The Pursuit of Home

It seems like it’s been forever since my last blogpost, but lots of good things have been happening since then. I celebrated my 23rd birthday, my littlest brothers celebrated their birthdays (they’re now 8 and 10 and I told them stories about their baby years, which made me feel really old), I got my first tattoo, and I started reading a new book called Thinking With Your Soul: Spiritual Intelligence and Why It Matters by Dr. Richard Wolman. It’s inspirational and I’m enjoying it so far.

I’ve started several different posts since I published my last one, and wasn’t too thrilled about them. It didn’t seem like the right time, but my life has circled to make one of those topics relevant again. From the title, one might guess it’s about home…

So what is home? Where is it? I always called home the town where I grew up, and more specifically the house I grew up in. Now that my parents are moving out of my childhood house next month, it’s bringing up the idea of home for me. Does home change, or does it stay your hometown? What if parents move during college, does your home move with them? What about those people who moved around a lot as children and didn’t have a consistent place to call home?

My parents have lived in the same house for over 20 years. Even if their house didn’t feel like home, Utica (not so much Frankfort, the town where they actually live) always gives me a homey feeling. While I was in college, it took a while for my undergrad, or even the town of Geneseo to feel like home. It wasn’t until my senior year when I moved off campus and lived with people that I got along with that it felt like home. It felt temporary because even though I was all about making the most out of my college experience, graduation was going to happen regardless and I’d have to move on. I’ve gone back a couple times and when I have visited that magical college appeal has worn off. It served it’s purpose at the time, and now I have most definitely moved on.

A few months after graduation, I moved to the Finger Lakes for an AmeriCorps VISTA position. I’m currently living in Canandaigua, which has been nice. I like living near the lake, I’ve met some great people, and my apartment is nice, but it also doesn’t feel like home. This place, like college, feels temporary since I always thought I’d leave after my AmeriCorps term ended. Similarly to undergrad, at this point I’ve gotten all I can out of it and I’m looking for a change. This time I’m looking for a place that has more going on.

The twentysomething home is a strange concept because it seems like it can be forever changing. I have a restless, free spirit, so I can’t imagine settling down anytime soon. This makes home, in reference to a location, a difficult concept for me. During my weekly meditation class last Tuesday, we tried something new. Instead of seated meditation, the instructor asked us to try a walking meditation with the prompt to walk like we feel at home in our bodies. This was my ah-ha moment. That meditation experience really resonated with me because I’ve considered having strong connections with others a state of being home, yet I hadn’t considered the same with connecting with myself. So if home is a place where I feel loved, accepted, and that provides comfort, why shouldn’t it be in the space I create for myself?

After all that, where and what is home for everyone else?