January 7, 2009
By Connor Pricoli, Rumson, NJ

People are creatures of habit. My friends do not like change. Most people enjoy a routine, when they do the same activities at the same time with the same people over and over. People grow attached to their homes and personal belongings, to the point where they do not want to throw out a pair of shoes, despite their being raggedy and worn out. I, however, love change.
There is nothing better to me than the first day of a new school year. I love going to new places, hanging out with different people, and getting new stuff. I love buying new things that replace only relatively old, still-working gadgets that I already have. Whenever my parents feel that it is time for a new car, I love going shopping with them to find the right one. I love going to malls, because so many opportunities await. When I found out that my family was moving from Holmdel to Rumson, I was naturally excited. The thought of getting to set up my new room was overwhelming, not to mention the fact that we were going to be living in a brand new house. But then again, humans are creatures of habit, so would I really enjoy the change of houses as much as I thought I would?
For about two years previous to the move, my dad, as a side job, had been buying run down apartments and condos and renovating them to later sell for a profit. Because he was getting the results he wanted and was gaining the experience needed to move on to bigger and better things, he bought a piece of property in Rumson which was built in the 1940s and in need of a lot of fixing. We made numerous trips to the house, met with different contractors, and said our prayers before he bought the property. Once he signed the contract, he and the contractor went right to business.
The first order of business: knock the house down. I thought it was awesome how in one day, a whole house could be knocked down and look like it was never there. Then we witnessed the new house “come to life.” First the framing, then the siding, the sheetrock, and the roof. With each step of the house coming to be, we all fell in love with the idea of one day living in the house. My brother, sister, and I always jokingly asked my mom and dad if we could move into it. Of course, they told us we were crazy. And they were right.
There was no reason to move. We had a nice house in a great neighborhood back in Holmdel. I had my two best friends living right down the street from me, while my brother and sister also had theirs in the neighborhood. We had the first house my parents ever built for themselves to call our own. We were all brought up in that house. It had seen tears, laughs, family, and friends. I couldn’t even tell you how many family parties were held in that house. It truly was home.
Once the new house was completed, the housing market was way down. It was a buyers market. Paying taxes on two houses simultaneously was becoming tough. After debating for a few days, my parents decided it was in our best interest to put our Holmdel house up for sale, as well, and see which house sold first. As much as I thought it would be really cool to move, my gut feeling was that the Rumson house would sell before our Holmdel house did.
The Holmdel house sold in two days. I was at the end of the plank. Would I be truly happy about having to move?
It took about two months before we closed on the Holmdel house. We began to pack everything up, and I became more and more anxious about the move. I couldn’t wait to be settled in and have a new house to grow into and call home. After a few weeks of packing, we were done. I did not even mind the dozens and dozens of boxes I had to put into a moving van, because I was so excited to have a new house. My excitement was ever growing until it was time to leave the place where I had spent the last 14 years of my life. We had moved all the boxes to the new house, and my mom, dad, and I took one last trip to Holmdel to make sure that everything was out of the house. We arrived, and an overwhelming feeling that I can not explain engulfed me. The house that I had lived in for 14 years was empty. The lights were off, and with flashlights we made one last round throughout the house. I remember looking in my old room, remembering all the time I spent in there, shutting the door, and walking away. All the time I spent hiding under my bed during friendly games of hide-and-seek with my brother and sister suddenly just became memories, something I will never be able to experience again. The family room which entertained many people over the course of 14 years or so was no longer a “family” room. The rug, which stopped an echo every time someone talked, was gone. With every foot hitting the floor and every word spoke, an empty, lifeless echo penetrated the air. It felt as if a part of me was missing.
We went through the garage to exit the house, like we always did. My dad put in the code for the garage door, and it slowly creaked to a close. When the door was closed we all looked at each other. That was the last time we were ever going to be in that house. We got in the car, and drove off. I didn’t take my eyes off of the house until it was out of sight.
Once in a while, I drive past my old house. It is so strange to think that for so long, that had been my house. No other family had ever lived there before mine. It was ours, and only ours.. I always think about how crazy it is that just a year ago, I lived in that house. I was so comfortable there, and loved almost everything about it. Now, it is no longer mine. If I pulled my car into the garage, whose floor my father and I painted so many times, the owners would call the cops. The fact that I spent so much time in that house, and now I can never go in it ever again, is something that is hard to get over. I am like an over protective boyfriend who can’t get over the fact that his girlfriend broke up with him.
Everybody in my family has had their ups and downs about living in the new house, but it has finally managed to feel like home. What I learned from the move is that while I love change, I also love the feeling of “home.” It was a little tough getting used to a house that you are not accustomed to, but moving is something that almost everybody has to go through. Since I had a tough time adapting to the new house, I often wondered about how I would fare once I went to college. I think I’ll be fine.

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this piece after moving.

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