Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Nature of Home

For my birthday, I thought I'd be a little more introspective. I graduated college last month, ending yet another chapter in my life, and transitioned right into the next one with a job in Detroit. I've done an insane amount of traveling in my life, particularly in the last decade, and it got me to thinking about home, and what that means, both in general and for myself.

(Extract from "A Journal of Possible Things")

Home. A word that can have powerful connotations, or no meaning at all. For most, it conjures images of a refuge from the world, a haven of sorts. There are personal items: furniture, clothes, works of art, sources of entertainment, pets, loved ones. It is a place of centering, that one place where our truest selves are revealed, and we need none of the masks and lies we use every day to navigate the outside world.

Ideally, anyway. Some of us find "home" to be a place of conflict, or a place where masks are still needed. These places are not truly home. They are simply familiar locales we go to regularly. Your true home is truly where your heart is. It is where you belong.

But where is that? For many, it is with our family. For others, it is nowhere. Still others spend their entire lives searching, sometimes never finding or realizing it. And where DO you belong? I suppose such an idea is not dissimilar from destiny, though I think there is a distinction, especially if you don't believe in destiny; even then, I think it wouldn't be hard to imagine a place like home.

Where is home for me? I don't know. I always speak of "home" as the house I grew up in, where my parents yet live, but if that were truly my home, my heart would not rebel at the idea of going there. I've only "been home" for six months out of the past ten years; the rest of that time has been spent hurling myself into the world, trying to find a place where I felt I belonged. Even now, just by being in Detroit, I almost feel a wrongness to my situation, the urge to continue wandering is so powerful. Perhaps, for me, "home" is not a place, but a person. That one person in whose company and companionship I can remove the masks and do away with the lies. For a time, i thought I had found that person, but I was wrong. And so the masks go back up.

Many undertake such journeys, to find not only home, but themselves. Some never finish their journeys, forever searching for what they cannot find. Some never venture forth at all, content with a quiet life that will have no bearing on the world, ignorant of what they have missed. I could never settle for such boredom. Even just a taste, a single journey, would not be enough.

I've never stopped running.

Where is home for you?

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