In Search Of A Home

Posted on: August 24, 2012

I am searching for a home.  My true home.

 No, I’m not searching in the literal sense.  I know I am lucky to have a happy, stable home where I can return to my childhood bedroom and feel safe and loved.  But I don’t know where I truly belong right now.

I read the blog of a friend who’s beginning college now, and that helped me understand what I’ve been feeling since this time last year: I don’t know where my true home is.  When I meet new people at Brandeis or elsewhere, I tell them I’m from Chicago, which is true.  I grew up there, I know Deerfield like the back of my hand, and I enjoy and appreciate the best of Chicago.  But I don’t plan to move back to Deerfield after my college years, unlike many people in my class.  Deerfield was a fine place to grow up, but I don’t see my future in the Midwest.  I see a life beyond coming back to the town where I was raised.  I’m probably more of a coastal person, because they say innovation happens on the coasts.    

There’s always California, my first home (and lifelong second home, with all my relatives there).  This time last year, we went back to my birthplace of San Francisco while I was preparing to leave for college, and I was overcome with emotion.  I cried because CA was my first home, and every time I came back, it felt like we’d never left, because of all our relatives and our history there, but the life I knew was back in IL, and back then I was ready to leave but still sad to leave my familiar high school friends. 

And now I’ve begun a new life in a new place – Boston.  Okay, this new life centers around Brandeis rather than Boston proper, but I now have more friends from the East Coast than ever before.  I spend my days there for 8-9 months of the year now, and have reasons to come back to Boston and reasons to miss it when I inevitably have to leave – that counts as a home of sorts, right?  Until the semester or year inevitably ends, and it’s time to pack up and leave again.

The amazing thing is that there will always be either poetry or song lyrics that perfectly describe your mental/emotional/spiritual state.  Now it’s this lyric: “If I stay in one place, I lose my mind, I’m a pretty impossible lady to be with.” (Kimya Dawson, “Tire Swing”).  I am torn between two desires.  I am still a young and restless soul, who wants to run from the monotony of one place and explore and experience the wonders of this vast world while I’m still young.  But at a certain point, I get tired of all the metaphorical running, starting temporary relationships, and waiting to be reunited with all my friends in faraway cities.  I wish I could live in one place, somewhere secluded and beautiful, yet full of life, untouched by time and life’s changes, and keep everyone I love there with me, an arm’s length away. 

Home is where the heart is.  I’ve heard those words my whole life, from my parents, from stories, and maybe it’s true, but it makes me a bit sadder now.  Home is not simply a place, it’s a transient state.  Life itself is a transient state – here one moment, gone the next, and then it begins again – and people are always changing, always in motion.  I see home as any place where you feel a meaningful attachment, to someone, something, anything.  So by that logic, the entire world is my home.  I carry something with me from everywhere I’ve been.  And right now, that is the way it should be.   



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