I keep finding myself awake past midnight and not being able to find sleep. At first, I thought the restless nights were because of my back problems and ultimately being uncomfortable. Then, I figured it was the stress of leaving for college on the horizon. Now, I do realize it was the latter, but also me rejecting the fact that I'm actually leaving.
Reality is punching me in the face — after I leave, I will never fully live in my childhood home again.
Even when I'm here for holidays, there will always be a part of my life elsewhere. Hence, why I'm staying up until odd hours of the night and sleeping long into the day when I can. I want to dwell in these moments where time seems to stand still. Even my social media platforms are slow and not updating constantly. Everyone is asleep and it feels like the whole world is quiet for a while. I'm soaking in these moments and taking in everything I can.
Scents of my home: warm vanilla, laundry detergent, and fresh coffee.
The sights: primitive welcomes, farmhouses and cows, waking up to a foot of snow on the ground, and pictures from my youth on every wall.
The sounds: reality television, relatives gossiping on the phone, the mix of my brother and I's music on the second floor, the creaking of my bedroom door, and the dog's squeaking toys.
The tastes: homemade dinners, coffee in the mornings that never tastes the same, and microwave popcorn late at night.
Feeling the carpet underneath my feet, the warmth of the pellet stove in the winter and sunshine through the windows in the summer. The feeling of a hot shower after a long day, then wrapped in a warm blanket watching the latest Netflix series. The feeling of a big bear hug to start and end my days, and the weight of grief that still hangs over our family even on the happier days.
I don't know how to leave it behind.
No matter what, these things will always be a part of me: Home. My roots. When at midnight, I dwell in the raw being that is my home and place of growth and love. I'll find another home soon, but it'll be home in different senses — smell, sight, touch, sounds, and tastes. Until then, I'm going to live in these ones.