When home becomes just another house

Photo by Tyler Meuter

I’m not sure when it started to happen. Maybe it was during my full year away in Atlanta, moving every semester, with only intermittent visits back, consisting of only two or three days at time. Or perhaps, it was initiated by my first internship far away from any immediate family immediate this past summer in San Francisco.

Whenever it originated, it’s undeniable that in my heart, the place I have always referred to as my home, has slowly becoming just another house, or rather, my parent’s house.

The idea that your cherished childhood home has devolved into just another house you occasionally inhabit is pretty devastating when first realized. The experience is comparable to discovering that a certain elderly man decked out in red who visits once a year in fact does not deliver presents to children all around the day on that special day. The wonderfulness of the day is lost as get older, and the our focus is slowly moved away from the magic.

Throughout my time at university, as I have gotten much busier and spend most of my time outside of my living quarters. My dorm room became more of a locker room than a place that was actually inhabited. Gone were the times that I spent an extended amount of time playing with my plushies or curled up in bed with good book. The main focus of my room is now my bed where I crash after long day out working or hanging out elsewhere.

After spending over a year in Tech housing, this mindset got carried out beyond my dorm room  and unintentionally applied to my room at my home back in New Jersey.

During the rest of my time away, small instances started indicating my slowly shrinking  emotional presence within the home, starting with having to ask my parents where basic items around the house were instead of intuitively knowing where silly things like the regular dinner plates are. Or not knowing exactly what my parent’s new dinner routine anymore. Is “Jeopardy” not watched  after “World News with David Muir?” Why exactly do we have to march around the house to exercise?

Of course, as with all things,  as time goes on, change in evitable. However, this particular change in feeling does not that detract from the fact that I am becoming more independent and started to establish my new home, and as I continue to move on through out life, I need to be able to accept that I am going to experience much more nostalgic loss. Besides, how does one even definite their home beyond the place where their family lives.

My childhood house and the surrounding area contains many memories that I will always cherish forever, but it is time. This does not mean that I will never return home to visit my parents, whom I have seen many more times than I have been home.  I will just visit them. In their home.