Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The house that built me

I was nearly three years old when my family moved into the house I grew up in. It's an old house, built in the 1910s (I can't quite remember the exact year). That puts it at about 100 years old. As will all old houses, it's had issues. Leaky roof, lack of space, and a crappy kitchen. But it's home. It's my home. My parents still live there, although they are planning on one day, hopefully, going to build a house to their specifications.

I moved out just a couple of months after I turned 18. Moved away to school, I guess you could say. Even though school was only about 30 miles away, over a mountain. But it was the space I needed. It was strange, getting used to an apartment after living in a house for 18 years. I think now that I've gotten pretty used to living in apartments. It's weird when I'm at my parents' house because I'm always trying to be conscious of the next door neighbors... who have several feet of distance between the houses.

The house sits on the corner in an older neighborhood that is slowly becoming 'the hood' as my mom so jokingly puts it. One block from my old elementary school, my siblings and I walked to school so many mornings, backpacks bumping against our backs, our sneakers scuffing along the old sidewalk. There's a tree that grew these awesome blossoms. Lilacs I think, but I could be wrong. They were white. I liked to pick them on our way to school. Give them to my teacher. I used to roller blade around the bloke. Ride my bike down the street. The backyard used to have swings. Until we got too old. Now it's a bare lawn. Only good for the lawnmower.

My bedroom isn't my own anymore. In fact, a lot of my stuff is packed up in boxes in the attic. But it's still my bedroom, even if my messy little brother has overtaken it with all his crap! It's the room I played Barbies in. The room I read until 2 am before I finally fell asleep. It's the room I started writing in. It's the room that I became me. It's the house I became me.

No matter how comfortable I get in each new apartment or where ever I live, I'm never completely 100% at home. There's only one place that I can be totally myself. It's home. It's my parents' house. But I guess I could argue with myself and say that once I got out of the house, I became a new me. I don't really feel like arguing with myself so I'm going to say that home makes me comfortable enough to be who I am naturally and not who I've forced myself to evolve into. I'm not even sure if that makes any sense. I don't really care, quite honestly.

It's the house I grew up in. It's the house I became me. It's the house that built me. It's the house with traces of my presence all over it, from the name carved in random spots, the stickers stuck to the wooden doors, to the handprints painted on the office walls. It's home. And yet... it's not quite home anymore. Not for me at least. I know I'll always be welcome home by my parents but it's never going to be the same. Ever again. But that's what growing up is all about right?

Until Next Time,

The Hopeless Romantic

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in a house that was built in 1915, and then we moved (as you know) to a new house with no character. I know exactly how you feel, about the old sidewalks, less than perfect house, and the lilac trees.