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Home is Where the Heart is

Home is Where the Heart is

A Tour of the Inside of a U-Haul

Written By Ashley Hutchinson

Recently I moved all of my belongings from a college dorm into an apartment. At first, the hunt for a new place to live was fraught with excitement and adventure, I often could be found ruminating over all the places I would soon haunt, somewhere within the five mile radius of my new home.

The transactions went through, the fight was tumultuous, stressful, but it was worth fighting. The pursuit of a new dwelling was just within reach, as tangible to me as my new life. I began slowly moving my personal belongings, swooning over pinterest boards and World Market catalogues. I’d dream of bookcases and plush couches, my favorite art hanging on the walls right alongside memories of me and my friends and family. I would make a New York City apartment my home.  

Then there were no belongings left to move. No loose ends to tie neatly into a bow. I was transplanted from what felt like one warm body to another, a new, foreign body. I had no idea how these muscles worked. The most mundane or simple tasks were slightly more difficult. I thought I still felt “in love” with the vivid idea of my change and all the good things it would bring me. But still I felt it slowly wane from inside me. I didn’t know how to be yet.

Furniture in odd places. Books not placed quite right. No paintings yet. Two coffee makers; one my roommate’s, and one my own. Two of everything now it seemed. And yet no character.

I couldn’t decide where to put my bed. I didn’t know where I wanted my head to rest. I couldn’t sleep.

The growing pains became the reality and the idea was gone. I had fought so hard for a change I was not fully prepared for; I had committed so fully to the life I had known that jumping into bed with a new partner felt like a betrayal, more to myself than anything else. The dorms wouldn’t remember me. They wouldn’t feel the loss of my identity. It felt like a breakup. It felt like those men I once knew, those men who forgot about me when I was gone.

I’d forget too, if I was made of wood and drywall.

Slowly I would get my wings back. I would find a new place to run, a new gym to go to, a new favorite bar, restaurant, book store. I would find new details. I would find new things to love. I would soon love this place. I had to. I couldn’t let my fear of change keep me from loving something else.

Commitment. I allow myself to feel the force of my undying loyalties because places can’t actually feel them. They are just settings, backdrops. They don’t know the power they have over me. They never will. But the loss will hurt anyway.

Everything is changing now. Everything will be different. Even the people that populate my life will change and grow and they deserve that. Everyone should grow. I’ll grow; once I learn to move in and move on.

One thing that will never change though. Dishes.  


Photo taken by Jay Viray, all rights reserved. 


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