I keep thinking things like “this is the last time I will celebrate my sister’s birthday while I’m living in this house.” Or “I will never get to watch the rhododendrons bloom outside my bedroom window again.” “That was the last time I will ever play soccer for Olympia High School.” “I will never attend a high school dance ever again.”
For the first time in my life, I’m experiencing this strange anticipation of loss. I know it’s coming; I know when it will happen. It’s a right of passage. But it’s still a distinct loss, and it all centers around losing my home.
I am a very literal person. There is very little gray area; things are either right or wrong, black or white. House and home have always been synonymous. My house is where my home is. Why would it be anything else?
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that this is not the case for everyone. Their house is not safe or welcoming. Perhaps their house is simply not where the people they love the most are, and if that is the case, then these people cracked the code about home far before I ever did. Brick and mortar hold emotional power. It is definitely possible to be attached, in a very real way, to a place. But home – home is where those you love are. Home is rest. Home is vulnerable, raw, and uncomfortable. But mostly, home is love.
I’ve been blessed enough to live under the same roof as those who I know love me unconditionally. Because of this, the sense of loss that is coming from the end of my childhood years and graduating high school is exacerbated. But I know that this home will always be there for me to come back to.
This house is the only home I’ve ever known. As I go out into the world, living on my own hundreds of miles from home, one of my main concerns is how to make a home by myself. It will no longer be in the big, loud house that I grew up in. It will most likely be in a small dorm room with faulty heating and an uncomfortable bed. However, the principles of home remain the same; a place to rest, recharge and above all else, to love.
Ultimately, that is what I want to accomplish in life – to create a home for myself and for others. It’s a daunting task, and it starts in a few months. But I had it modeled well for me for 18 years, and I think that I can do it.