Where do you consider home? Is it the place you grew up; the place you're currently living? Why is it home?
Submitted by uncagedbird.
Currently, I really don't consider any physical place or location my home. And if I am honest, this has been true for quite some time, not just this past year of life as a nomad.
It hasn't always been this way. My grandmother's house was home to me for a number of years. It was a place I could return to and see my past. It was a place that felt like it didn't change, although it allowed me to see how I had changed and grown.
For a small time I experienced a true nuclear family – and then some. My great-grandmother lived in the house along with my paternal grandparents and parents. At one point my uncle (mother's brother) lived with us. And another of my mother's brothers along with one of their sisters lived in a two family home around the block (our backyards were diagonal to each other).
I actually owned my grandmother's house for a brief period when I was about 20. Part of me wanted to keep it, but being three thousand miles away and having to try and manage things combined with the craziness that surrounded the event, made it impossible. I don't think I ever would have returned to live there. It was just me trying to hold onto my past, which really makes little sense if you think about it at all.
But even that house I only lived in for a couple of years. The longest I ever lived under one roof uninterrupted was in Austin, Texas. That was for five years. I have moved 27 times. Move 28 is in progress – one that has gone on for over a year now.
B recently discovered a book and on line group called Third Culture Kids. This is more for children who left a country, or who came from multicultural families. Kids whose parents were missionaries or diplomats. So even into this I am not a perfect fit, although I do share that trait of not feeling connected with a group or a place.
Because of all the trauma and drama that occurred in the place where I was born, I don't consider myself a native. I tell people 'I escaped when I was eight.' I can hardly believe that it is such a 'hot' real estate market, although it has always enjoyed the same view.
Of course Emeryville has grown on me. We moved in and out of there twice, and could still go back again. I know I feel a sense of pride when I stay to the end of Pixar movies and see Emeryville, California on the big screen. But I am not sure that is the same feeling as home.
I have often worried what would happen if I were granted a pair of red ruby slippers and clicked my heels three times. Where the heck would I end up? It is actually a rather scary thought.
In many ways though I do believe that home is much more than four walls and a roof. It is more than a place to sleep or keep your stuff or receive mail. Home to me is a place (not necessarily physical) where you feel safe. A place where you can let your guard down and be yourself. It is a space (again not necessarily something you can touch) where you can invite others in to experience part of who you truly are. Of course it doesn't hurt to have physical protection from the outside world, but I think home goes way beyond that. I think this is what is meant by 'home is where the heart is', and it is something I believe.