After 25 years in the same house, my granny is moving. It would seem utterly unrelated to me in the slightest, EXCEPT my granny’s basement sort of became a storage unit for my home.
To distill a complicated spiral of events into a few sentences: I got into law school (unexpectedly- I know, a story for another time. I’ll get into it someday), I was in a toxic relationship, I was commuting 1.5 hours each day to and from law school, and I decided I needed to move. STAT.
So I packed up my house, my home for the four prior years, moved into my parents fully furnished basement, and happily deposited all my “home” in granny’s basement. And there it is has stayed since 2015.
I always thought I would get a house after law school, so I always thought holding onto my “home” was a good idea. Besides, any time I missed it, it was just down the street and down a flight of creepy stairs. And trust me, there were times I could have sat in that dark basement for hours, just be home.
But then, plot twist: 2017, I met Matt, who lived in Omaha, and had his own house. By the time my 2018 graduation rolled around, he had a career and a home and was settled… and I lived in my parents basement. It made more sense to leave my home and join his home. So I packed up my dog, my clothes, and a good pillow, pulled away from my childhood home, to embark on my Nebraska journey to find home.
And I’ve been in Nebraska for almost 3 years. In fact, I just established residency (despite no diamond, which I SWORE would never happen). Damn me for telling the police on myself!
So.. If you’re keeping track, I now have my home that’s stored in granny’s basement, remaining parts of home stored at my parents, and the home that Matt and I have built together over the last 2.5 years. So like, 3 homes, or at least, 3 pieces of home scattered along the Midwest. 😩
Back to present time: I have to clean out granny’s basement. I’ve been dreading it all week. Pulling out my old decorations and my old furniture, my old pictures and my old horseback riding stuff, is going to inevitably hurt. Last time I was in my Lawrence home, Harley was still alive, Star was still alive, I was two bunnies richer. I had different friendships and relationships. My 5 year trajectory looked NOTHING like my current life.
No seriously, if you told me when I moved out of the 1800, I would eventually live in Nebraska, I would have laughed in your face. But hey, life has its own plans 🤷🏻♀️
But the more I think about it, the more I realize home is just a concept. It’s a person, it’s a place, and it’s a thing, and sometimes it’s all three.
Home is where Matt and my dogs are. Not where my outdated decorations are or my beach-themed bathroom set is.
Home is where my parents are, not with my broken living room chair and my scratched kitchen table.
Home is with Star’s ashes (which still kills me, btw) not with every halter she’s ever worn and every hoof pick I’ve owned.
Home is spending the evening with loved ones, laughing about old memories, and cherishing all the other “homes” you’ve shared.
Home is the place where the people that you share it with are the most important part.
Home is currently dark walnut floors, covered in muddy paw prints, and an empty, but still running fish tank (because for some reason, I just can’t get the damn fish to stay alive).
Home is having drums as the background beat to my life.
Home is paws on my face, blankets hogged, and sleepy kisses from my guy.
Home changes, invariably. Time changes home, people leave home, people start a new home with new people, friends move forward, you (or in this case, I) move forward (or northern 🤣). Home is ever-evolving.
The more I’ve considered it, the less home is about an address and the more it’s about a feeling; a comfort; safety. Home can be filled with furniture and decorations, but those are merely things. The invaluable pieces of home are the memories made within the walls, the laughter that still hurts your stomach to think back on, the feeling of safety beneath your roof, and a place to grow.
Home isn’t my things. I’m not getting rid of home today, by going through granny’s basement. Rather, I’m reminiscing on an old home, a place of growth, and a place of tremendous, irreplaceable memories. That growth and those memories will never leave me, as they are not tied to things that filled that house.
Today, I’m going through my old things; some I will keep to add to my new home, and some I am ready to let go of, because they never really made home, home anyways.
Home is priceless, but not because of the things in it. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Sunny daze ahead, sweet friends (probably).