october 7, 2018
as i lie on the hammock hung up between two giant citrus trees in my backyard, listening to phoebe bridgers sing sad songs about homesickness and struggling to belong, i think about my meaning of home. i’m moving soon, and i don’t want to think about how heavy it weighs upon me that i will never live here again. it feels right to relax and read a book in the backyard that i’ve grown up in for over 12 years. i look down at my feet, and there is the sunflower pattern that i begged my mom to design for the concrete, and the chalk stains from many drawings. over the years, and being quite a brat sometimes, i’ve always assumed everyone else’s houses are neater or prettier. my mom and i have gotten into so many fights because i blamed her decisions for being untasteful, not fit for my friends to come over and not notice. but just like the old adage goes, i never know what i have until i (have to) let it go. sure, an outsider would look at it and not be particularly impressed — my house is cluttered and messy, the kitchen never seems to be without its signature slight layer of oil and none of the colors cohere into an intentional aesthetic palette, but it’s what i’ve grown up with. it may be the scene of fierce tears over childhood tantrums, but it is also the backdrop to my blossoming from a young girl into a young woman, into the person i am becoming and want to become. years will pass, and i will have synchronized into a different habitat. years will pass, and someone else will have made this their home. years will pass, and other memories will have been made around the giant citrus trees — the trees that have always been my daily breakfast view, a chomp of eggs and a glance out at the ever-welcoming blue skies before rushing out the door. It’s hard to reconcile physical surroundings with my mental environment, to think that things will never be the way they are now, but all the same, the soft strums of a musician reminiscing over her own nostalgic experiences takes me deeper into my reverie. i can never get back this exact moment in time, but i will always remember my home, and in my memory i will hold it dear.
published june 29, 2019 on uniquely aligned.