Imagine a modest family room with a beige sectional couch. scattered with black labrador retriever hair, an old turn-dial television set, a VCR with a wired remote, a computer desk, and 80’s style picture frames filled with family photos (also obviously from the 80’s) covering the walls. This is how I remember my family room at its finest. I spent the majority of my youth in that room, and I loved every minute of it. From my dog running through the glass sliding door to recording home videos with my sister and cousin.
While the room has not looked that way in years, it is how I will always remember it. Only a few days ago, as I returned home after moving all of my belongings out of my house in Sacramento where I attended school, the room looked completely different. A modern couch, freshly painted walls, new carpet and large hawaiian paintings was the new vision of this room. The house where I lived my entire life (all 21 years of it) was going on the market. It was almost unrecognizable and impersonal, staged to allow any family to imagine calling it home. Don’t get me wrong, the house has never looked so good. But it wasn’t MY house anymore. As I unloaded my car of my final belongings and attempted to pack for my trip to Australia, I had no room to call me own or place to organize my luggage. I was told not too move ANYTHING, it was staged professionally and needed to remain in its pristine state for the open house that was only a few days away.
At this point the feeling of homelessness began to feel real – my room in Sacramento was now occupied by one of my good friends, my old room at home was set up for a child, my things were packed away in storage, and I was about to pack my life into two bags for my five month trip to Australia. I don’t have a plan for when I return, and I won’t have a room waiting form me on my arrival. Will I move to the mountains and become a snow bum? Will I stay in Australia with no return date in sight? I do not plan on moving back to Sacramento or to Corte Madera, so my future as of now is up in the air. This is a scary moment in my life, but also one of the greatest opportunities.
Many of my friends recently graduated from college and are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Instead of following the pack, I pushed my graduation date back to take the opportunity to study abroad. While I may not be entering the real world yet, I am definitely starting a new chapter in my life that will have a largely influence my future.