When I step inside my house, I’m usually greeted by emptiness. My Mom, a nurse, wakes up at 5 in the morning to treat patients on long shifts. My Dad, a small business owner, works to support our family. My sister, a college student in New York, cranks out art pieces during sleepless nights. Lastly, my dog sleeps all day away from me and any distractions. However, I’m upstairs in the attic, striving to become an independent individual like the rest of my family. We like our own space, but because of this, we lose precious time together.
A few years back, my family was looking for a new house to move into. During a gloomy afternoon, we went to go see a house that got put on the market only a few days prior. This house wasn’t the prettiest by any means; brown, chipped paint, cracked drywall, and spiders in every corner were just a few of the imperfections of this house. Although small flaws hindered my vision of the house, walking inside the front door for the first time created a whole new perspective. I remember going in and seeing the selling point of the house. There they stood: the tall windows leading to the jaw-dropping view of the golf course. At that moment, my family and I looked at each other in the eyes, knowing that this place was the one.
Now, here we are five years later. Everyone has settled in their separate spaces, living their own lives. Coming together as a family is sometimes difficult because we get caught up in our personal work, but when we do get the chance to, everything clicks together and feels special. On one particular Fourth of July, my whole family, including the dog, went onto the balcony in front of the golf course view to enjoy a nice dinner. As I chowed down on the medium-rare steak and fresh garden salad, there was nothing but good around me. I had my favorite tunes playing and smells from the food filling the air, but most importantly, my family was right beside me. That night, we talked for hours on end with laughter and joy. My house is a concrete foundation and a wooden structure, constructing my shelter and security, but with family, there’s a new meaning. My home is sitting down and chatting about anything we come up with. My home is the deliberate choice to get out of the attic to see the people I love. At the end of the day, my home is being together.