You've heard it before, the old saying "Home is where the heart is." But what if home is not a physical place? What if home is the company that you surround yourself with or memories you hold onto. What if home is fragments of ideas that make you comfortable that are incorporated into your life each day. What if home is just feelings.
All of these can give you the same sense of belonging or stability that can be found in a house or a certain location.
For me, home is my dad's embrace as he quietly tells me how he has missed me, reminding me of the nights I would wait up for him to get home from work. Home is the smell of my mom's shampoo and our laundry detergent. It is the sound of dog paws clicking around on the hardwood floors. It is the feeling of laughing until your stomach hurts. Singing in the car at the top of my lungs with my brother as the DJ and always staying on your toes because you never know what the next song is going to be.
But these can be anywhere, my house, a rental cabin in North Georgia, or across the country.
So don't worry when I tell you I didn't go back to my house for Thanksgiving. I was plenty at home. I was the most at home than I have been in a while. With puppy snuggles and then being rudely woken up at 7 AM with a wet nose on my face. Or family laughing around a roaring fire in the backyard fire pit. Singing (very loudly) in the kitchen while cooking dinner or just making cookies. Doing homework at the table while my mom grades papers, both of us complaining back and forth to each other and sharing frustrations.
Home is also where you feel you can be your complete, authentic, true self. Home is where you feel comfortable to ugly sob or laugh so hard your eyes water and little tears stream down your cheeks. Home knows your quirks and flaws and loves and embraces them because they are part of you. You can be completely transparent and be at rest despite the discomfort that can so often accompany transparency if in the wrong setting.
I think the most interesting part about all of this is how different "home" looks for each individual.
It can take endless forms and yet it is somewhere where we all are so relieved to find and to return to over and over again.
I think that finding whatever your "home" is is important. You should find that place where you feel you belong and feel comfortable. Allow yourself to be transparent. Let down the walls that we so often build up throughout the day. Let them down and be your true self and be comfortable with who that person is.