2321 broadwater drive, papillion ne 68046 // christmas eve 2016
I learned not to get attached to places the hard way. My dad is a recently retired air force colonel. I’ve moved ten times in 18 years and even lived in Tokyo for a bit. Growing up, I hated my dad for moving us around. It seemed like he had the worst timing. Right when I was settled, right when I made amazing friends, and right when I became happy, it was time to go to a new place. Now I understand that it wasn’t his fault. I’m actually grateful that I got to experience so many places and travel so much as a child.
I’m used to a nomadic lifestyle and I enjoy it. I don’t get attached to places. The house on Broadwater is no exception, but it marks a new time in my life.
We moved to Nebraska before my freshman year of high school. We rented a house on Sand Hills. It was at the back of the neighborhood, so my window had a gorgeous view of farmland. The basement was huge and we made it a haven for teenagers. We had couches facing our huge flatscreen, a pool table, a ping pong table, a dart board, a big table for poker and other games, and enough space for a small game of soccer. As I became friends with Gabbie and the guys, we always hung out at my house in my awesome basement. I have so many memories there.
The summer before my senior year of high school, the people we were renting Sand Hills from wanted their house back. We didn’t move far, just across the neighborhood. We were now one ugly green house away from my Auntie Michelle’s house. My Aunt Lindy lived on the street that backs up to our house. My then-boyfriend conveniently lived right across the street. It was a great house, big and beautiful, but the basement was much smaller. My room was in the basement now, which was cool, but we only had a sectional and the TV and the dart board. The ping pong table was in a tiny room in the back, too small for intense playing or taking a hard swing for Polish. There wasn’t as much to do and my friends and I were really disappointed. I missed the Sand Hills basement a lot.
My favorite house of all time was definitely Sand Hills, but letting go of Boardwalk will be the hardest.
Now that I’m in college, I will never really live with my parents again. I will always have a room at their house, but it won’t be my room. I will never call it my house, it will be theirs. This type of separation from them seems much more final than moving out for college. I used to be able to go home, but that room will never feel like my home.
Papillion will still feel like my home. When people ask where I’m from, I will still say Omaha, Nebraska, because no one knows where Papillion is on a map. It’s my hometown because it’s where I grew up. I only lived there for four years, but those were the years that made me who I am today. They are the years in which I found who I am.
I know that family is what really matters. I am happy that my parents are moving to San Antonio. It’s much closer to Texas A&M so I will get to see them more. But I won’t be going home for Christmas.
I’m so close to all of my friends in Papillion. I thought it would get easier to leave each time I went back, but it only gets harder. All of them go to school less than two hours from their homes, so they are always back for breaks. Now when I go home for breaks, I won’t know anyone but my parents and my friends will all be hanging out in Papio without me. I have major fomo like all the time.
Texas A&M is my dream school, but sometimes I wish I went to UNL or UNO so I could still be involved in my friends lives. I don’t regret coming to school here and I love all of my college friends, but the longest friendships I’ve ever had are all in Nebraska. It’s been hard for me to see them slip through my fingers.
I know that places and people change. I can feel it when I go back to Papillion. It’s not really the same place I grew up. I don’t know anyone that works at the bdubs that I worked at for two and a half years. Only a few of my volleyball coaches are still at it. Mr. Penas retired from being the DECA sponsor. I don’t recognize anyone working at HyVee. I don’t know every detail of my friends’ lives like I used to. I don’t know their daily struggles. For the most part, I love them for who they were so I also love them for who they are, even when I’m not quite sure who that is anymore. Rationally, I know I feel nostalgia for the place it was when I lived there, the place it was but will never be again. I miss who I was, the relationships that I had, and the memories I made. I’m actually yearning for a time, not a place. And you can never go back in time.
But I’m definitely going back to Nebraska this summer. I will stay with Auntie Michelle if I have to. I’m not ready to let my home go; I’m not ready to let that time go.
Selling the Broadwater house will truly mark a new time in my life. I will no longer have a physical home in the place my heart lives.
I don’t get attached to places, but I found a home with the people I love in Papillion.
*fomo – fear of missing out
Click here to view the entire Broadwater house.