I have a very intimate relationship with nostalgia. Dwelling on the past is supposedly the worst way to go through life but, I do it anyway. Every day, I have a longing for something from my past. Some days it is a friendship that changed, other days I look back on a regrettable mistake, most of the time it is a feeling but, occasionally it’s a place. Specifically, I feel an insurmountable longing for my childhood home in Edmonton where my memories are nothing but joyous and warm.
I moved away from Edmonton in August of 1999. I was just seven years old. It felt like my parents were ripping me away from my friends and family without any concern for what I wanted. Truth be told, I was young and angry and naive. I know now that what they did was incredible and for our whole family’s good. In the past 13 years, I have been given the opportunity to grow in a small city where I met my absolute best friends and many other wonderful people that have supported me without fail. Yet each and every time we return to Edmonton to see family, I yearn for the city and for my home there.
When we moved, my uncle took our old home. Despite the fact that we no longer lived there, the front hallway was still just as welcoming, the rooms beckoned to me and everything about it was familiar. It still felt like we belonged there because the house remained in the family. It was still my favourite place. In the past few weeks, my uncle and his wife made the decision to move to Calgary. There were many reasons behind the decision and I fully support them because they need to do what is best for themselves but, it also means my former home is no longer in the family.
Like I said, nostalgia hits me hard. It makes me yearn. Now, nostalgia is coming back even stronger. I think about how I can’t just go back to Edmonton and walk in to a place that holds my heart in all of it’s rooms and in it’s backyard and in it’s slightly creepy basement. It kills me that it will belong to somebody new. That new memories will be made there. That there will be a new car in the driveway, maybe a new swing set in the backyard, new curtains… everything will be new. Yet it will still be my home. It will always be my home.
I always told myself that one day I would live in that house again. That I would go in there and make it my own. I still hold out that hope. I belong in that home. I won’t give up that dream.