(something to listen to while you read)
I lost my childhood home back in June, but moving away for school already felt like I was losing a large part of it. That, coupled with my crumbling family structure made it feel even more real. It’s funny how, even with all of these non physical things, it took an actual zillow listing for me to comprehend what was actually happening.
Once I brought myself to go up north and say goodbye, I let myself feel every emotion 100%. I sat at my typical morning tea spot at home ( the place I would begin all of my mornings) and sobbed. But once I got in the car and headed back down south, I found comfort in calling that unfamiliar place home.
Don’t get me wrong- this shit still sucks. I took a trip back to Marin this past weekend for the first time since everyone went their separate ways and couldn’t even get myself to stay the entire weekend. It turns out the calm after the storm isn’t too calm & sometimes it’s harder to navigate a new normal than to drag myself through a storm.
But before the dust had settled, my feelings looked a little more like this:
“I wish I could always go back to this place. I wish this house felt like a safe place for me. Somewhere I could play mermaids in the pool as a twenty one year old and write in my tea spot above the hot tub and my mom would show me the new vegetables sprouting in her garden everytime I came to visit. I could always come home and cook mushroom risotto in our bright orange Le Creusets.
This place where I thought I would have my small backyard wedding and teach my kids to swim in the magical blue tiled pool, just like I did. & while doing so, I’d turn to see my dad on one of our lounge chairs smoking a cigar. My mom would bring out stuffed peppers and homemade pasta for dinner. At this moment, my dad would kiss her on the forehead and thank her. And we would all eat dinner outside together as we complained about getting mosquito bites under the oak trees, secretly feeling grateful that this place is still ours. But in reality, there are a lot of holes covered by posters and broken doors in that house, and a family that is really only a family by blood.
& through these memories, I am coming to realize that I cannot resent the people in my life for not giving me these moments because it is only my responsibility to create them for myself. Though, I can hope that the next people who move in create the memories that belong in that magical space.
& I am slowly coming to realize that this is the reality of this house and these emotions that I am feeling, but right now, I can't even bring myself to respond to my mom's message asking to set up a facetime to go through my things.”
& even though so many people have gone through it, or are going through it with me, divorce is still something we all need to navigate on our own. But it is through these moments of feeling so lost- of lacking connections with those who are my typical go-to’s, not knowing where I’ll stay when I visit my hometown, navigating a new split family, and making my temporary home at school feel as permanent as possible, that I have created the most beautiful connections with those who had gone through it year’s before me. It is through their advice, love, experiences, and new found perspectives that I have been able to understand that I am at the beginning of a long path, but every adjustment is one step closer to the end.