After a long tiring day, I trudged through the front door, threw my backpack to the side, and collapsed onto the couch. I was exhausted but also overwhelmed with a strong feeling. I felt like I was finally home.

I suppose this is the feeling I miss most about my old house. It’s been a little short of a month since I’ve moved, and I’m still not able to call my new house my home. As kids, we were taught that a house shelters you, and provides you with a roof over your head, so most of our young minds instantly linked the word house to ‘home’. What I, among others, failed to recognize then, was that the word home isn’t just defined by a generic group of words, but also by a feeling that accompanies it.

When I think of home now, I think of family, memories, and the emotions that are tied to the memories. Looking back, I was so upset to move because, for the past eleven years, my previous house had been my home. Inside the walls of that house is every tear that’s been shed, every good news that’s been shared, and every argument that took place. Everything. It was real. Home is a place that contains raw and real emotions.

All these memories, however, aren’t just within material objects, but within people and those making the memories. Growing up, my sister and I were pretty rambunctious children and got into our fair share of arguments. One of those even involved getting into a brawl on the stairs and tumbling down them, taking the hand railing with us. Our dad spent a week attaching the handrail back to the wall and making it look almost good as new. Despite that fight, we all look back at that moment and laugh at the ridiculous antics my sister and I used to pull.

My new house doesn’t have that slightly tilted handrail that brings a smile to my face every time I walk past it. As I come to terms with the move and letting go of the house that’s been my home for so long, I more frequently acknowledge that home isn’t just a place that has material objects representing the past, but also people that help you move on to the future and make new memories. My idea of home, along with memories, includes being with the people I love and the memories I share with them.

Although I haven’t completely developed the feeling of ‘home’ here, there have been occasions where I’ve forgotten that I even moved. Small moments like having our first family dinner at the new house are moments that allow me to believe that the feeling of ‘home’ isn’t just tied
to a house.

Home is where you find yourself letting out a sigh of relief after an exhausting trip. Home is a feeling of belonging. Home is with loved ones or a place where loving memories can be made.