“Life takes you to unexpected places; love always brings you home.”
This quote is framed on my wall. It’s always there, but I rarely pay it any mind.
Recently, however, the idea of “home” has been permeating my thoughts, like a song that you just can’t get out of your head. Maybe it was the chapter of my book called “Coming Home.” Maybe it was watching Dory try to swim home to her long forgotten family. Maybe it’s a result of being on the go and not quite home enough. Whatever the reason, the thought of “home” just lingers lately.
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of using that word – “home” – so nonchalantly. Almost like when you tell someone you love them, and then accidentally start to say it out of habit, without really considering the weight of the word. I use home very liberally: home is the house where my family lives, it’s Cedar Rapids, it’s Iowa, it’s being with my grandparents, it’s Cincinnati, it’s my apartment. Home is where the heart is, right?
I went on a trip recently that put “home” into perspective for me. There was so much anticipation to leave town, board the plane, touch down in sunny Florida and run toward something new. In many ways, I got exactly what I wanted from that trip – a getaway that I’d been craving. But as I sat in the airport on that last day, exhausted from emotion, sunshine and lack of sleep, all I wanted was to be home.
It took leaving, like it often does, for me to realize what home meant to me. It means comfort, familiarity, love, safety, being unapologetically myself. It’s a place I return to after all is said and done, and I feel at peace.
Home is when you feel like you’re where you’re meant to be. Right here, in this moment, I feel very much at home.
Sure, it may be hard to say that home is anything other than where my family is. But there’s something so rewarding, so satisfying knowing that this home is one that I created. To start completely fresh – new city, no connections, empty apartment, blank slate – and to now truly feel like this is my home is a pretty wonderful feeling and accomplishment in my book.
To transition a bit, I want to take a moment to introduce you to a different kind of home.
Just as I’ve spent time creating my physical home through painted canvases and framed pictures, a cozy apartment and people to fill it, I’ve also spent significant time over the last few months creating this web-based home.
I have researched dozens of websites, sketched several designs alongside bulleted lists, buried my nose in HTML/CSS text books, written, tested and rewritten code of all sorts and tried endlessly to reveal myself through this website. While there is still work to be done, I’m excited about the progress I’ve made and the site it’s become. My previous blog felt very transient, while this, like a home in many ways, seemed like a more permanent space.
It’s been process, but one that I’m proud of. Again, it’s rewarding and satisfying to know that this is something I’ve created. I’m so excited to share it with you!
Here’s to home, in whatever form it may be.
Here’s to creating and embracing it.