I lived in the same house from the time I was very small until I was 17 years old. When it was my turn to move out of the house, my parents did as well and it was sort of this weird simultaneous transition. They say you can’t go home again, and the truth for me was, I couldn’t. Ever since that house I’ve lived in a number of different apartments and in many different places: college in San Luis Obispo and then Los Angeles just because (in Westwood right by UCLA, then in Mar Vista right by Marina del Rey). After that I headed up to Sacramento where I have lived Downtown, then in East Sacramento and now in the suburban outskirts of Carmichael (which trust me, are all very different living experiences). With each move I have become more efficient with that dance of systematically unpacking my stuff, setting up a brand new life, finding Target and the grocery store and the good gas stations, and then of course trying to make my house a home. But part of me was always still searching for something.
I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust. I’ve discussed that here before, I love to travel and when I do I rarely go for fancy hotels. I much prefer renting a house or a condo in my destination, and pretending – even if just for a weekend – that this is my home. It’s fun to play the part of a whole new life. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was adaptable. I’ve always though I could pick and move anywhere at anytime. It’s something I know how to do, something I do well even – moving from place to place and always finding where I belong there.
I think I took for granted the stability of my home growing up, but I mean what can you expect? I was a kid and idyllic suburbia was all I knew. I longed for “bigger and better” things as I grew up – living in the city, or having a fun apartment downtown – whatever it was. But as I’ve gotten older, moved around, and lived in different places I have such a better appreciation for everything my parents did to make our house more than just this place we all slept. It was home. And of course even though I have had great living experiences in my 32 years -- lived in fun and quirky places, had some fantastic roommates (and some not so fantastic ones, too!) -- I still found myself in search of that feeling of home and often wondered what it would feel like as an adult.
Yesterday afternoon I fell asleep on the couch as I often do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I took a catnap with the sun coming in the windows just a bit making the house that perfect temperature for snoozing. It was quiet and when I woke up Garrett was tip-toeing around the house cleaning things up in the kitchen.
“I’ve never seen you sleep more soundly than you do at this house.”
And it’s true (although truth be told regardless of chair, bed, or couch, I can be a champion sleeper in any locale.) But even more than that, I realized – I do sleep sounder here. I breathe deeper here. Moving in to this particular house with this particular boy has – at the risk of sounding a bit cheesy – been a bit of a homecoming. (Collective barfing can commence!) My favorite stuff and my favorite person are finally all in the same location. No more subconscious worrying about one or the other. No more shuttling back and forth on the weekends. No more buying groceries for one house just to end up having them spoil because you both are staying at the other house.
THIS, is home.
And you all, it is like this giant exhale for my soul.
And I know you are probably thinking to yourself – hey genius, it’s already been a year and you are just getting around to this epiphany now? And the answer to that is: kind of. What can I say; sometimes I’m slow on the uptake.
Lately I keep looking around the rooms of my house – our house – and seeing our intertwined lives in every single room. The things we’ve done together, the things we’ve chosen together, our shared tasks, and our shared goals. I’ve looked around at this house – well, at this life really – and seen roots. Which is exactly what I have always missed about my life with my parents in our little old house. This is the thing I have been looking for. This is the life I’ve been searching for. And I know that if you take this blog’s word for it, sometimes it is a small and mundane life -- who are we kidding, right? But even though it is a silly little life, you guys sometimes it is such a good life – and on days like yesterday I almost can’t believe my luck that I found it at all -- and can hardly believe that I get to watch it grow.