To the homes I had before

Home isn’t a place anymore, and I have found home many times over.

By Caroline Pejcinovic

Ravenswood home, your palindrome address created an innocence in me; a playful childhood began in your walls. A burning curiosity for the square down the block, with its colorful people and deli with endless candy, or the toy shop with its infinite playmates; I grew here. The summers seemed to last year-round. I can’t remember difficulties, because nothing bad can happen in summer. Blow up pools and all-night porch hangs with mom and dad were all I knew. The only heartache to occur was when the lightening bugs died in my hands, where I learned friends don’t belong in captivity, or, quite simply, bugs shouldn’t be held. The photos I own seem to replace the memories, like I am living through the permanent smiles, unable to see my bruises and scrapes. In these memories they don’t exist. My neighbors, like my parents, were my guardians. They sheltered me from bad and showered me with love. Ravenswood, you were good to me.

All good things must come to an end unfortunately, and with a new summer came a new home. Suburbia was calling and my mother answered.

Elk Grove home you are sour candy with a sweet finish. I grew physically, emotionally, mentally, unconventionally, and sometimes unwillingly in your walls. The trampoline, wavering between broken and fixed, represents the memories made here. Memories sometimes difficult to swallow, but significant for my core. I endured many firsts here and learned not all firsts are bad and that some can be redeemed, recreated, and magnified beyond my wildest dreams. I found myself over and over and over again, like when I painted my room three times finally setting on a deep, burnt red that shined like my own vulnerability. You were filled with love and heartbreak, which seemed mutually exclusive at the time, as if it were impossible to be whole and imperfect. In the end we said goodbye on satisfying terms. You created a person eager to fight her own battles, to be on her own for the first time.

To the homes I had before, I thank you. Home isn’t a place anymore, and I have found home many times over. Thank you for your lessons and endless love. 

Yours truly,