Kaya Ketter’s ‘Moving Day’ earns her first place in the Under-18 category at the Bloomsday Writing Competition 2020

Kaya Ketter’s ‘Moving Day’ earns her first place in the Under-18 category at the Bloomsday Writing Competition 2020

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Kaya Ketter’s moving account of Moving Day earns her the first place in the Under-18 category at the Bloomsday Writing Competition 2020.

It happens every couple of years: move out day. My room is bare, everything is packed away ready to be shipped off to my new life. Maybe my bags are prepared to move but I’m not. My life is here, the one I built in the two years living here. My friends, school, teachers will be distant memories to look back upon. Who knows if I’ll ever come back? To visit? To live? The unknown is the most aggravating. The movers finally left this morning and staring at my empty house reflected my emptiness. My last day here in my home, forever maybe. Part of me wanted to spend every last second I had with my friends, the other part wanted to hide away in a corner, so I could forget this was happening. Seeing my friends would make the reality come to life and I wasn’t ready to let that happen.

By the afternoon I finally decided to go say my goodbyes to everyone that I would miss. It’s never easy. Phrases like, “See ya later alligator” and “Come back soon” are the hardest to digest. All the, “We’ll miss you!” is how everyone feels in the moment. But what about in five years? Ten? Will they still miss me even though we haven’t seen each other in so long? Maybe my friends will say that to me, but they can’t mean it. Over the years I’ve taught myself to let go, but it’s never easy. It’s not fair that everyone can proceed normally with their lives while I just have to say goodbye. I’ll always be just a minor character in their stories, and accepting that is natural at this point.


After wishing my farewells I headed back to the practically abandoned house I called home for a short period of time. I stared out my bedroom window. I tried desperately  to remember exactly each detail: how the trees changed each season, and how my street turned from a snowy, sledding hill to a regular driveway. Pictures are never the same, sure, they capture a moment, but I’d rather have a full, clear image from my head. So I sat and watched, pondered, dreamt about my new life ahead, all the possibilities and the fresh start. It is exciting but dreadful. These thoughts carry over to my last meal in my home. Traditionally my family and I pick our favorite spot and go eat out, but tonight we wanted to enjoy the last few moments we had in the beautiful house. We became nostalgic quickly, and reminiscing during these times was a common theme. We ate, laughed and cried, but in the end, it’s just move out day. It happens every couple of years.

Kaya Ketter

Kaya Ketter was born in San Diego, California and currently lives in Athens, Greece where her father works for the American Embassy. This overseas post isn’t her first. She’s moved a total of nine times and has lived in Russia, South Korea, and Belgium. Kaya enjoys playing soccer and basketball for her school in Athens, ACS. She also spends her time playing the violin, ukulele and guitar.

Sponsored by Kerrygold in Greece, Aegean Airlines, The Benaki Museum,  Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House, Aria Hotels, Attica Park, Pelion Homes, Grande Bretagne Hotel, James JoyceO’Connell’sand Molly Malone’s Irish pubs

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