Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Creating Home

Throughout my life, as with most people’s early years, my home has been made and defined by my parents. While I consider my home to be the relationships and connections that I have with my family versus a physical entity, it is true that there are certain aspects of each of my houses that remain the same and make it home. There are certain traditions that we hold on to as a family that give our lives some continuity, certain arrangements of household items, and a general structure that we cling to.
Much of this stems from my parent’s, and in particular my mom’s, attempt to provide continuity throughout all of the moves that my family made as a Navy family. Perhaps this comes from their attempt to provide sanity and a safe harbor in the midst of turmoil for my family, or perhaps it comes from their attempts to hold on to some previously held conception of home. Whichever it may be, it does not change the fact that the aspects I am about to enumerate are the way my parents have created home.
Perhaps the best example and analogy of this phenomenon, for lack of a better word, can be found in our kitchen. No matter what the layout of a new kitchen may be- our silverware can always be found to the left of the sink, cleaning supplies go underneath the sink, trash will always be found immediately to the right of the sink, and so on. This certainly makes my mother’s task of making our families’ meals easier because she always knows where to find everything in her kitchen. Certain closets around the house, depending on their location in comparison to the kitchen, laundry room, or my parent’s bedroom will also house certain items.
This may all seem like minutia that is not overly important. However, in thinking about creating my own home now that I am in college and living on my own, I have begun to appreciate the subtleties around my old homes. Will my own home have anything in common? Will it have everything in common? What will I define for myself and what will I mimic of my parents? Will I be so oriented on detail or, because I will not be bouncing all around the country, will I define my home in a different way? All of these questions start to pile up and as soon as I began thinking about them, I have begun to realize the enormity of the task that creating a home really is. As I continue in my formative college years these questions will remain in the back of my mind and I will pick and choose different things that worked or did not work in college and apply them to my own home when I finally graduate.

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