Recently home has been on the brain and I couldn't help but think back to the age old saying 'home is where the heart is.' What do people mean when they say this? Obviously your heart can't leave your body, so are they trying to say that your home is wherever you are? While they may be onto something there, I think it goes a little bit beyond that.
I think before you can declare where home is located, you have to determine what home is and what home means to you. When you think of the word home what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is home something concrete like a childhood house or deep-dish pizza? Or does home mean something more abstract to you like family, love, or freedom? Can home simply be a feeling or must it be something tangible?
When I think of home, my mind immediately takes me back to my childhood home. It's where I grew up and where my family is. In a way, that house will always be home to me because it was the first place I called home. It was the first address and phone number I had to memorize. After leaving the first time it became the place I have returned to my whole life for breaks and holidays and celebrations. It is a concrete tangible thing for me to hold onto that means home to me.
However, if I step back and really think about what makes it a home, about why I keep coming back there year after year, about what it means to me, the concept of home really comes full circle. Family makes it a home. I keep coming back because those relationships matter to me and after all the experiences and opportunities I have, its nice to have somewhere to return with familiar smells, tastes, and traditions.
Home is where my family is.
Family can be blood. Family can be something we're born into, adopted into, or something we choose. There's a certain line in a relationship—whether a friendship or romance—where, once it's crossed, that person becomes family to you. For me at least, I'm very careful about who I let into my inner circle. I tend to hold my cards close to the vest because I value family so much and and very loyal to those I let in. My family can stretch from California to New York and beyond but whenever I'm with them I will be home. I guess, in a round-about-way, home is where my heart is and my heart is wherever my family is.
Maybe you feel most at home with your significant other no matter where the two of you are. Maybe your home when your dog runs up to you after a long day and kisses your face. Maybe home to you is that freeing feeling you get when you arrive in a new place. Whatever home is to you I think it's nice to take time to think about why it means that to you every once and a while.
Overtime our definition of home may change but I think it stays the same at its core. I think, however, that it's possible to have more than one home. Especially in my case where it's the people that matter to me that make me feel at home. It isn't just one person. Home is something to be valued, cherished, and celebrated. It is often overlooked and taken for granted but we would be lost and nomadic without it.
I challenge you to fill in the blank. Home is where the (Blank) is.