a history of homes

I sometimes wonder if I was made or born a nomad –

I have lived and slept and breathed in twenty-something homes, after all.

 

My two-pound body made home to cribs in Denver.

Kid me enjoyed a soft pink bunk bed in multiple houses, in multiple neighborhoods.

My brother would often come and sleep at the bottom

asking gently,

“USA?”

(you still awake)

we both loathed being the first to fall asleep at the risk of

being alone with darkness and

The World.

 

Divorce clipped away at our family,

dividing and conquering Aurora we did.

A suitcase for each week was plenty,

back and forth,

back and forth.

When the sweet smell of independence arrived, it was

the scent of Arkansas,

rich BBQ pork, crunchy pecans, and a big ass Wal-Mart.

I settled in

a moldy dorm,

a haunted dorm,

a hybrid dorm,

and an apartment-style dorm.

My free-thinking was born in these walls,

along with

friendship,

college sports,

themed outfits,

and cheesy homemade music videos.

 

For a time, I rested my head in a musty international dormitory in Ghana,

studying social work and the works of Maya Angelou.

I often woke up covered in red dust and a

craving for freshly made egg sandwiches from the nearby market.

 

The first experiment of living alone arrived in

Rwanda.

Here I made a home in a place that was not my home;

I dreamed under a mosquito net

arose at sunrise to birds and cows and goats –

no alarm clock needed.

 

My home was humble –

simple –

but infused with community and banana trees.

I would sit on my stoop with

children, with grandmothers, with teachers, with loved ones

sipping tea,

watching farmers make their way home.

 

I became myself.

 

I returned home wiser,

and also lost.

I slept on my queen-sized bed in my rented condo,

weeping and crying,

asking God to make me straight.

Nights were like this for weeks, months, even years

until –

I decided my life was worth living

and it was worth living to be me.

 

I moved to a new part of town to find commonality and connection.

I played rugby, made new friends, took writing classes, and traveled.

Home became an old, over-priced Platt Park bungalow,

stuffed with four millennial women

trying to figure life out.

 

Eventually, I found her.

Her, Chelsea, a woman from many moons before

that I never thought I would see again.

 

Long walks, iced coffee, and oatmeal cookie ice cream became

sharing space, dreams, bank accounts, and love.

My name and her name combined –

bringing together our belongings, stories, and hopes.

 

I sleep soundly with her by my side,

never doubting that I –

in every sense –

am held.

 

I sometimes wonder where life will land us next.

 

Where will we call home?

Where will we begin our own family?

What will be the story of these times?

 

I do not know,

though,

I never really did.

 

I opened myself up to the world, and my, what a journey she took me on.

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Categories: Chelsea, healing, love, poetry, travelTags: , , , , ,

Heather Newell Oglesby

Hi! I'm Heather. I am a writer and counselor in-training. I share stories so we can keep the magic of being human alive. I spend a great deal of time going on long walks with my wife, rollerblading, learning, and traveling to find new adventures. By day, I work as an Education and Employment Specialist for Jefferson Center for Mental Health, working with adolescents who have experienced their first episode of psychosis. A Colorado native, I love dark-roasted coffee, sunshine, and succulents. Enthusiasm, passion, and possibility: that's me at my best.

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