After moving out of my parent’s place almost exactly a year ago, my parents sold my childhood home in Barrington. My parents aren’t planning on moving far, because my dad is still running the landscape business out of South Barrington—but it’s still weird; I feel like I’m losing a “home.” Don’t get me wrong. I love the city of Chicago—despite the constant flow of tourists, the sirens and car horns, and the pigeons. I love my wonderful view of the city skyline, watching as the skyscrapers are built, the beaches just blocks from my front door, and meeting interesting people everyday. My apartment is my new home, but I had a home in Barrington too, and now that feels like it’s disappearing.
Barrington—as much as I dismissed it as “Boring”-ton when I was younger, when I was ready to vacate the town and begin, I thought, my life—isn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Sure, there isn’t that much to do, and that restaurants seem to vanish after only a couple years, but my parents’ house was a retreat. I’m going to miss the fresh air untainted by public transportation, my backyard constantly being tended to by my dad, the gazebo and the front porch where I spent so much of my time imagining new stories to write, and of course, my old bedroom, up on the converted third floor, which provided a birds-eye view of nearly half of Summit Street.
I know my parents will always have a space for us, a room reserved for my sisters and me when we visit them, but it won’t feel like “home,” if only because I have never lived there.
My family and I, along with all of my friends over the years, have so many great memories that took place in my old home, and those memories belong to us no matter where my parents move.
Yet, the thought of how ‘home’ is where you make it offers little consolation. I still feel attached to the lot my parent’s bought and built a house on fifteen years ago. My memories feel attached to that space.
On Tuesday, I sat in my parent’s basement in the storage area, and went through a few boxes. Most were filled with books and sorority stuff from college, but others had stuffed animals, diaries, and typewritten stories from when I was in middle school and younger. I hadn’t looked at that stuff since, well, it was packed away years ago. I ended up barely throwing out anything like I had planned to that morning. It amazes me how much memory is tied to things, to spaces—which explains the hold my parents’ home still has on me. After all, even though those boxes are moving along with my parents, I still feel like I’m losing something in the move from one place to another.
When I remind myself of my new “home,” of the new memories that have formed there so far, and the promise of more memories to come with my friends, my family, and my boyfriend, I realize how lucky I am. Change happens. Life happens. But in the moves, and all the in betweens, I continue to surround myself with people who I care about and who care about me.
I’m not sure how to finish this post. I feel like I’ve been overdramatic, cliché, over-the-top, etc. But I suppose that’s what happens when I’m still hunting for a job and spending a majority of the daytime (and night) sitting behind my laptop. I overthink/overanalyze/overconcern myself with things that, in the end, don’t matter all that much. So I’ll just say this: I’m lucky to have what I have. I’m lucky I have my kickass apartment/home in the city, and I’m lucky I still have my family to return to in the burbs (wherever that may be come September 5th). Again, there I go, being all corny. At the moment, I just can’t help it. Hopefully I’ll have a job soon, and you’ll be reading less overwrought posts soon.
One last thing: despite my dramatics, I will miss my old home and old backyard. And, despite my teenage desire to escape Barrington, I think I’ll—eventually—miss the town too.