What Home Means To Me

I decided to explore the word "home" during these holidays and what it truly meant to me. When I hear the word “Home” the first imagine that pops into my mind is my mother laughing, not anywhere specific but just her smile and laughter. When I think of not being “home”, I think about the times that I’ve spent without her; The moments that I felt away from “home” was when I was far from her contagious laugh or meaningful conversations. When I was growing up I was always jumping from house to house that I never got to plaster one tangible building as my “home” but rather cling onto a person that helped me feel all the things that home was supposed to help me feel; Comfort, Stability, Trust and so much more. I spent some time over the last week just talking to my mom about what her idea of home is, and she proceeded to say that it’s the people in her life that fill her full of love; The people that surround her with the warmth of a fireplace. I explored this emotion through music, specifically through my ukulele. I continuously tried out different notes/tones until it matched the feeling that I get when I see a huge grin on my mother's face, and I found one that worked for me. Once the strings became part of muscle memory, the words just flew out from my mind onto paper; Being able to try and convey the love that is between a mother and daughter seemed almost impossible to me, and I still feel as though I didn’t match all the love that she has brought into my life. All the experiences that we have shared together, just living our lives close together and then drifting apart (naturally) and learning how to get used to that as both a mother and daughter. Or the times I was angry with her (as teenage daughters do) and would yell the most awful things I could imagine back then, oh how adult me regrets that more than anything; You grow as human beings together so much.

This process taught me a lot about the direction in which great love can take you, the amount of belonging that just being “home” can have an effect on a lot you do. Since moving up here a couple of months ago, I found myself in a very strange place just trying to find that comfortable feeling of being snuggled up in my old bed with all my familiar sounds/smells around me. Diving into the discovery that my personal home isn’t a building at all but rather a person, was a huge eye opener for me. I learned the love can surround me anywhere I go with my mother now, not just one specific address; Wherever we go together, I will always feel at home. To myself personally what I’ve described to you is what home feels like to me, but to all the millions of other people in the world it might mean something completely different, and exploring that in Art Therapy is a tremendous activity to accomplish. Helping people go into depth about their emotions when associating the word “home” and whether it brings joy/happiness or sadness/anguish or anger/frustration, honestly any emotion that you can imagine is a further step than bottling them up and not expressing them. Through Art Therapy, all the modalities could be expressed within exploring the word “home,” you could write poetry for what you personally associated with the idea of home. You could make music as I did, and incorporate only the sound or make lyrics that are important to you. Drama, Play, Dance, I mean you name it and you can express it. That is what is so beautiful about this word, it brings up different memories and emotions from people's past and what they find so significant about it, and how they wish to express it not only to themselves but to other individuals.

In the end I discovered a lot about what a single work can invoke in not only me, but others as well. I went to friends around me and asked them what was “home” to them, they all replied in ways that I wouldn’t have guessed. One said that their was a spot right next to the lake about ten minutes from her house, and she always goes there when she needs comfort. Another friend said that their is a stuffed animal that she has kept with her since childhood that she associated with home, and she can never be without it. Once I brought the question up for conversation, all of my friends started talking about such warm memories, you could feel the room just fill up with laughter and warmth. The word Home is so much more meaningful than we tend to think, usually we pass it by without a glance, when it usually is something to all of us that brings us security. Home can be a place, person, or thing; There is no limit to the love you can bring.

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