Write about your first memory of home. How has your home life changed since that time?

2 min read

In my past life, I had a casual blog where I poured out all of my feelings. One of them was a recurring location in my dreams. It was my maternal grandparents’ house at 34353 Corum Ct, Union City, CA. No matter the context of the dream, if it needed a home that I lived in, my subconscious automatically put it as that one.

A lot happened in that house. Perhaps that’s why my subconscious assigned such importance to it. Both Lola Purita and Lolo Gemmo spent their last years there. Pretty much all the family holidays, reunions, birthday parties, etc. on that side of the family were held there. It was nicknamed Boni Avenue, which was the street they lived on in Manila.

I didn’t know this until I was a teenager, but if it hadn’t been for my mom and dad (who were by far the most financially comfortable in the 70s out of all of my mom’s siblings, as my dad was in the Navy). It seems like no one ever really acknowledges it because everyone knew Grandpa didn’t really like Mom. She always fought for his love and approval, but she said it was like getting blood from a stone.

I always felt my house at 1728 Chesapeake Ave, Modesto, CA was my castle. I lived in a bad neighborhood. It was the southside of Modesto, so when people asked you where you lived, you proudly said “southside” because you didn’t know any better. You were judged on where you lived. Despite the connotations of living in the southside, I always felt safe there. Maybe because of my dad, the house alarm, and my dog. I’m glad we didn’t move around so much. I don’t think my anxiety could’ve handled it.

The Chesapeake house was my true childhood home. Just as many good and bad memories were created there as Boni Ave. We had the biggest yard in the whole neighborhood, which is why our realtor chose it for us. He was my little brother’s ninong (godfather), and chose it especially for us. I still can’t quite figure out why my dreams assign more importance to Boni Ave. I’m sure there’s something deep about it, but I don’t really look into it. I know in my heart I had two childhood homes: Boni Ave and Chesapeake. End of line.

Obviously, I live in Las Vegas now, and it’s where I lay my head, but it’s never really felt like home to me. I’ve been here 8 years but there is a very thin string that is pulling me back to California. Not necessarily Modesto because there isn’t anything for me there. But maybe the Bay Area, or even Southern California. I always thought I’d end up there.

There’s still time, wish me luck!

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