12/14: Home is…
When did you feel most at home this year: in your life, in your space, in your career, in your skin? What factors make that situation feel like home? Do certain comforts make your space feel like home? Does being with certain people make you feel complete? Is there an activity in which you excel that makes you feel like you’re doing what you were meant to do?
This is your life. Where do you live? Where is home?
This has been quite a perilous question for me. Well… perhaps not perilous per se, but confusing at best. Which is funny because the apartment I reside in now has been my home for about 15 years. This is the apartment my parents moved us into after brief stints in North Buffalo and an ever briefer stint on the East Side of Buffalo. Yeah, that’s right, I spent two of my formative years dwelling on the East Side. Sup?
Anyway, why is this confusing for me? How is a home I’ve lived in for 15 years even a question?
It still feels like my parents house to me. I now pick up the tab on rent, gas, electric, water, and a splurge on internet. But memories of punishments, groundings, homework sessions, life lessons, parental jabs at my awkward pre-teen and teenage antics loom every where. The tattered wood on the corners are memories of the golden retrievers who would gnaw feverishly at it. And the cats who ignored their designated scratching posts to further tatted the wooden accents in the house.
That being said, it doesn’t feel like my home. It should. But it feels like theirs. It may be hard to understand this concept if you haven’t lost a parent(s) and then continued to live where they shared the house with everyone.
After a pretty tumultuous year, my sister moved out in July and I had a three bedroom apartment to myself. Two empty bedrooms, my room, a fully furnished living room and six-person dining room set… and those memories were all I had most of July and August. They were some pretty lonely months quite honestly. It began to feel more like Hotel Sam more than anything.
Thankfully, after some arm pulling and compromise, the fiance moved in. The dynamic shifted from that of the lonely orphan to a co-habitating dwelling. And that was one of the first times this year that it felt like home.
After some emotional moments and some conversations, we decided that in 2012 we’re going to cut the cord between me and this apartment. We’re going to go try to make our home somewhere else. Somewhere where the emotions aren’t so tangled. It’ll be hard. It’s the last place I saw either of my parents alive, but then again, it might help the ever-lasting moving on process.
Next year, I’m sure I’ll have a happier story on what my home is. I won’t let it be any other way.