Two months ago, I sat on my bedroom floor at 6 Chapman Ave and wrote “A House Is Not A Home.” When I wrote that post, I was still in the process of moving out of my childhood home, but I am now eight weeks removed from that time and those tears.
Since then, I’ve found that my mom was right when she said, “a house is not a home, home is wherever I am.” It’s not that I didn’t believe her, but it was hard to imagine not having the physical house attached to all the memories stored in my head.
Here’s where I’m at now:
I’ve had many dreams that I am back in my house, but the dreams all have one thing in common: I don’t belong there. In most of the dreams, the house was signed over to the new owners, but they gave us more time to move so we were living there past the selling date (obviously, it doesn’t work like that).
A couple nights ago, I dreamt that the owners weren’t home so my mom and I walked in and were looking around. Things took a weird turn when I looked up the stairs through the banister and saw a little girl in my room locking eyes with me. I told her not to be scared, that her room used to be mine and I just wanted to visit again. It was as if I was an overly attached apparition back for a quick haunting.
Every time I wake up from one of these weird dreams, I don’t feel sad, just relieved. Relieved that it’s over and grateful to my subconscious for reminding me that where I am now is better than the “what now?” state that I was in a few months ago.
The only thing worse than unwanted change is the limbo stage of it where you are coming to terms with but not yet removed from a situation. I hated being in the process of leaving my house. It felt like I could turn back at any second, but the truth was that I never had control over any of it.
I’d much rather be where I am now. I miss 6 Chapman Ave, but I don’t miss saying goodbye to it. I don’t miss crying over walls and windows. When you strip the house of its people and the life they created there, that’s really all it is . . . walls and windows.
I can only say all of this now because I am in a healthy place with this life shift, including the underlying reason for it all. In the past, I simply tolerated change, I never embraced or settled into it; I didn’t think I could. Now, I know I can.
I’m not sure when the dreams of me creepily sneaking in to my old house will stop, but I can say that waking up and realizing I’m not breaking the law serves as a sense of relief because the equal alternative to my house is definitely not jail.
P.S. I’d like to dedicated this post to my illiterate pup because she has been the true star of this move. Penny adjusted so well and served as inspiration for me to worry less and nap more.