My home has always had mice, my home has always been too cold or too hot, and my home has always had leaks. But now that the prospect of leaving has finally become a reality for me, due to college, I’ve realized that these things, things I’ve dreaded in the past, are the reasons why I love my home.
My youth was spent setting mouse traps with my dad, perfecting our peanut-butter spreading method. My nights were filled with engineering the perfect leak-catching contraption to soften the sound of drops hitting the bottom of it. And my days involved me finding any possible crack in my room, and subsequently taping a blanket over it to maximize possible coziness. Each of these experiences made me appreciate the times when they didn’t occur more than if they never had. The nights where I didn’t have scurrying behind my bed’s headboard became tranquil, the day my roof was fixed curiously aligned with my best night’s sleep in months, and the first warm days of spring felt all the better with the months of bitter cold before them.
What makes my house my home is the fear I hold at the thought of losing it. I believe that appreciation comes from being uncomfortable, so what happens when my new house is entirely comfortable? What happens when I can’t appreciate the warmth because it’s rarely cold? What happens when the quiet loses its sincerity to me because it’s never loud? I know that these fears will never come entirely to fruition, after all, I’m not going to suddenly materialize in a utopia. But even with that knowledge, the anxiety that I won’t be able to fully appreciate the wonderful parts of life in the future persist.
In just a few months I won’t have the same squeaky floorboards to come home to, I won’t have my washing machine that floods the basement sometimes when it runs, and I won’t be in my home. But all of those things were once new, my floorboards have been replaced, previous washing machines broke down, and at one point, 18 years ago, I entered my home for the first time. With each of these new experiences came fear, but eventually each of them became part of my home. In 5 months I will walk through a door to an apartment that doesn’t feel like my own, but eventually, it will feel normal, like home.