When I leave home: A personal essay

Photo of journal
Matt Gibson/Staff

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March 7. Mom brought a single kiwi to my room, perfectly halved on a comically small plate. No one else knows how I like eating kiwis. She’s the kind of person that remembers things, the kind to love quietly. She spent six weeks crocheting a blanket for me to bring to college, from scratch — a warm piece of her to bring across the globe when I leave home. 

Illustration of a kiwi.

Jessie Wu/Staff


Illustration of balls of yarn.

March 2. The more I stay here, the more afraid I am to start a new life in California. A lot of it (more than I’d like to admit) has to do with waking up in the morning and feeling my cat curled in a soft ball of fur, pressed against my stomach. And the way he waits for me to come home.

Illustration of a cat.

March 1. I can’t sleep when I think about how I can’t protect the people I care about and how I can’t even keep them in my life. It’s something I always knew at the back of my mind, but to see it unfold is something entirely different. I don’t get as lonely anymore, though. I’m not sure how I got to this point, but I suspect it has to do with losing people.

Bumble BFF is a great place to meet new friends, though.

Illustration of a phone.

Feb. 29. My favorite part about Lunar New Year is that it lasts for weeks, at least as an excuse to eat eight-treasure rice every night for as long as we can. Whenever we do, grandma tells us about celebrating Lunar New Year when she was young and how she would fill her pockets until they sagged with peanuts and sweets from the neighbors. I’ve always found her stories to be sad when I think about how much has changed. I wonder if she thinks the same. I wonder if she misses home.

Illustration of eight-treasure rice.

Feb 25. When I leave home, who will ask me when I’m coming back? Who will leave the light on in the kitchen?

Feb. 23. A hard part of growing up has been the constant awareness of loss, or the potential of it. The only time I’ve ever seen my dad cry was when my grandfather passed. 

Illustration of a woman standing in the rain.

March 8. I made a new friend today! She wore overalls and a bucket hat, and her shoelaces had beads on them. I walked her home when she had to go – it’s been a while since I’ve connected with someone new.

Illustration of a vase.

Contact Jessie Wu at [email protected].

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