Place Where You Live:

Portland, Oregon

The Place I Call Home

The tree outside the window to my studio apartment guards me with protection—I feel secure in this place. The branches call out to me, they wrap me in their limbs and embody me with assurance. Most of all though, they remind me of my family, because although we are far from one another, we stand together and remain rooted…firmly as one.

Before moving into my apartment, I had many hopes for the future. I told myself that I wanted to feel content in the place I lived. I wanted to feel relaxed and not anxious. As a child, I shared a room with children who were not my siblings and never knew what to expect when I arrived home. Often times, I would notice something of sentimental value to be missing. I’ve never had a space to call my own, but my life has always felt invaded and at a lack of consistency.

Thinking back to when I first arrived in the city of Portland, I can remember this similar feeling of pressure. I had a sense that whenever I was indoors, there was so much going on outside that I was missing being a part of. I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I was so tired of the the chaos of the city making me feel like living a life of simplicity and relaxation was not a possibility, or was far from my reach.

I feel safe in this place now, and I am no longer alone. When I enter my studio apartment this afternoon, I know I can expect the pan and spatula on the left side of the burner to still be there, from when I fried eggs earlier this morning. I know that the three old books I rented from the library will still remain on the dining room table, as will my to-do list accompanied by my Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen.

The pale yellow walls when I walk in make me feel at ease. I can see the changing of seasons from just this one tree, and I am awakened. As the flowers blossom, so do I; I’m quickly learning and adapting. I understand that this city—that the commotion of Portland and the noise all around me will continue to rupture, but that it’s okay because I have found my place within it all. No longer am I a nomad, but I’ve finally found the place I call home.