The House I Grew Up In


In the four years I lived in Spokane (when I moved back as an adult) I only visited my childhood home once. Raf and I were shopping at Target in the Spokane Valley and we were looking for something to do so he said, “let’s go on a tour of Monica’s childhood.” So I drove him by the house I grew up in.

It’s weird to drive by this house. It evokes such strong memories. Good memories. Memories of snowball wars with the neighbor kids in the winter on one of many show closure days. Memories of playing “Marco Polo” with my brothers and sisters on warm summer evenings in the front yard. Memories of sleeping outside under the stars on those warm summer nights. There are so many good ones that it is hard to choose just one to write about. Right now I am thinking about the happy feelings that place evokes in me.

It has been a very, very long time since I have lived there. The baby tree that was planted in the front yard is now huge and shades the house. The house has been painted blue. The basketball hoop in the driveway is no longer there. It has been somebody else’s home for 35 years. Maybe lots of families have called that place home since I lived there.

A couple of years ago I found this website. you type in the address of your childhood home and the movie is built around that address. I thought of it as I was thinking about this topic, so I thought I would share. It’s kind of cool.

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Where is home for you?


I was born in Spokane, WA and that is where my family lives. That is where I lived until I was 20. I had always been unhappy there and I don’t understand why. I remember one day when I was 19, driving to my friend’s house. I was going to a party. I felt dead inside. I sat at a stop sign, snow falling down around my car,  and I thought to myself, “why can’t I just be happy?” Happiness completely eluded me.

I wouldn’t feel this elusive emotion until a year later, when I moved to New York. I was in a car with my friend and we were driving to a dance club. I felt excited for all the possibilities that awaited me in this new place. I realized, then, that this was happiness. I felt happy.  It was a strange feeling. But it was fantastic.

I found my home when I moved to California. At first I was sorely disappointed with the place. I remember flying  into the San José Airport from the east over desert. I thought, “what have I gotten myself into.” I got used to it really quickly and grew to love it. The weather, the palm trees, the Pacific Ocean. I lived there for 15 years. I found my home in Santa Cruz. I felt like I belonged there. I felt like my soul belonged there. Sometimes I feel like it is still there.

Spokane’s vortex drew me back. This time I brought my husband up to live there. And, again, I still had those unsettling feelings. I felt stuck. I was unhappy.  All I could think about when I lived there was where I could move away to.  I still don’t understand this. I had great friends. I loved being closer to my family. Those things were wonderful. There was just something about the place that made me unhappy.

So now I find myself here in Sandy, Oregon. The day I moved here I felt that elusive happy feeling. That excitement for the adventures that awaited me. I feel at home here. I feel like I fit.

So. Where is home for me? For me, home  is the place where my soul fits. If my soul fits then I can be happy.   

Oh I wish I could tell the the 2009 Monica…


Mt. Hood from Jonsrud Viewpoint in Sandy, OR.

As I mentioned previously, when I moved my blog to I lost all of the categories and  tags to every. single. blog post I’ve ever written here. How long have I had this blog? Since January 2003. So yeah. Lots of updating and cleaning up for Miss Monica (because I compulsively have to catalog and organize. I am a librarian. That is what we do.)

The process has been interesting though. I’ve actually taken the time to read the posts. I am shocked at how much I have changed. How much has changed. My surroundings, My whole life. I was reading some of my posts from 2009.  I was so sad and depressed. Living in Spokane, I felt like such a fish out of water. I never could figure out why, and I still can’t. But I just never felt like I belonged there. I was on the wrong track, or something.

I still suffer from depression, don’t get me wrong. I will probably always have to fight that demon.

But I wish I could go back in time and tell the Monica from 2009 that things will get better. And so soon! In a matter of months I would be moving away and I would be living in Sandy and I would be so happy to be in a place where I feel at home again. Of course, I would have to deal with saying goodbye with Doug, which was horrible. But otherwise, things are pretty great now.

As I read these old posts they transport me back in time. I remember how badly I wanted to get out. We made so many plans but I never really thought they would ever come to fruition. I thought I would be stuck living my ghost-like existence  in Spokane forever. But then I log off of my computer, open the door and step outside, and look East and I see Mt. Hood and I am so fucking stoked. I am home.