It’s been a couple months since I moved back into my little home in Tempe. Friends and family walked on egg shells for the first few weeks. I could tell they were being gentle with my heart, trying to carefully ask the obvious: was it weird?
Yes. It was a bit strange to be back in this place, a home I bought a decade ago. It was odd to have Nelson, here, in a home where I long avoided getting a dog because of the small space. And it felt peculiar to be single, sleeping in the middle of the bed.
This house has some ghosts, but they are kept at bay by the tidal wave of good memories I felt opening the front door for the first time in years. How many meals have I served from that tiny kitchen? Hundreds, easily. The patio, with worn furniture long since needed replacement, has hosted birthday parties, garden parties, bridal showers, baby showers and an HOA-illegal bbq or four. The walls were once turquoise and my grandma’s hide-a-bed was the first couch.
Today, the bones of this place are the same, just a decade older. There is some wear and tear, but also the inherent sense of home you cannot buy, found in the creak of the front door, the chickens singing across the way and ever-present basketball game happening at the neighborhood park.
I have my own ghosts — memories I don’t want to unpack, and some regrets too. Don’t we all? But more than anything, I am relieved, thankful to be living here, in my own space that I figured out a way to maintain. I feel good about who I am, the work I am doing, and the life I am leading for the first time in far too long.
And if it took moving so many times to find Nelson, the journey was well worth it.
It’s nice to be home.