This move has taken a toll on my emotions, mental state, and my physical placement in this world. I knew I wanted to blog about this move, and yet I did not want to bore you with my sadness of leaving one place and excitement for moving back to my childhood, and adolescent space. Not wanting to bore you brought me to this thought – what makes a house a home? A question that has been raised for discussion before my time.
After having watched my friends bake yummy cookies I asked them what they thought. Val said, “my bed, and the familiarity of your surroundings”. Val, Christina, and Catherine have pets (dogs) and that made me think that maybe it’s ones pets who make a home. Especially after seeing Val’s mom interact with her doogies, and feed them dinner.
Having left one home behind in Ottawa for another, and one that has been my ONE and ONLY home since birth prior to moving to my Glebe apartment… it made me wonder, “What exactly would I miss about my apartment – that I’ve inhabited for the last four years??”
For one my roommates contributed to making that apartment my home. Whether it be watching MTV, and more specifically jersey shore/the real world together, cooking pizza drunkenly after the bar, cleaning up after one another, occasionally making baked goods/dinners for each other, or crying in each other’s rooms after devastations hit (haha life things – I cry) this companionship became one that replaced the necessity of my family. These individuals definitely contributed to making that apt. a home. I would miss the perks of the apartment such as the wicked balcony we had, our back room (which was an add-on to the apt.), our location being central to the glebe and Ottawa as a whole, and being walking distance from some of my best friends/favorite pubs. The physicality of the apt., for example how large our rooms were made me love the space, and that allowed me to live comfortably in the space…
In retrospect some of the furniture in my bedroom in Ottawa was new when i first moved in, and that quickly morphed into being part of my home. And so bringing that furniture to Thornhill with me, and replacing my old things with these “new-ish” pieces made my bedroom in Thornhill transform into something, and yet still familiar. The combination of both worlds, and getting everything to fit together took an entire day to complete. Unpacking, and adding these Ottawa additions to my Thornhill space resulted in making me feel at home again instantaneously. I don’t really want to believe that stuff – such as desks, bookshelves, lamps – contribute to making a home what it is, but it does. I felt at odds looking into my old room prior to the switch of some furniture, and seeing my old corner desk – it just didn’t belong anymore. Whether it didn’t represent me as well as my Ottawa desk or was just too large for the room in general once it was out I felt like I could breathe comfortably.
When I first moved into that Ottawa apartment the photos I hung on my walls of my Toronto friends, and family that I had left behind helped me to adjust and suppress my “first-place” jitters. Five years later, and it is the photos of my new “Ottawa friend-like-family” that has made me feel comfortable in my old/new bedroom in Thornhill. I agree with Val when she says that it is the familiarity of things that contribute to making a home because for me it holds true. Seeing my girlfriends who are currently still living in Ottawa up on my walls makes me feel like I really contributed to their lives, and I know that they have made an impact on my life because looking at their smiling faces reminds me of how important Ottawa was in my life. Ironically, all the photos that I do have up of my Ottawa friends has my apartment in the background… I did not do that consciously, but it makes me love the photos more.
I believe that you can make a house a home wherever you end up, but it is the little things that bring a smile to your face and relax you while in that environment. I have yet to live on my own, and so maybe I’m not entirely correct, but it is also certain individuals you live with and your interactions with them that contribute to a house/or in my case in an apartment becoming a home. A home is somewhere you feel at ease, and comfortable looking like shit with greasy hair or in tattered pj’s. You can lounge without judgement and you love being there whether with people or even alone because it is the place that is your own, and most often reflects yourself. I love that my Thornhill room is yellow, and it’s my favorite colour to this day! I was fortunate enough to have roommates that allowed me to be this way, and also contributed to my making the Glebe apartment my true home.
I would like to know, “What do you think makes a house a home??”