14. Home is where my heart is
How would you describe what you call home? This is an interesting concept to explore. Are you one of those people who has moved a lot or have you been living in the same place for a long time? Is it a country, a neighbourhood, a house or a room? Or is it more the people you live with or a state of mind?
Definitions you may find are: 1) the place where one lives permanently, especially as member of a family or household, 2) the place where a person was born or grew up, 3) the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered. Or is it more then just a place, it is also an idea – where one’s heart is.
Where I was born
The town where I was born was several hours drive from where my parents grew up. They lived there for several years due to my dad’s job. We moved when I was three. I do not have any recollection of the place. I have visited it when I was a teenager. Our neighbours had a daughter the same age and we ended up being pen palls for a while. A spend a few days at her place during one of the school breaks. I cannot imagine living there now, and it is certainly not home.
Where I grew up
The town where I grew up is where my parents still live. I was twelve who we moved in the house they live in now. We did have another home in the same town before that. I have stopped by, but I do not feel any connection. I do have childhood memories from that place, but they are dearer to me than the actual location. But where my parents live now is where I come regularly. It is a base, and much more a base than any other place I do no longer live. It isn’t so much my room, which has changed, but I guess it is the people and the familiarity of the place. There are very few people other than family that I have stayed in touch with in this town. To be honest I fancy it much more now than when I was in school to actually live here.
Exploring the world
After finishing school I lived many different places for studies and work. I had the great opportunity to live in different countries and travel quite a few places. I always enjoyed where I was. No matter whether I had some pretty big hurdles to take in my life. I was with my partner and later also children, but away from the rest of the family. The great thing was that we had much more intense contact when people came to visit or when we went ‘home’. Perhaps just because we would spend more time together, vacation together. Any holidays abroad we always had our local ‘family’, often neighbours to celebrate with. Spending time together was our home and feeling welcome and appreciated. Especially with all the very friendly people we met during travel or living abroad. It has really enriched my life.
As the children had been abroad all their lives I decided to move back to my ‘home’ country before their teenage years. I think there is a sense of home with the country and the culture you grow up in, or where you are ‘from’. And I really wanted to give them that experience. Perhaps because you hear to many times people do not feel at home anywhere when they have been living in many places. I moved into a new town which I am very fond off. I have great neighbours. Though we have been here a few years I do not have a desire to move again. There is so much more to explore, especially my own connections in whatever way shape or form. What if the kids move out? Will I no longer feel at home? I am sure I will feel like a part of me is missing, but I will be so proud of them for taking up their adventures in life. And we will always stay connected.
Home is where my heart is
Over the years I have started to realise that you feel at home, when you feel at ease. At ease with yourself, with the people around you and the place you are at. If you feel safe, appreciated and at peace it doesn’t matter how long you are in a certain location, who you are with or what your are doing. You feel connected with what is good in life. For example if you are travelling and you are watching this beautiful sunset on a warm summer night. Or enjoying the a nice meal with family or friends. Isn’t that like a homea-feeling? I believe that home is where your heart is. You just need to make sure you are connected with it.