Yesterday Kelly and I visited the house that I grew up in, and let me tell you, it was bizarre. I hadn’t been in basically 9 years. I very clearly remember the last time I was there. I took a few boxes, put them in my mom’s car, and then went to school. Since then I’ve walked by it a few times, but I’ve never been inside it to see how it had changed.
Right after we moved, I had really weird feelings about the house. It still felt like home, and when I thought about the concept of “home”, that is what I thought about. And I knew if somehow we just magically transported back to that house, I’d settle in right away. But eventually that feeling went away, and my parent’s new house became home. I hadn’t really even thought about going inside of it until last Friday, when on the way home from work I thought about seeing if there was an open house. I knew it was for sale, and I figured there was a good chance of it being open. And sure enough, it was.
So we went out there, and I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but what happened wasn’t exactly the same. It was weird being there, certainly, but the connection was mostly gone. I went into my old bedroom, and it didn’t really feel like my old bedroom. But there were lots of little things, like dents in walls, and paint on the bathtub, and tile on the floor that hadn’t changed since we left. Still, there wasn’t a deep emotional connection to the building like I thought that there would be.
I guess what made it home wasn’t the fact that it is shaped like it is, but that we lived there, and our stuff was there, and my family was there. The building itself didn’t matter so much. And so while it was very interesting to go back and see the place where I have spent more time than anywhere else in the world, it didn’t matter or affect me as much as I thought it was going to.