Focused Inquiry I 006
9 September 2019
Springfield, Virginia is the place I refer to as home. I have lived in Springfield my whole life, and I truly believe that it has made me the person I am today. In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of home is family. In Springfield, I was grateful enough to be surrounded by family. I lived with my mother, father, younger brother, and aunt. Also, my extended family and most of my friends lived relatively close to me. Being surrounded by family and friends made Springfield feel like a close knit community to me. I was very fortunate to have these people actively involved in my life because they helped me learn many important morals and values that I still carry with me today.
Springfield is a suburban area, however it has a “small town” vibe. There are many popular hangout spots which are well known and loved by the local people. I lived in a single family home on Frontier Drive, it had four bedrooms, and three bathrooms. My mother loved our home and described it as cozy. We had a large backyard, which the whole family enjoyed using. On the weekends, if the weather was nice, many of our family members would come over and we would grill food and spend time together in the backyard. My family and I also liked the location of our home because it was very central to everything in Springfield. For example, it was a five minute walk from the Springfield Town Center, which is a well known shopping center in the area.
The culture of my home is very family orientated. I always feel comfortable and accepted at home. My family members are very loving, easy going, and understanding. At home we often joke around with each other and spend time together throughout the day doing various things. My family strongly values morals. Both of my parents are Catholic and they raised my brother and I as Catholics too. We both went to St. Bernadette, a private school, from Kindergarten to eight grade. My family attends church together every Sunday, and our parents encourage us to practice our faith in our everyday lives. As our culture is very family oriented, we often have family members visiting our home. My uncles, aunts, and cousins come over on the weekends, and sometimes even during the week. When they visit, we eat dinner, then the adults usually get together and play cards. My cousins and I usually play sports outside or play video games in the basement.
Moving to Richmond, VA to attend VCU, was the first time I left home. After the first few weeks of college, I realized how important home really is. Being independent in a completely different city made me appreciate my home more than I previously did. I fully understood the importance of family and friends. I realized how lucky I was to have such an involved family with morals and values. There were many people I met at VCU that were not as fortunate as me and did not see their family and friends as conveniently as I did. Many people shared with me that they did not live near any of their relatives, or that they lived with a single parent, or even as a single child. These different circumstances made me value my family and friends even more. I truly felt blessed for having the family I have. Realizing that not everybody gets to spend as much time with their family as I did made me appreciate the time I spent with my family.
Reading Evicted also led me to appreciate my home. After reading about the poor living conditions and the constant fear of eviction that the tenants were facing, it became apparent to me how privileged I am. Growing up, I did not have to worry about anything that the characters in Evicted had to worry about. For example, Arleen was evicted multiple times, removed from her children, and even had to resort to living at homeless shelters. The characters in Evicted often had to go to extremes to pay rent, or even be homeless at times. This concept was so surprising to me as the thought of eviction had never crossed my mind in Springfield, it was not even considered an issue at home. Reading Evicted reminded me that people struggle to pay rent and regularly face eviction. This was an eye opener for me, as I learned to appreciate the blessings I have. My definition of home is most likely very different from those who face housing insecurity. I feel that I often take my home for granted, as there are people who would wish to be in the situation I was in.
Ultimately, I feel that my circumstances are very different from those in Evicted. I never had to struggle to pay rent or worry about being evicted. Whereas, the characters in Evicted were used to being at risk of losing their home. After comparing the two lifestyles, I noticed how privileged I am, which made me appreciate my home and family to a greater extent. However, despite the harsh conditions the tenants had to face, their home was still a home to them. From my perspective, no matter how lavish or how poor an individuals living conditions are, having a home is having a sanctuary and a place of comfort that an individual can always come back to.