My childhood home was unlike yours. It was different than anyone’s. We moved in when I was 3, before that I don’t have much of a memory but I know we were always on the move. This home was an old church. The wind had blown off the roof during a storm and my mum was in love with its character and charm. A lot of work and a lot of love went into that home. It grew as we did and took on a life of its own. It creaked in the wind and was surrounded by a dense and lush garden that you could get lost in; my own secret garden.
I moved out when I was 17. A new town and an apartment all to call my own. Mum took me down to the courthouse so that I could sign the lease as I was under 18. I made the little one bedroom apartment my own. I realised there how to look after myself and how much you take for granted when you live at home. Like how much stuff your parents have and how little you have. I spent time collecting things to make it a functional home. I loved the big windows over the bed and would sit and watch the cool breeze rustle the leaves of the massive tree just outside.
After a year, Brisbane was calling. I was 19 and ready to officially live with my high school boyfriend – a boy who became the man I married. We rented a nice 3 bedroom townhouse in the northern suburbs, far enough away from the city so that our small town selves could get used to the hustle. It was empty with our lack of belongings so we tried our best to find and collect cheap or free furniture. It was an eclectic mix and it was ours. After a year it was a falling out with our Real Estate Agent and an uncomfortable feeling that lead us to again pack up and move.
We stayed north, but edged in a little closer to the city. We were expecting company in this house and it would become a year of drinking and partying and many transitions for myself. In this old house we learnt what it was like to have a housemate, and while this place never really felt like a home, we filled it with memories and laughter and quite a few stories to be told.
Wanting a home and a space of our own, we moved after a year yet again. This time it would stick and we would call it home for a few years. A two bedroom apartment much closer to the city we seemed to want to avoid all those years ago. While a small space, it did become our home. Our relationship strengthened and I found myself planning a wedding on the tiled floor. The same floor where this blog was born. Many highs and lows were experienced within these white walls and a whole lot of personal growth, but most of all it was a place that showed me what it felt like to have a home and a place that felt comfortable. However we eventually outgrew the place and after 4 years, it was time to say goodbye to the little apartment.
Finding a house was hard, and we jumped at the first place we thought we wanted. It was far from perfect but we moved in. Soon I felt however, that something was not quite right and I was reluctant to make the house a home. It had a large kitchen, one that I used greatly as I baked many many cupcakes and really grew my passion and worked to improve my skill. I fell into photography and worked hard on this blog while going back to uni. This house helped to shape the next chapter of our life. We also welcomed my brother to Brisbane and opened up our spare room to him. This house allowed us to finally feel as though we were content and financially responsible.
This leads us to now and my reason for reflecting. Last weekend we moved into our 7th house. A suburban brick home, complete with mango tree out the back. It is clean, it is bright and it is huge compared to what we have had before. We took more time to look for this place, wanting to find somewhere that would be the right fit. And so far, it feels good. I can picture our future within these walls and I can see us being happy and comfortable. I can see it as our home.
A little part of me always will remain with every place I have lived, but with each new place came a new opportunity and a new chapter of my life. I feel the buildings I lived in represent the stages that brought me through from teenage years into adulthood. This will not be the last place that I live, but hopefully it can remain home for a while.
Have you moved around a lot? What do you think makes a house a home? Let me know in the comments!