The instant my foot crossed the threshold of my apartment after almost two full weeks out of town for both work and pleasure, those stereotypical words drifted unconsidered into my mind: “It feels so good to be home.”
Even with those words in my head, within minutes (or maybe minute) of dropping my suitcases, loneliness crept in.
I picked up my cell phone and found no texts. I perused my emails only to be met with advertisements and offers. I sunk into the tiny green loveseat near my street-facing windows and watched the summer heat beat down onto un-acclimated Chicagoans. My sunburned and dehydrated body had no interest in exercise. The cats were still at sleep-away camp until a ride could be arranged for their return. The fridge was bare, my girlfriend was 40 miles away and after 2 full weeks of constant social interaction I found I didn’t remember how to be by myself.
2 weeks of constant business with work, or constant easy chatter with my best friends, or continuous phone calls to folks at home...it was too quiet.
Without my love, my friends OR my cats – how could this place be considered home?
After a few hours (reconnecting with my books, NPR, and cheese and crackers) I started to feel more like a local in my apartment, but the gap was harder to close than I had expected.
What makes your house a home?