Living in a cul de sac, we knew all our neighbors. There were eight houses in the court, each with different types of people. There was Franklin and Martha Brown, who had a pool in the backyard, Gabe and Matthew, whose parents were kind of cool, Joe and Laura, who had four kids, Robert, who had two big dogs and was divorced, Linda, who was a third grade teacher and had a bunch of cats and Margaret, who lived alone. The eighth house was empty for most of the fifteen years we lived in the neighborhood. We moved to Loma Verde Way before my baby sister, Sadhana, was born in 1999. It was a safe area, where you can leave your garage open all day and not have to worry about getting robbed. There were ten kids, my two younger sisters and I, living in the cul de sac. We all went to the same elementary and middle schools growing up. We would play with each other every day from noon to late at night. Our parents were all friends and we’d celebrate holidays together. Living in this neighborhood, I had a community that became a part of my family. But slowly, as we had gotten older, families would start to move out. First Gabe...
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...that night we started up a group message that we still use to this day. We created a home for ourselves, where we can spill our hearts out without being cruelly judged. We share everything with each other, from our worst day to our best achievements. We became each other’s greatest supporters. These girls make me feel like I can achieve something in my life and had given me the greatest sense of belonging.
A home is a building a person or a family lives in but it so much more than that. When someone asks me what I think “home” is, I tell them it is a place where you feel you belong. It is a place that you feel safe physically and emotionally. It is a place where your family and friends live. It is a feeling that is priceless and can be found in people close to you, places you go to everyday or the objects around you; everyone has their own version of what “home” is.
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