When I was six, my parents decided that it would be a good idea to let me pick what color to paint my bedroom in our new house. I went with a bright pink, and for the next 12 years, I grew up encased in a pink prison. Okay, a little dramatic to call it a prison, but I soon realized in my early teens that I absolutely despised the color. Instead of changing the color, I plastered posters (mostly of Jeese McCartney and Harry Potter) and pictures everywhere. When you walked into my room, you would be encased by four scrapbook styled walls. I always thought it was nice to have some personalized wallpaper.
My parents sold the house after I graduated from high school. They had a made an agreement to keep the house until I went to college, that way I could finish my schooling in an environment I was already familiar with. Despite the flaws the house had, I knew it like the back of my hand. Even now, I can hear the thud of the last step on the stairs and the eerie sounds the laundry room made. I carved my named on the wooden structure in my living room when I was sick with the flu, and built 1,000 piece puzzles in the second floor living room to escape the heat and boredom of summer.
12 years is a long time to live in one place. There were a lot of good firsts that happened in that home. My first kiss, the first nerd herd Christmas party (that’s what my friend group in high school called ourselves, as you can tell we’re super cool), the first time my dad taught me how to play catch, the first time I said “I love you” to a boy, the first time I got ready for a school dance; the list goes on. There are so many fond memories made in that home, ones that I shared with friends and ones that only I will remember.
One of my favorite memories, was picking plums from the plum trees in my backyard. I was excited every year to see when they were ripe enough to be plucked. I used to stand on my tippy toes or jump in hopes to catch as many as I could in my hands. When I got old enough, I would climb the ladder to grab them and eventually we got a fruit picking stick to do the work. I knew that summer was never complete until we had gotten enough plums to feed an army of soldiers (which usually meant my friends).
I also have a lot of bad memories in that house as well. Big loud arguments, silent crying, rejections, my first real breakup; that house has seen it all. But, then again a home cannot be created with happy memories alone, sad memories need places to thrive as well.
I know childhood homes are meant to be sold and to be missed. Regardless, I still drive by when I can to check out the old place, to make sure it’s in good hands. The people who live there now have finally cleaned out the garage and the broken blinds are now changed. I don’t think my room is pink any longer and they finally fixed the overhead light in the hallway. It isn’t a different house because some lightbulbs were changed, it’s a different house because it is no longer a place I make memories, only a place where my memories are stored.
I always have this dream, where someday I can buy back that house and make more memories with my future family. I don’t know if that can or will ever happen, but I’ve realized that my childhood home is only a skeleton where my memories live. It was because of the people I spent time with there, the experiences I had, the growing I did that made that home so special. It could of happened anywhere, in any house.
So, I’ve been making new memories in my new home now. Some are wonderful warm loving ones, and some are hard ones. I’ve lived in the new house for about two years now, and I’m finally starting to see that this house is now a home.
Bloody hell and best wishes,