A Letter To The U-Haul Moving Truck

A Letter To The U-Haul Moving Truck

Home is not a place, it's a feeling.
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Home (noun) a place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. Notice how the Oxford Dictionary defines a home as a place that someone lives at permanently. Many people spend their whole childhood and adolescence all the way up until adulthood in the same household whereas other people move from house to house in just a few years. I fall in to the latter group. Twenty years old and three different houses doesn't sound like much on the outside but the effect it has on the inside is considerable.

The move from the Windy City to Saint Louis as an infant was painless, but the move from my childhood home where I grew up to a new home with all new faces was quite the burden. Growing up in my childhood home, I learned a few things about life and how it should be lived. My quiet neighborhood was to be found at the top of a steep hill that I could never manage to ride my bike all the way up without gravity forcing me to fall backward. The winding streets contained homes that were filled with welcoming arms and warm faces. Soon, I had two best friends to run to when my parents told me to do my homework or yelled at me for picking on my brothers. You could always find us running around the neighborhood with all the other kids playing games through the night. I found my home in those streets and in the innocent laughter we shared outside of my little white house stamped with 521. Through all of the adventures that we embarked on, I gained an insight into my life. I learned that happiness comes in tall and short packages with brown hair and Nike tennis shoes that take off running in the rain just for fun. Not only did it bring me happiness, but taught me to fully express myself in all that I do. Whether that was in playing Barbie dress up, finding the biggest hills to sled down, or running to 'the rock' to escape all our family stress. These things may seem small in comparison to lots of other adventures or experiences I've had in my lifetime, but as I look back, I realize that those were the big things. In these friends, I learned that a home is not a place, it’s a feeling.

My joy faded when I learned that I was moving to another part of town and had to leave my friends in the past. Heartbroken and confused, I packed up my room, my house, my life into a U-Haul moving truck and headed for my new home. If you've ever moved, you understand that moving into a new house feels foreign for ages. As the truck drove away, it took everything I ever loved about a home with it. I no longer felt like I had a place that was all mine - a safe haven. I felt alone and longed for the adventures that I once shared with my two best friends. In this third home, I did a lot of growing and maturing which in theory sounds great, but in that time, I lost my excitement for doing things that reminded me of being a child, of being free and vulnerable. I started to close myself off from the world because I had no one to share it with. Through this trying time, I was more than prepared to move away to college. I was used to the feeling of being alone and secluded from the rest of the world and I almost enjoyed it. So I packed up the U-Haul and hit the road to a new town filled with unfamiliar faces.

The first weeks of college were filled with many pros and few cons. Independence! Freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted! Although those aspects were a life changer, something was off. Believe it or not, I was homesick. I wasn’t homesick for those purple walls that collected dust while I was away, I was homesick for the warm embraces and the sweet smell of baking in the late hours of the night. I was homesick for the feeling after I had gotten a huge hug from my mom. I will reiterate my previous statement: home is not a place, it's a feeling.

It was a cold and bleak day in December when I had asked one of my sorority sisters to be my roommate the following year in-house. I did not know her very well but she was always someone who I was completely myself around without condition so I thought 'why not'. She reminded me to live life like a child again just as my two best friends did back in my little white house at the top of the hill. In this case, my happiness came in a small package with blonde hair and a big personality from Kansas City. At home during the summer I knew something was off, I had the same feeling when I went away to school in the fall. Soon enough I found myself packing a bag and driving 240 miles to visit her. I didn't visit just to go to a Royals game, because the Cardinals are better anyway, I visited her because I'm home when she's with me. Home is not a place, it's a feeling.

To the U-Haul moving truck, you have taken me many places including two different states and four different cities. I've had my ups and downs with you packing up my life and dropping me off with lots of unknowns. What I have learned is that the people that are beside me have given me a home when the walls that surrounded me have lacked that feeling.

Cover Image Credit: Zillow

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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