What You Don't Notice About Home

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go home for Fall Break. It’s only a long weekend and I live pretty close to school so I have the luxury of going home whenever I want. However, I decided to make the 45 minute drive home. From the moment I turned onto my road, something started to happen. It happens most times I go home but tends to get pushed aside. It’s like a reoccuring epiphany, like falling in love over and over again. What is this magical moment? It’s remembering how grateful I am.

 

College is stressful and often rushed. Whether it’s rushing to your next class or rushing through homework, you’re constantly moving at a fast pace. Coming home is a time to slow down and relax. This downtime is what enables me to come back to the present and be mindful of the things that fill up my life. Being at college also shows me a lot of other people’s realities, the good, the bad, and the ugly. When I’m home I consider these alternate realities, what the people around me are experiencing. So, as I sit in bed with dogs who were over-the-moon excited to see me home, I present to you a list of things that fill my heart up.

 

  1. My parents. Easily the most caring and thoughtful people in the world (I know, I know that might be bias), I not only love my parents but I like them too. I often choose to stay home and hangout with them, because they are actually fun to be around. Divorce was never something I thought about growing up, but being in college is a reminder that not everyone is as lucky as I am to have happily married parents. Everytime I come home I’m bombarded with hugs, questions, cookies, and love. This love comes in so many forms. With my mom it’s food and rest, she’s constantly on top of me for my health and sleep habits. She’s also always willing to snuggle on the couch just like when I was little. With my Dad it’s laughing and talking about what’s coming up. He’s a perfect combination of laughing with me in the present and preparing me for my future. No matter my mood, amount of schoolwork, or hangry-ness, my parents welcome me home and love me so hard I could explode.

  2. Dogs. I’m lucky to be in a household full of puppy love. The way my dogs get excited when I step through the door, turning themselves inside out to be pet, is so pure. Can you imagine a human getting so excited to see you they can’t stop moving, they’re jumping on you, kissing you, whining?? Dogs love to love, and everytime I see my puppies they remind me how much they love to love me.

  3. A house I feel safe in. It wasn’t until this year that I realized how lucky I am to live in a household where I feel safe. This manifests in lots of different ways; physical safety, mental safety, financial safety. I am physically safe in my home. I am mentally safe and am encouraged to speak about my mental health, especially in moments I feel anxious. And I am financially safe. I do not have to worry about if we will have enough food, or heat, or a place to sleep. Home has always been a beacon of safety for me.

  4. Books and tool boxes. I know, it sounds like a weird combination. Here’s how these two are linked, in my home we are always encouraged to expand. Learning was a huge part of my childhood, but I wasn’t drilled with knowledge and pressured to perform academically. Instead, I was given books and tools boxes and cooking supplies and jewelry making tools and a Dad with a to-do list a mile long and a Mom with a to-create list a mile long and sisters with individual interests. Experimentation was never frowned upon. Hell, I told my parents I wanted to start a business and I was 15, in high school, and definitely had no clue how to run a business. But they supported it! And they let me grow and learn through it.

  5. Finally, something I am constantly reminded that I need more of when I’m at school, nature. Before going to college I didn’t realize how much being in wide open spaces impacted me. I was so lucky to grow up outside in all seasons, walking in the woods, jumping in ponds, lying in the snow watching it fall. I had nature around me and it was all mine to explore. Everytime I come home, I find myself noticing things, like the way the leaves smell, how sleepy the clouds look first thing in the morning, and how warm the sun feels on your skin on a cold Fall day. My appreciation grows every time I come home.

 

When I started this article I was worried about sounding braggy, I know not everyone else has these things. But I think that’s why it’s important for me to write this article. I should celebrate these things I have and be truly grateful for them. Everybody has different things in their life to be thankful for, at college and at home. For me, these are some of the things that I didn’t realize I was so thankful for, until leaving them. Now everytime I go home, I make sure to take an extra minute to thank the universe for placing such amazing things in my life. I want to finish with a question, a jumping off point for you, something to get you thinking and hopefully feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. What didn’t you notice about home that you’re grateful for now?

 

Image Sources:

 

Image 1: Amy Bennett Photography

Images 2-5: Francesca D’Elia

Cover Image: Francesca D’Elia