The House On Clara Dr

I had a dream last week that I’ve had many times before…

In the dream, I’m in my mom and Steve’s old house in Utah, and I’m searching around the house trying not to get caught before the new owners come home. 

The house on Clara Dr. 

Per usual, the dream brought up feelings of grief for everything that was lost when my mom moved out of that house. 

It’s the house where Steve died. 

It’s also the house where so many happy, positive memories were made.

I moved there in 2002, the summer before 10th grade. Although I was experiencing massive culture shock after moving to Utah from NY, and I was nervous about starting over at a new school, I was also ready for a fresh start. 

For the two years prior to that, I had been lonely and isolated. 

That’s mostly a story for another day, but suffice it to say, my parents had just divorced and neither of them were at their best. 

When I was at home, I was left to fend for myself. My parents were distracted with new relationships and no friends were allowed to hang out with me due to my mom’s ongoing legal issues. 

The only attention I got at school was when people were bullying me, or threatening me. It got so bad that my parents petitioned the school board to let me have an extra study hall instead of lunch, so I didn’t have to deal with the harassment and humiliation. 

 To put it mildly, I was lonely, isolated, and sad. 

So, as you can imagine, leaving NY for Utah was a welcome (albeit scary) change. 

The house on Clara Dr. was a symbol of hope. 

It was a breath of fresh air, and a chance to start over. With new friends. New memories. New opportunities.

And, it succeeded in all of those things. 

With that house came new memories. A new step family. New friends. And a new version of myself that was less lonely and afraid. 

The house on Clara Dr. was the house where we would sit down for family dinner every night. 

It was the house that turned into a pseudo-haunted house every Halloween that every kid on the block wanted to come to first. 

It was the house where ‘Santa Claus’ would show up at every Christmas party to hand out gifts. 

It was the house where I got to know some of my best friends in the entire world. 

It was the house I would visit long after I’d moved out, just to rest and recharge after a stressful day. 

It was a house filled with connection, and love, and acceptance. 

It was home. 

That house brought to life feelings of love and connection that  I’d only experienced a few times in my life before that, and only a few times since. 

I realized recently that I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life trying to shield myself from the grief I feel over losing the place that was home to me. 

I’ve been chasing dreams, and success, and better versions of myself; never truly recognizing that the thing I’m really seeking is the House on Clara Dr. 

Not the house per se. I know that time has passed, people have moved on (or died), and that what used to be is no more. But, what I’m really seeking is the safety, love, connection, and acceptance that I felt when I was there. 

I’ve always been ambitious and career-driven. And admittedly, those things have brought me some degree of joy and fulfillment.

But, I’m learning that what I want more than anything is a safe and comfortable place to call home. 

A place where people can gather and create new memories.

A place where Dominic can bring his friends. A place he’s happy to return home to. 

A place that can be the safe harbor for others that Clara Dr. was for me. 

I’m ready to go home. 


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