I long, as every human does, to be at home wherever I find myself. -Maya Angelou
My senior year of high school, my family moved from the country house I had lived in for fourteen years into a house in town. I didn't even have to transfer schools. Besides packing up and moving across town, there wasn't any significant life changes for me.
But I was devastated. I had always imagined coming home from college and driving down those gravel roads, anxiously anticipating the rise of the house when I drove over the hill. I wanted to bring my college friends home and hike through the woods that claimed my childhood memories. I wanted to show off the creek I used to go creek stomping in and have bonfires by the pond I learned how to swim in. I imagined my future husband proposing to me on the dock by the pond and seeing my children running through the large back yard I spent hours in. The new house we moved to had a fenced in yard and neighbors. I was disgusted for the first few weeks we lived there. I felt exposed in the worst ways.
Eventually, it started to grow on me. Of course, I wouldn't admit that, after having been so upset about the move initially. One day, the realization came crawling in my mind. It didn't matter where my home was, in the country or in town, or even if it was in Iowa.
As cheesy as it sounds, home is where the heart is.
Home is where laughter and love pour out of the windows.
Home is where my parents cook dinner together in the kitchen and where my brothers steal the food off my plate. It's where my sister jumps on my bed at six in the morning to tell me about a funny dream she just had. It's where my roommate braids my hair when I'm having a bad hair day. Home is where my college friends plop on my futon and vent their fears and hopes for the future. Home is the smell of Grandma cooking my favorite meal or hearing my cousins dogs bark as we all pile into their house for the holidays.
Home has held so many definitions in my mind since this realization. Of course, sometimes I miss the old house I grew up in, but the house that built me, well, there's not just one.