When I was younger, I would sometimes (late at night or when I was home alone, of course) entertain the idea that my bedroom was haunted.
I never saw anything weird, and nothing creepy ever really happened in the house. It was built in the mid 70s and we knew the people who lived there before us, so it’s not like it has a mysterious past. But my room is the coldest in the house, freezing even when the heat is on. And at night you can hear the house (and the porch swing underneath the room) creaking and settling, especially during storms when the noises got a lot louder. Plus, with the way the room was shaped, the shadows on the walls at night were very ambiguous and slightly menacing to my overactive imagination.
Obviously my room was and is not haunted. I’m just an overly imaginative person who is also terrified of scary movies and stories (even trailers for horror movies freak me out). But since I’ve been back in Ohio for a week, staying in my childhood bedroom that is now full of the boxes of my remaining possessions and empty aging furniture, I’ve realized that it is somewhat haunted now.
It’s weird to be home. I’ve only been gone a short time, but it feels like forever. I’m actually currently in Chicago for the weekend, seeing friends from college, and the haunted feeling remains. I’ve been gone from campus for 3 months, but it feels, again, much longer.
I’m an “adult” now, as weird as that is, and my life is full of worries and responsibilities that I’ve never encountered. So being in places where I lived as a kid and an adolescent and college student is surreal. Just as with ghosts, I can feel and remember what it was like to be that person, but I am changed enough that the memories feel distant and almost otherworldly.
Next week I go back to New York to begin a 3-month sublet and to continue my job hunt. As nervous as I am for the next step in my post-grad journey, one step closer to fully independent adulthood, it is almost a relief. I don’t fully belong back here, either in Ohio or on my campus. I’ve moved on, and my being here makes me the ghost: not fully present, a remnant of the past.
So here’s to a semi-relaxing few weeks seeing family and friends (and glimpses of my past), but also to my impending future and quest to find my “present.”