I didn't have a lot as a child. I had all I needed and for that I'm thankful and I realize others didn't even have that.
So what was missing? What still is missing?
A sense of a place you stay, a place that doesn't change, a place with nice things. Growing up my home was filled with hand-me-downs, garage sale finds, flea market steals and yes, the garbage pickups from rich neighborhoods.
And with an alcoholic father, a lot of those things, those used items, never stayed intact. I grew up in a broken home, quite literally.
Tradition is a word that's not really part of my vocabulary. What traditions did I have growing up? Was there anything in my childhood worth holding onto? Is it worth it to look back?
So when I hear/read about people who have all of these traditions, all of these memories, all of these heirlooms and things they cherish from their childhood, it angers me, it saddens me, it rocks me to my core, it reaches the little girl inside who wished for all of those things.
I had to start from the bottom and work my way up. There are no heirlooms, no money from family to help us get started, it's fend for yourself baby. And fend we did.
Looking around my bedroom I have bookcase given to me, a bed that is sorely in need of replacement, mismatched furniture and decor - it's mine, and for that I'm proud, but I wish it were more/better.
Because home is supposed to be where your heart is and my heart is not invested in this place, something that feels more like a rest stop than the end of the journey. Living in apartments just doesn't cut it, it doesn't feel like home. I imagine home will be the first place I pay for with money out of my pocket, with all of this pride and feeling of accomplishment.
And I know that this has been a long time issue of mine, but no place has ever really felt like home. And that has so much to do with my very poor childhood. I remember growing up my brothers and sisters had a phrase- it was "I hate this damn house" and later on it was "I hate this fuckin' house". And if I listen really closely in my mind I can recall all of my brothers and sisters saying this and their intonation and the look on their face when they said it.
When I was about 13 we moved to a new home and we all had our own rooms and my dad thought that it would change us, that we would be happier. And for a while we were. Within the year in our house you could hear us say "I hate this fuckin' house". And I completely believe with all my heart that it's because we moved, but our struggles came with us.
I live about 10 minutes away by bus from my childhood home. I often pass it by and can see all these moments and happiness and sadness. And I still say to myself "I hate that fuckin' house, I wish they would tear it down". And it's still the same ugly brown color my father painted it - after all these years!! Please paint it a different damn color!!
While I want to move on in my life, I want to find a home, I have to realize that I can't forget where I came from, I just have to reconcile myself with what happened. And maybe one day I'll be able to find my home and start my own traditions and perhaps our Star Wars collection will be our comical answer to the idea of family heirlooms.