My Childhood Home

So I went back home a couple weekends ago and, although it’s only been 2 months since I last visited, I was hit with a ton of emotions. I was flooded with so many memories of this house – the familiar sounds of the floorboards creaking, the smell of the hand soap, and sights of my baby pictures hanging on the walls (Tom says they look like I had a mullet. It’s called a half up-do with bangs, okay?).Bathtub

I even went through some of our old pictures from when I was a youngin’ that are stored in boxes upstairs. I sifted through pictures of me with my parents, my friends, and relatives during birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, and other random times. There are tons of silly pictures; this one didn’t seem out of the ordinary at first. I mean, it’s just me learning to read and write with my Dad. Ha, nice 40, Dad. Anyways, looking through these, I started getting a little anxious.Holly and Dad 2

You see, my mom has been in a nursing home for almost 3 years now. She was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis back when I was 9 years old, and it’s definitely progressed over the last 15 years. She is not considered a “resident” because she has not fully signed the remainder of her life (she’s only 60) and her possessions over to them. But I think it might happen soon.

We’ve talked about it here and there, trying to decide what to do and when to do it; most of the hesitation concerns her losing her independence, something she has prided herself on for as long as I can remember. It is also so that when I come home to visit and such, I have my own house to stay in.Mom's helper

Even though I have had a love-hate relationship with this house, it will still feel as though I’ve lost something or someone dear to me. Not loss in the sense that it’s a possession and I have to give it up, it’s more from the memories I have of being there. Sleepovers with friends; cooking with my mom; playing in the street as a kid with the boom box playing Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys for the whole street to hear (how did my neighbors not hate us as kids?).

Then there are the many complaints I had of it growing up. My basement has always been unfinished and I have never been in our attic because it’s more of a crawl space, so there wasn’t a cool lair to hang out in like some of my friends had. I will even miss the backyard, as minuscule as it is; it served its purpose when there was over a foot of snow and school was canceled.

Snow action

The tough times pull at my heart as well – my room that became my solace whenever I was upset or wanted to be alone to read or play video games, the platform at the bottom of the stairs where I found my mom lying after she fell (that was the last time she ever tried going upstairs), and the nights spent alone sitting in the kitchen while she was in the nursing home and I was not working either of my two jobs.

I didn’t realize just how difficult this would be; for the past couple years, since selling the house became an actual possibility, I thought it would be exciting and a good idea to downsize and clean house of all these things that we don’t need. But now I am realizing that selling the house is the ultimate implication that mom has lost her independence. And that I am a grown up and need to make my own grown up life and home. And that’s devastating and scary as hell.

I mean she put so much work into keeping this house running even on her single-parent salary that eventually became monthly disability checks. And the nursing home will take every last cent of what she gets for the house. Not only that, but thinking about what to do with all of my and her belongings is super stressful. But let’s not go there; that’s a whole other can of worms.Jack for present

Even though it may be another couple months or a year until the house is on the market, it’s unnerving thinking that this huge part of my life will be gone. And it will become someone else’s; maybe another kid will move in and grow up in my house and make their own memories like I did. Someone else’s birthday will be celebrated there every year. Maybe they’ll repaint my old room and closet like I did when I became a teenager. They’ll make it their own and it will change as they grow up.

Or maybe an older couple will move in and spend the remainder of their lives just sitting on the front porch, enjoying the breeze. Another family will be able to enjoy the beautiful tree in the front yard that blooms in the spring (although it seems to be gone within a couple days because it always ends up raining and then all the petals litter the ground).Before and after

Who knows? Either way, I know I have to let go and move on – I mean, I’m an adult right? I need to get on with life, not just live in the has-been moments. Although it is fun and comforting to reminisce sometimes, I can’t let myself grieve for the past. So here’s to looking forward to the future – moving on from this chapter, creating my own home with new memories, and enjoying every step of the way.

ENFJ FTW!

What’s that spell? Holliday! Keep reading to see how…

So last weekend I visited Geneseo, NY to hang out with friends from my alma mater (that’s SUNY Geneseo, for those who have never heard of this small town…which is probably most of you). Whilst partaking in delicious Indian food at Haveli’s in Rochester (check them out here), my group of 8 friends started spewing out the alphabet. Okay, it wasn’t the alphabet, but it sure sounded like it. Letters were flying from one end of the table to the other.

Enter Myers-Briggs personality test. Apparently everyone knew their personality – consisting of four letters – and were comparing certain traits of the different types. I had not taken this test, so I was unable to participate in the conversation. Part of me wanted to just start calling out random letters – ‘I’m B-L-U-E’ (reminds me of that song from the 90s…’I’m blue, if I was green I would die…’ Still not sure what he was really saying.).

Instead, I decided that upon our return to Geneseo, I would take the test and find out once and for all who Sir Myers and Mr. Briggs think I am. I took a poll from everyone at the table of what they thought I would be. After each person’s name, I recorded their guess for my personality type, followed by their individual personality type. As you can see, most guess E, T, and J for my personality. Lauren guessed her initials (super helpful). And Emma is my favorite.

myers briggs

So the moment of truth arrived; I pulled up the test (we used this one here) on my computer and had Erika read me the questions. Now, I’m not sure if this is an acceptable method due to a possible bias when answering in front of other people, but I figured if I did it myself I would probably think too much about each question and end up with a bias anyway. You’re supposed to just answer based on your initial instincts; but I must warn you, some of the questions can be very situational, so there’s not always a clear-cut answer.

72 questions later, the results came in. According to M and B, I am an ENFJ; that is Extrovert iNtuition Feeling Judging. My friends were pretty astonished that I was not a T. “Should I retake the test?!” Anyways, the site provides you an entire profile that describes what this personality means in terms of the way you interact with people, the way you make decisions, and all sorts of other things. It was really strange reading my profile and realizing how true most of the ideas were.

I think it’s fascinating, but I’m still skeptical about the idea that answering these questions determines your personality. Especially because there were a bunch of questions that I couldn’t answer right away because I’m a very situational person. I’m constantly saying, “Well sometimes I feel this, but other times I feel this way.” So making clear-cut decisions is sometimes difficult. And other times, it is not. See?

I’m curious to know what personality types you all are and whether you agree with your M-B outcome. Is this an accurate test? Do you know of a better test than the one I took?

Cotton Candy…in the bible?

Sometimes The Message makes me laugh. I usually cross-reference verses using BibleGateway between ESV (English Standard Version), NIV (New International Version), NLT (New Living Translation), AMP (Amplified Bible), MSG (The Message), and LOLBT (LOLcat Bible Translation). Granted the last one is just for a laugh.

So I was leisurely searching around in my ESV, found a passage in Isaiah, and wanted to see parallels from other translations. And The Message gave me this:

Hey there! All who are thirsty,
come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? 

–Isaiah 55:1a, 2a (MSG)

cotton candy

I understand that this particular translation is meant for a more contemporary, new-age group of Christians looking for layman’s terms; no thous or shalts or cometh-ing. But some of the content, to me, sounds just plain silly. I mean, come on, you couldn’t come up with something other than cotton candy? I realize that the lolcat version includes cheezburgrz, but it is also not being sold and used in churches. Then again, I guess a pro of The Message is that you can read the bible as an infomercial and sound legit. Now we just need a ridiculous commercial to go with it.

Which reminds me: a couple of friends posted this on Facebook this week; it was a post on Mashable regarding infomercials. I laughed so much I was crying. True human beings in all our imperfect glory.