ROOM FOR GROWTH

Baltimore magazine|June/July 2020

ROOM FOR GROWTH
What quarantining in my childhood home taught me about myself.
LAUREN COHEN

AFTER HAULING IT UPSTAIRS from the treasure trove that is my family’s basement, I dusted off the wobbly wooden desk that once held the old Dell computer I used to write my 10th-grade paper on symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye.

Now, a decade later, it’s become the desk that serves as my headquarters for working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. With my dad’s help, I tightened a few screws, gathered supplies I swiped from our Harbor East office before we evacuated, and positioned the desk facing the window in the corner of my childhood bedroom— with a prime view of the old backyard playhouse my sisters and I begged my parents to let us fingerpaint when we were kids.

As surreal as it was, I had moved back home. Everyone in the world was shifting their routines in response to the coronavirus, and after six years of living independently as a single twenty-something in Baltimore City, my pivot moment was returning to the four walls in my parents’ Owings Mills house that saw me through all of the angst and emotion of my adolescence. If there’s one certainty in such an uncertain time, it’s that a crisis like this makes you seek out the comforts of family.

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June/July 2020