Home is such a big word, colossal really. You try to nicely slide home into a casual convo and suddenly the atmosphere alters. You are bombarded relentlessly with questions.
Where are you from?
What was it like?
Do you miss it?
How about your parents?
When I moved to Chicago to go to school, it never felt like I moved away from home. Not in that my parents are always with me blah blah blah bullshit. I mean it in that slightly tragic, disheartened kid way because the house I grew up in reeked of manufactured happiness and it never felt like home. And a home, I’ve gleamed from copious sitcoms and blockbusters, is felt.
Recently, I moved from my first apartment to a temporary location before I leave in the fall to study abroad in Europe. Ripping my off my cheap posters with George from Seinfeld in that iconic chaise from the bare white walls, giggling with my roommates over who is the true owner of that one malformed candle, and rummaging through the toiletries shelf, tampons flying in a exasperated huff, I felt a pang. In a journey into the real word – that looming, omnipresent background of your entire undergraduate career – what if I lost all my smiles and tears and 2 am Taco Bell runs in the fray? My best friends and I are no longer participants of a 24-hour sleepover, and my 12-year-old self is pissed.
But more than that, my 20-year-old self is terrified about finally actualizing that unknown feeling of leaving home.