When I was eight, I wanted to make a time capsule. I was obsessed with the idea that a piece of me could be frozen in time and that years later I could look back with nostalgia. I never got around to making one, and the idea was lost somewhere between the heat of the summer and the maple branches in my front yard. My grand plans vanished like my sidewalk chalk drawings after the rain and I soon moved on. I wish I had made it. Seven years later, I have already begun to forget my eight-year-old self. What were my goals and dreams? When I lay in bed at night, what thoughts filled my mind?
I have now realized that in some ways, I did make a capsule. On the outside, my home is just a blue house with potted plants on the front steps and cats in the windows. But on the inside, my home is where all my past selves and stories live in the photos on the walls and the boxes under my bed. When I walk through my house, I watch myself growing up. I can see the remnants of old hobbies and scrapped dreams that were once my whole world. I can see first times and last times, and the things I will do time and time again until I move out for college.
In the corner of our living room lies a collection of Legos, the once vibrant colors faded by dust and time. The Lego girls with pastel skirts and poodles were my very first phase. The obsession started when I was five and lasted for years until building houses and playing pretend was no longer fun.
In the depths of the coat closet are a pair of rock climbing shoes. I can still remember nights at the gym, dusting my palms with chalk and looping the rope through my harness. Perhaps it was my fear of heights or maybe I just lost interest, but somewhere along the way I unlaced my shoes for the last time and got a tennis racket instead.
In the dining room is the large table I have sat at every year on April 12th, my family illuminated in the glow of birthday candles. Blowing out the candles in my dining room has always been the constant, the reassurance that even if I grew two inches or quit piano lessons, something would stay the same.
I never needed a time capsule to remember the past. It lives in the faint pencil marks on my wall and the colorful dresses in my closet. Home is better than a time capsule. Home is not curated, it holds highs and lows, tears and smiles, fights and hugs. Home is not sealed, buried, and dug up decades later. Just like me, it will grow, it will change, and some parts will always stay the same.