I wasn’t lucky enough to be one of those kids who was raised in one house her whole life. But because I have grown up changing residences every couple of years, it has never really bothered me. However, when my father called me a few weeks ago and told me that we were moving, it felt very different. I felt as if had lost something very important, as if something or someone had died. After we hung up, I went into the bathroom and bawled for almost an hour. I couldn’t cope with the tremendous sense of loss.
In the beginning, I assumed I was just upset because I missed my family. I am hundreds of miles away from the people I love, and I won’t get to see any of them until December. But it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I realized I was homesick, really, really homesick. I missed my bedroom walls. I missed the old wooden stairs that led to the front door. I missed the pink tile on our kitchen counters. I missed the place that I had been calling home for the past seven years. And now I realize that when I went into the bathroom that night and cried, it was because I was in a state of mourning. I cried because losing my home also meant losing something else.
The memories I’ve created in my house and in my neighborhood are ones that I will forever cherish. I went through puberty in that house, wrote embarrassing poetry about my first real crush in that house, got ready for my first school dance in that house, put on my high school graduation robe in that house. That house is a part of me, and I feel it always will be just because those walls tell my story.
I know how overdramatic this all sounds. In all honesty, a house is a just a house. Home is wherever family is, even if said family is in a tent somewhere in the wilderness. I’ve told myself this over and over again. But for some reason, I remain bothered. So much change has happened in the past few months. Every day I feel overwhelmed, and perhaps it is just that my emotions have reached their peak. Maybe I’ve just kept too much of my feelings inside. Or maybe it’s something else.
When I said that I was in a state of mourning, I was not only referring to having to leave the house that I had grown to love but also to having to leave a stage in my life that I had grown very comfortable in. When I left my home state of Alabama, I did not realize how much growth I would need to go through in such a short amount of time. It has begun to dawn on me how big of a change college is. I now see that when I walked across that stage back in May to get my diploma, the thing I had worked all my life for, I was also giving something away. I was saying goodbye to my childhood and walking into a world of uncertainty and responsibility.
Suddenly I am an adult, expected to know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. Suddenly I am on my own, expected to somehow make it without the people I have been relying on my entire life. They are not here for me to consult with, and phone calls and Skype chats only go so far in making me feel assured of myself.
At this very moment, my father may be packing my things into cardboard boxes, storing away years of memories to take off to somewhere new and unknown. I cannot help but feel that he is also packing part of me away as well. I doubt what I am feeling is anything out of the ordinary. After all, I’m not the first person to experience her family moving to a new home, and I’m sure every freshman experiences this sort of crisis. But I cannot help but to continue to feel out of place everywhere I go. And the fact that I will have to go somewhere unfamiliar in December, a place that I do not know as home, makes me feel even more afflicted. Perhaps I am just being overdramatic and soon I will realize how silly I’m being, or maybe I’m still a kid, forever confused by the notion of what it means to grow up.
Jasmine White is a freshman in the College. ’BAMA ROGUE appears every other Friday.