Most people don’t wake up every morning to a cordial invitation to walk around conquering pokemon gyms. Most people don’t get calls from their dad while trying to make pancakes about how many pokemon he caught without you. Most people don’t hear the word “pokedex” daily in their homes. But I do. Homes aren’t made solely by brick, mortar, and wood. Those are merely houses. People construct their homes day by day, but not with tools and materials. A home is saturated with memories, lathered in mementos, soaked in emotions, and most importantly unique to every person.
My house is full of pokemon trainers. Perhaps we got hooked on the trend a few years too late. Perhaps it isn’t “cool” anymore. Well, we don’t care. We will catch Squirtles and Pikachus to our heart’s content. Occasionally, I’ll look over to see my sister and dad tapping rapidly on their phone screens mid-Pokemon battle, a look of extreme concentration on their faces like they’re taking a test. Weird? Maybe, but my house wouldn’t be my home without conversations about battles and shiny pokemon.
My house is full of late 1900s Japanese pop. Takeuchi Mariya, Spitz, and Mr. Children are names that don’t mean much to most people, but they do to me. They remind me of coming home after a long day at school to be welcomed by the warm and enticing fragrance of apple pie and my mom singing in Japanese in the kitchen. My house wouldn’t be home without my mom’s singing and cooking.
My house is full of Survivor. Yes, the reality show. It still seems strange how people can enjoy such a scripted and repetitive show. Sure, someone got hurt, and that might not be part of the script, but why should that happen in the first place? So yes, I despise the show. But I will not deny that my house wouldn’t be my home without those unnecessarily deep conversations.
My house is full of stuffed animals. Teddy bears, squishmallows, and beanie babies galore. Each carries a story, a fragment of my memory, making them some of my most prized possessions. Some of them were souvenirs from trips, some were gifts from friends, some were random impulse buys, but all of them carry their own little story. My house wouldn’t be my home without my stuffed animals.
In the end, what makes my house my home isn’t the geographical location, the size, or how long I have lived here. It’s what is inside it, both tangible and intangible. In the end, the physical structure doesn’t matter. A cookie-cutter home or a checklist of qualifications doesn’t exist. Homes are constantly changing as memories are created and forgotten, mementos are added or thrown away, and emotions are dulled or heightened. So what kind of home do you have right now? What kind of home do you want it to be? Be the change you want to see.