I saw him again.

Nothing had changed.

He still wore his blue jeans and tucked in his t-shirt. He still wore his black belt and white sneakers. His still wore his sunglasses and baseball hat.

This was the same outfit he wore the first time I saw him. He still took small, hurried steps; arms swiftly swinging, head slightly bowed.

This is the man I now frequently see on my street.

This past week has been one of seeing new things unfold. I moved out of 532 and did not realise how much I oriented myself with regards to that space.

532 was home. 532 was the place where friends gathered in good and evil. 532 was familiar. I knew which door had to be turned a particular way to open. I knew which step of the stairs creaked. The place had a familiarity that was comforting.

I am sitting at the dinner table this morning; listening to jazz, drinking tea, and watching the rain drizzle. I am trying to become familiar with the strangeness that now accompanies my life. But, this I know; that new things get old. That I have to accept this new phase by just living it.

Living in transition, living in newness, living in change, living in the uncomfortable.

One day, the house in which I now dwell will become home. One day, I will be able to find my way with the lights turned off. That is when I will know for sure that this is home.

No one needs a map to find home.

On Growing Up Quickly

I’m sitting on the floor of my apartment.

Barefoot, watching the sun go down. This evening, the sky is a glorious medley of gold and blue and purple. I have India Arie’s I am Light playing. Her words are powerful yet quiet. They are utterly deserving of repetition until they become my belief.

They are my declaration.

Early last week, my father sent me screenshots of photographs. Photographs that documented several moments of my childhood. I am grateful that memories of my childhood fill me with joy and not anguish.

I saw photographs of myself being held by my brother, dancing at parties, cutting birthday cake, eating spaghetti. What I would give to go back to that time.

I remember being thirteen and daydreaming, looking forward to leaving home. I remember eavesdropping on what my parents and their friends talked about over beer and garden eggs and pepper soup. I remember tending to guests and taking a little extra time because I did not want to miss out on a particular detail.

I remember trying on my mother’s lipstick and jewellery when she was away. I remember wanting to have my own space.

And here I am, sitting on the floor of my apartment. Having paid rent a few days ago. It hurts.

I miss being taken care of. I miss the permission of irresponsibility childhood granted me.

Ten years from now when I own my home and will possibly be married, I will miss eating pizza at two in the morning while trying to finish a paper. I will miss impromptu sleepovers at Tosin’s house.

The next time I am tempted to wish I am somewhere else, I will remember that all of this is temporary. I will remember that ten years ago, I laid on my bed and watched the stars twinkle and wished the same.

I will remember to enjoy being young and fresh-faced.

Growing up is like watching the sun go down. It happens slowly and certainly and beautifully. Then, all of a sudden, night falls.