Home Truly Is Where Your Heart Is
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Home Truly Is Where Your Heart Is

This is how the meaning of "coming home" changes throughout life.

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Home Truly Is Where Your Heart Is
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Coming home during the winter after the first semester has been a changing experience. When I was in high school, it obviously wasn’t coming home so much as it was just some time off. But now that I’m a college sophomore, I’ve gotten into the routine of being away and then coming back to my childhood home and hometown. It’s a different experience each time.

As I left my job at home the other day during the holiday break, I drove off slowly and searched for a radio station. I took a minute to process and notice that it was sort of a struggle, and I reminded myself that was because all of my car radio settings are for San Diego. It’s a tiny, seemingly minuscule realization I had that made me really think about what home means for me now, and the larger truth that my fear of things moving on without me when I graduated high school and left wasn’t realized. I’m learning slowly that the town and place where I grew up continues to change and everyone moves on and grows up, but the mold, the skeleton, of where we grew up doesn’t change. The high schools stay, the shops stay, the streets might have a nicer coat of pavement. But it’s the people that move on and leave.

When I graduated high school, I was thoroughly attached to my friends, my city, the winding back roads of the suburban bay area, and the routines I had fallen in love with and grown comfortable with. I was deeply afraid that everything would change and everything I loved back home would forget about me.

But in coming home from college, I had become another adult in the world, moving from place to place as needed. And I saw everything differently. Life moves on, people do change, and your relationships change, too. But your hometown will always be your hometown, and your family will always be your family. And the friends that are meant to stick around will.

I am finding that the concept of “home” to be one that evolves. I think when you’re a kid and you ride your bike around the neighborhood and play outside and your only care in the world is the next episode of your favorite show on Disney Channel, home is your house, where you go when the sun goes down, and where your family lives. Home in the eyes of a child is something of great permanency.

But when you leave the nest, home still feels like your house for a while. And then when you come back, it might break your heart a little bit that some things have changed and shifted. But when you keep coming back as time goes along, you notice that things might start to feel a bit foreign. It’s not an uncomfortable unfamiliarity, because, over time, home is a wandering destination of sorts. Home might feel like your university. Home might still be your hometown. Home might be a faraway place where you found your true self. But home isn’t always defined as the place where you spent your youth.

For me, home is my people and passions. And I think that others might resonate with that too. Home is where I’m laughing with my friends and boyfriend in San Diego. Home is where I’m cozy on the couch with my family in Pleasanton. Home is an airplane when I embark on a new trip. Home is behind my desktop when I write. And home is where I feel safe, loved, and motivated.

Growing up is complicated and it’s a long process. But as I’ve entered my adult years, I’ve learned that where your heart lies is where you’re most at home. Pleasanton will always be home for the child in my heart. For the college student in my heart, San Diego feels like home. But cities and schools and streets and towns aren’t exactly homes — the people who inhabit them, and the people who inhabit your heart, are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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