A few weeks ago Nate and I went down to California to visit my family (and his on the way). On our drive home, as we discussed many important topics such as Taylor Swift's career, I began thinking about how nice it felt to be "home." I asked Nate when we would feel as good going back to our home as we did going to our parents' homes. His answer? "Never."
That might have something to do with the fact that our home represents work and bills and grocery shopping and RESPONSIBILITY while our parents' homes represent good food and fun and playing and RELAXATION. However, I started thinking about all of the "homes" I have had over the past five years. In under five years, I have moved 12 times-- yes count them 1, 2, 3, 4, well you get the idea :)
Each place has become my home on varying levels. I never thought a 6' x 10' room with cinder blocks could possibly feel homey, but somehow we managed... that's Brooke and me of course. She was my first roommate and has continued to be my best friend. I remember moving out of 317 Chipman Hall and feeling funny that I was so sad about it. She and I sat and cried as we hugged goodbye and left Provo for a solid four months of summer at "home."
The next fall I moved to Nauvoo. I never felt quite settled there. It was definitely a growing experience, but I could only bring like two suitcases. I think the lack of so much of my stuff kept me from feeling at home. When I returned to Provo, I moved into the awful King Henry. I have never hated a place so deeply. haha. I was so glad to move outta there! Then I moved to a house for the summer with some of my girlfriends. It was one of the best summers of my life.
That fall I moved into Santa Barbara. I lived in three different apartments in that complex and I loved every single one of them. The first time I visited Santa Barbara, I knew I HAD to live there. There was something about it. I had my happiest college experiences sitting on the grass in the quad in the middle of that complex. I can't really describe it. Even as I sit here, I feel a great nostalgia for that place. The third and final time I moved out of there (and in with Nate) I cried. Maybe I HAD to live there because it is where I met Nate. But I think there are so many other reasons also: I made so many lifelong friends, I learned so much about myself, I made important decisions, I grew more than I ever thought (or wanted), I had a Bishop (and his wife) who taught me so much, and for once I felt like I really established myself away from home. I know someday when my kids come to Provo (because all good Mormon kids return at some point) I will take them by Santa Barbara and reminisce about how I met their father there and all of the good times we had. They will probably roll their eyes the same way my sister and I did when my parents took us to the good old Riviera. Maybe I should take some photos of Santa Barbara now so our kids can see it in its glory days.
I actually lived in Old Academy for a while too. That was a funny place. I didn't love the ward, but I had the most incredible roommates. I actually didn't have a place to live in the fall and I didn't know what to do. I went to a management company and they showed me a contract for Old Academy. I felt really good about it and signed without knowing what it looked like or who I would be living with-- so not like me. However, the girls I lived with were incredible. I'm not really sure how we all got along because we all had these really strong personalities, but somehow it was so fun. I remember this one time I was eating and all of the sudden I was like, "Where is my fork?" I looked everywhere before realizing I had actually poured my salad over it on my plate. All of the girls looked at me and then were like "You are SO perfect for this apartment." We giggled and cried and watched A LOT of Friends. At the semester, Passelly moved out and Ashlee moved in. We missed Passelly so much, but Ashlee added a lot of fun to our apartment. It was her first semester away from home and I had forgotten what an experience that can be. We were all really busy in that apartment, but somehow (mostly because of Stephanie) we always managed to have amazing Sunday dinners. I swear that those were some of the only vegetables I ate all of college. I'd probably have scurvy today if it weren't for that good home cookin.
Well that was most of the places so I guess that brings me to now-- our first apartment. Let me tell you, it's a lot nicer than I ever thought "our first apartment" would be. I'm not sure how we got so lucky. It has tile and a fabulous kitchen and was furnished (I use that term lightly) and it's super bright and it's really conveniently located and it even has an extra room (that has somehow become "Nate's room"). It's not my dream home, but somehow it has become our home. It's true that in the winter I sometimes wish I could get out of it, but after a long day of work, there is no where I would rather be. I gave up decorating some time ago. Our bedroom and bathroom look nice, but the other rooms leave a lot to be desired. I know this will probably sound crazy, but I'm going to be sad to leave it. I know we can't stay here forever, but sometimes I wish we could.
I really hate the idea of change and moving on. But I guess the reason I started writing this is because I realized that in all of the moves I've made, *most* of them have ended up feeling like home to me. Not because of the walls or the furniture or the location, but because of the memories and the experiences and most of all, the people. Who knows where these next few years will take us. The older I get, the more I want to live close to my family (but California comes with a high price tag, my sister doesn't make Indiana sound too enticing, and the jury is still out on if I could make it in Logandale). And there are so many people that I wish I could have live just down the street-- I am just glad that I will always have Nate across the dinner table!
I guess it will be an adventure and it just means that we will have more places to call "home" and more people to love. And there's always the promise of a bigger closet ;)