I am a nester. The first thing I do when I move into a new house is open the blinds and make my bed with freshly laundered sheets (preferably dried by sunlight). After this, I hang up the small collection of art pieces that have made their way to me to make the space feel like my own. The last two steps are the most vital: finding the right spot for my plants and placing my large library of books across the four different bookshelves I’ve gathered over the years. To me, these make a home.
“Home” means different things to everyone. A piece of land, the melody of a certain song, the temperature of the breeze in the place you had your first kiss, the specific lilt in the laugh of a loved one.
Across the years, my idea of home has changed. During my years at Tufts, home has looked like a tiny room in Houston Hall with walls filled with pictures from my past. An even smaller single in Wren where I woke up each day in beautiful golden light. My FOCUS-mom’s bedroom with a wall mural of Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree overlooking us as she turned from mentor, to friend, to family. The crinkling of my best friend’s eyes when she smiles on a warm day. Home is both nervously holding my partner’s hand on our first date, and the comfort and ease that comes with holding each other now.
Most of all, I’ve found, home is a magazine on Tufts campus, where over 40 people squeeze into a tiny design lab above a former coffee shop. Home is the sound of late-night laughter, the clicking of keys, and the smell of early morning food orders. Home is collaborative playlists, the patterned carpets that sometimes make their way into my dreams, and the smell of lavender chamomile pillow mist that awaits me after walking home at 5:30 a.m. in the soft, gray light after pressing “save” and sending this week’s magazine to the printers. Home is the Observer—the practices of care; the gathering of stories; the comfort of collaboration; and the celebrating of student art, voices, and lived experiences.
Over my time here, the Observer has become a space where we can push, critique, and learn from each other with critical compassion. One where we can open ourselves up: to our pasts, to the mistakes that haunt us, to the power structures that weigh heavily on many of our bodies and lives. One where I and others can carve a home for ourselves.
I can’t wait to continue on the Observer’s journey this semester. Thank you for letting us share glimpses of our home with you.