“The human memory is such a cruel, frustrating thing, the way it just discards things without asking permission, precious things. At least here, in my house, I have control over my memories.” ― Lisa Jewell, The House We Grew Up In

The walls of my house know every secret, confession, and lesson of my earliest years. My childhood home is a magical place that marked the first 18 chapters of an ever-evolving story.  It was and remains a safe haven for silliness, dreams, and unending love.

I am embedded in the fabric of our oldest blanket, which sits in a linen closet that has been filled to capacity since 1982. Something visceral stirs within upon seeing the pink bathtub, which is caked with character. I am mesmerized by the gentle hum from the basement. I am aggravated but amused by the large crack in the driveway that remains unfixed. I am bewitched by the trinkets that adorn my father’s dresser. I am comforted by stacks of books in every room. I am forever fixated and fond of the feelings of innocence and inspiration that are unearthed upon each visit.

Today, I took my Jersey girls to my beloved Buffalo. This visit feels especially nostalgic as it marks 18 years since I left home. At 36, half of my life has been spent away from the place and people that built me.

Like many, I wonder where the time has gone. So much of me still feels childlike and innocent, but a few undeniable scars show my rite of passage into adulthood and general aging. But nothing humbles me like these walls. They are the foundation for everything I am and all that I remain to become.