Started on emptying my storage unit today… And when I got home, I sat on the couch and looked around. The place that’s been my home for 14 years is about to be someplace I come back to for the holidays. The bedroom my mama redecorated for my 13th birthday won’t be mine anymore. The backyard hasn’t seen a swing set or trampoline in YEARS, but it’s where I had mine. That fireplace has been cold more often than its been warm, but I remember when a fire was lit in it. This is the home where we argued, laughed, loved, lost, and wondered if we were gonna make it. People have walked in and out of that front door, and some have made a lasting impact on who I am.
This house has seen me cry, seen me figure out what love really was, seen me slam doors and think I knew better than my mama, seen me argue for the sake of arguing. This house became my home when I thought I had lost my home.
In a few weeks, I’m striking out to make a new house a home. A little earlier than I wanted, and if I said I wasn’t scared I’d be lying. I’m terrified. I don’t know the first thing about living alone, and I’m about to do it for 3 months.
How do I make it a place full of laughter and inappropriate dinner conversation without my mama and my sister? How do I make it a place full of love without my Nana and my Poppy? How do I decide to arrange the furniture without my mother saying, “Not that way”, in my ear, and then doing it herself anyway? How do I do anything without my family right down the road? My inlaws, my dad and stepmom, my sisters and brother, all the people who have always helped me?
I don’t know. But I do know that this is what people do. They grow up and get married and move into their own houses and they make their own homes.
This house has seen me learn all sorts of lessons. But it taught me the most important one:
Home is not a place. It is not a house, or a state, or a small town.
Home is people. Home is your mom saying, “mmm, tasty”, after the first bite of almost every meal. Home is going to the gym and doing crafty things with your mother in law. Home is your father in law stepping up and saying, “don’t worry about it. We’re going to figure it out,” when he doesn’t have to. Home is spending time with your dad and stepmom and your siblings. Home is making fun of the way your mom cleans the house with your sister. Home is knowing I can call my Nana everyday, and I know she’ll answer, and we can talk about everything and nothing all at the same time. Home is having people around you to help you up when you’ve fallen down. Home is laughing when you want to cry because they’re telling awful jokes.
And that’s not going to change, even though I’m moving 1,500 miles away. Because my home, home? He’s in the desert somewhere, and when he gets back… I’m going to be whole again. And there will be less sleepless nights, and more arguments, and I will probably end up hating to cook dinner. But home is where the heart is. And I’m not entirely sure where mine’s at right now, but when he’s back… We’re going to have a place for home to grow.
To my mama, my D.A.D., my dad, my MIL&FIL, my stepmom, my Natalie, Lance, Haleigh, and Preslie, my Nana and my Poppy…and to all the people who I couldn’t possibly list due to the crazy length this post would be…
You all have taught me different things, all have helped when I needed it, all have called and asked how I was, all have been no more than a call away, or sometimes a hallway away. Thank you.
This is a new chapter in life, and I’m not the one writing it. I’m in for the ride just like y’all.
Home is where the heart is, and a piece of mine will always be here in the Lonestar State.