Coming Home

Two nights ago, as I was sitting curled in my parent’s living room by the warm fire, my mom asked me what the colour green means to me. It was a test for her “Table Topic” selection for the next day’s Toastmasters meeting. In an attempt to be funny, I told her green means coming home.

“Coming home?,” she said.

“Coming home. My apartment door is green, my childhood bedroom is green, and the rolling hills of Ireland from whence we came are green.”

She smiled.

“Except we’re from Scotland.”

Yesterday, I texted my grandmother to see if I could drive up and visit. She asked if I was at home, and I said yes. She said to come on over.

After being ravaged by her dog - all fluffy 10 pounds of him - she chuckled and said “I don’t know why I asked you if you were home.”

I must have looked confused, because she continued — “Well I don’t know where your home is anymore. Do you call your parent’s house or your apartment home?”

“Good question,” I said, because it was. “I’m not sure. It depends, I guess.”

Where is my home?

After two school years of rude and dirty roommates, I was desperate to find a home last summer. I was supposed to live with my parents, but 15 minutes in, my brother and I were already in a physical fight.

Mom said I couldn’t stay.

As if a blessed gift from God herself, one of my best friends had a tiny room available at her apartment. The 4 girls already living there adopted me and became my home for those 4 tough months. I hate summer — too much sweat, heat and in my case, physical pain.

My boyfriend and I had been talking about moving in together in September for half a year at that point. He then flip-flopped 3 — count them, one, two, THREE times — before finally deciding he wasn’t ready to take that step and telling me we were also breaking up as we sat in his car about to head in to a scheduled apartment showing. I didn’t want to be rude, so we went in anyway.

It was a beautiful apartment.

The girls back home helped me out immensely during that time, even though I was not myself and definitely experiencing a major depressive episode. I was messy, always in bed, grumpy or drunk.

At least I’m a happy drunk.

Sorry girls, but thank you for the home.

After scrambling in the last two weeks of summer to secure a one room apartment for myself as I’m never braving internet stranger roommates again, I ended up here. Sure, my family teases me for how small it is — I have to share a bathroom in the hallway, and my fridge, toaster oven and microwave are stacked on top of each other - but it’s my own. I set the rules, I can be as messy as I want and nobody bothers me when I’m sleeping except the snowplows and my tone-deaf neighbour. It’s my now-home.

But when I walk into the white split-story bungalow I spent the majority of my childhood in, and curl up on the couch in front of that fire, mostly out of necessity because my ‘rents don’t turn on the heat unless we’re blue, I feel comfortable. At peace, and at home. My then-home.

In a year, I’ll hopefully be graduating. Maybe get a decent job and start paying down my student debt. Meet the man of my dreams who won’t waffle on living with me because he’ll be as excited as I am. Who knows!

What I do know is I want an apartment on a floor above the number 10.

I want a pet, and I’m undecided if it will be a cat or dog. Or maybe a snake.

I want a big bed and a big window even if it’ll cost more to heat.

I want a reading nook and a big modern desk with an ergonomic office chair, surrounded by wall to wall shelving with lots of books. English books, French books, textbooks, cookbooks, and comic books.

Welcome to my soon-home. Enjoy your stay.

I know I will.

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