I think of my grandmother sometimes, about how she’s been in the same house for 50 years, almost, ivy crawling , weaving half a century into a blanket to keep each brick warm. How every single corner is literally a memory, of the five children she raised there with my grandfather, the gerbils that ate the curtains, the stairs where her cat would race up each night, only to come back down and take each step with my grandfather as he slowly made his way up to bed . Each squeak of a worn floorboard tells the story of a family, my family.
My own memories are scattered their too. Often I think of Sunday brunches, weeknight dinners, playdoh, backyard barbeques, sticky midwest summer afternoons spent with my cousins in the green turtle sandbox, basement floods, spotted dogs. Of the Christmas Eves I spent bent under the tree playing Santa, our large group fitting snugly on couches and sitting on the floor leaning against each other’s knees, swimming in a glittered sea of wrapping paper.
I’ve lived on the west coast for the past 17 years and in San Diego going on 7 years now (!) but it still doesn’t feel like home. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to pick up and move. The pulls the roots from the sandy soil and shake with freedom and fear. I want to wake up somewhere and just know I want to stay and stay long enough to find the ghost of a fond or familiar memory slipping up through the crack under the door or swimming in the dishwater.
I felt that way when I was in New York City. I thought about how fabulous it would be to hand Harper Central Park and snow and The Met to add to her home. I also thought about the backyard we wouldn’t have, the noise, the cold and how it would even out, to live somewhere I was passionate about, that I could fall in love with every day. To be that example, for her. It’s not that I’m unhappy with where I am, I’m unhappy with who I have become. I have always prided myself on being loud, passionate, intelligent, creative, and assertive but lately I find myself a timid kitten, the last one in the box, too scared to chase my own tail, none-the-less my dreams. At what point did I become so apologetic? Scared to want , try, to fail, to fall and maybe to succeed?