…once again.

Messy clusters of thoughts flood my mind. I think of how terrible I am at saying hello to new people. I think of how I never quite liked the way my handwriting looks on paper. I think of how I am not good at math, or carrying heavy things, or sharing my feelings out loud. But one thing I sure am good at is missing something I can’t have back.

My nails hit the clean white desk once more and I am reminded again that things have changed. My room is now white, my bed is now smaller, my desk is now squeakier, and my home is now this entirely different place.

You prepare for this, you think, “change is good, and if it’s not good then it’s at least different right?” But you hold on to this little hope, or at least I do, that somehow change is not going to actually feel different, that you’ll lay in bed at night starting up at the old popcorn ceiling feeling the exact same way as before. And the truth is, you don’t.

I don’t have his arms to run to when I feel like I just need a hug. I don’t have mom’s apple pie and ice cream or dad’s sarcastic laugh. I don’t have my four-legged best friend to greet me at the door or to lick my tears as they run down my cheek.

It all sounds sad written next to each other like this but it’s not. It’s not sad. It’s just different, a sort of different that I didn’t prepare for.

I often wondered why I like photos so much, why I feel the need to capture everything. I have always been the girl who takes her camera everywhere and snaps shots of each thing she sees. I think now I have come to realize it’s because those photos don’t change. People change. Schools change. Homes change. Your whole life can change but those photos won’t.

So I sit here, my imperfect fingernails hitting my clean white desk, in my all white room, with my smaller bed and my squeakier desk, admiring my photos. My brain doesn’t feel as full anymore and my thoughts are no longer messy clusters. I still don’t have his arms to run to, or mom’s apple pie, or dad’s laugh, but at least I have these photos."

Xx

Gabriella