For the past three years now it has been a challenge to call two places home. To be able to rest my head on two pillows and stay comfortable is hard. I am a strongly family oriented person. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I realized having lived in a one-bedroom, basement apartment the majority of my life has the most to do with it.
Continuous nights I slept tightly next to my younger brother on a mattress that to this day rests on the carpeted floor. My head pressed against what my brother and I have called my parents, “up-bed” for the longest time; or rather “a normal bed”. Three years ago my sister was born and no matter how much larger our family grew we all continued to be happy. We learned to not deal with each other but love each other. We never ignored our living situation it was just normal.
Now I sit typing in the living room of my two bedroom apartment and it feels empty. Roommates stay in rooms with doors shut. Each one of us watching shows separately on our computers. There are no meals eaten together. The couches still appear unused even with the knowledge that past residents have reclined in them. Living here has just felt empty. Many a time I’ve tried to fill a room with music–I’ve tried to sit in the living room to make it feel lived in, keep a decent amount of food in the fridge and on nearly every hour I have free of, essays, photo printing or studying, I walk. It isn’t until now that I’ve realized my walking is a way of me filling my days–filling my life up here, until I head back home for breaks.
Although living in a basement apartment isn’t the ideal for a family of what is now five. A cluttered three rooms and the people living in them is what I miss. And being around people who actually interact with each other, eat dinners together not because they are forced but because they want to, will always be better than a vacant heart and an empty home.