It’s a common concept that what makes a house a home is the people inside it. But this concept isn´t universal. The people inside a home can have the opposite effect; really, it’s all about what makes us feel safe, comforted, and accepted. So what does make us feel safe? It’s not the people inside a house, but the memories that we make and associate with it.
Let’s take travel as an example. Say you go on vacation and rent a house with your family and friends. Just because your family happens to be in the house with you doesn’t mean that you think of the house as a home. Now think about your childhood home. What comes to mind for most people is probably a plethora of pleasant memories; the smell of those phenomenal cookies that your mom and only your mom knows how to bake, the shrieks of your siblings as you chase each other around, and the cold spray of the haywire sprinkler that your dad never got around to fixing. .
My childhood has been split between two homes. The first is the house that my parents moved into when I was 3. This house is a home to me because it’s the house that I discovered a love of reading in. It’s the house in which I snuck out of my room to watch Criminal Minds over my parents shoulder nightly, which just so happens to be my favorite TV show today. It’s the house that I lived in when we got Riley, the sweetest mini poodle who’s been at my side since I was 6 years old.
The second house is the one that I currently live in, which we moved into when I was in the fourth grade. This is the house I lived in when I met Jasmine, my best friend, who even after moving to Georgia when we were 13, still comes back to visit me. It’s the house that I started and will finish high school in; where I got ready for every dance, every sporting event, every date with my boyfriend or night out with my friends. It’s also the house that I was quarantined in for two years; the house where I experienced depression for the first time, and learned to deal with my anxiety. This house will always be a home to me because of the memories I associate with it. It’s a symbol of my maturity, and how far I’ve come as a daughter, a friend, a sister, a student, and an individual. Leaving it to go to college next year will be that much harder because of how intertwined this house is with my life. It won’t just be leaving a building containing my belongings, it will be leaving a home. A place where I have lived and created a life for myself, laying the building blocks for my future. This house, because of these memories, will always be my home.