When I was around 7 or 8 years old, my best friend at the time lived in the house next door. This made organizing playdates at the drop of a hat wonderfully convenient, and allowed us to plan constant weekend sleepovers.
Friday or Saturday night would roll around and I'd excitedly walk the five paces next door in my pajamas, ready for junk food and fort building. Then, around 10 p.m., I'd start to complain of a stomach ache. I was sick, I needed to go home and sleep in my own bed or I'd definitely, totally puke everywhere.
And so my parents were phoned, the front door was unlocked, and I came home and quietly conked out in my own familiar, comfortable bed. Yes, I was the kid who couldn't sleep away from home, even when it was next door.
My whole life has been about familiarity. As a toddler we moved to the condo community my parents now still reside in. However, at about age 6 we moved ACROSS THE STREET into a nearly identical home, aside from the fact that everything (the rooms, staircases) was on the opposite side. Really not much of a change to get used to. And so familiarity set in.
After a few years I could find my way through the house in complete darkness, knowing every detail and the placement of the furniture like the back of my hand. We almost moved a few times in my childhood and I protested, terrified of the aspect of getting used to a new layout. I could not relate to kids who spent their whole lives moving around, adjusting themselves to new scenery on a regular basis. I was never "the new kid," and I liked it that way.
High school came and went, my older sister moved out, and I was still living at home. Both of my parents worked pretty long days and I had the house to myself most of the time. I loved being there.
However, adulthood came along and it started to become apparent that I couldn't live there any longer. Well, my parents said I could if I wanted to, almost begged me to. I'm the youngest and my mom was getting scared of Empty Nest Syndrome setting in.
I too was afraid to leave, sad they'd be lonely, sad I'd be lonely, but excited for the freedom that comes with having your own place, the dorky allure of decorating exactly to my own liking.
I was accepted to college late last Fall, and began the apartment hunt in December. I found a great place, an apartment in an awesome neighbourhood of Toronto full of cute little shops and amazing restaurants.
The apartment is an older building, with tons of character, a giant bathtub (more on that later, I do primarily write about beauty and bath products after all), and a cool roommate with a cute little tabby cat who likes sleeping on my new bed. It's ideal for me, it's what I needed, but I still get bummed out from time to time.
It's only been a few weeks, but I'm not sure if I'll ever truly feel like this is home. Home will always be my parents' house. Right now I feel like a stranger in some surreal new environment. This house feels like a transient stop for me, a temporary roof over my head while my "real" home waits for me. I feel like a hotel guest on a strange working getaway, trying to get used to a new city, its customs, its nooks and crannies.
When I come home to an empty apartment and cook dinner for myself in near silence, I can't help but feel a little sad.
Perhaps it's just the Winter weather, maybe it's the sudden change, the lack of familiarity, or maybe I just miss my mom. Whatever it is, it sucks.
However, it isn't a constant. I do love my new life; I love being at school despite how much time it takes away from me (did you notice a lack in my posting? I'll try to remedy that whenever I get a spare moment, promise).
Overall I'm happy, and open to this change. Adjusting is difficult, especially for me, a girl whose known to dig her heels in to anything comfortable, easy or familiar. Being faced with loneliness, with adult "duties," with responsibilities, can suck. It's all a learning experience though, and I'm extremely grateful for it. And if it does ever get too tough, my mom's still only a phone call away.
Talk to me about the movin'-out blues or just follow my new, boring, adult day-to-day on Twitter: @hannahejo