In less than twelve hours, I will be on my way “home” for Thanksgiving.
Growing up, I was constantly looking forward to the day I was going to “grow up” and leave, and find myself a new city to call “home.”
But growing up does not happen in a day. We all know it’s a process: one we don’t realize we have completed until we’re so busy we can hardly breathe.
Growing up is something we look forward to as children, and once we realize that somewhere along the way we had actually already grown up, we wish to return to a child’s world of curiosity, endless time, and minimal responsibility.
So I grew up, like everybody else. I don’t know when it happened, but one day I realized that everything had become so serious, important, and time flew by fast.
I knew I had grown up.
I moved to a new city, I made new friends, I ate new food, I dressed a little different, my views had changed…
My life had changed.
I swore I would never actually want to go back “home” if it wasn’t for my lovely family and friends.
But, after a few months living away and on my own, I actually longed to go back “home” just to be there.
The winter holiday season only increases my longing for the place that I call “home.”
I miss traditions, the laughter of those whom I have known my entire life, and just being.
At home, there is no need to impress anyone, try new things, visit new places, or stress.
Home is where the heart is happy and at peace, even if only for a little while.
So I am going “home” and am ecstatic.
But this idea of “home” is so obscure.
Home used to be my parent’s house, wherever it was, where I went to sleep at night.
Home used to be the city I resided in for as long as I can remember.
But, being an immigrant, I was always surrounded by people who did not consider this town that I considered home to actually be home
(And in fact, they still don’t consider the city their home even after living within its borders for many, many years).
So I was lost.
I was born in a different city, on a different continent (although I didn’t reside there for very long). It’s considered my “hometown,” but when I visit this hometown, I feel disoriented, lost, uncomfortable, confused, and foreign.
But my passport claims that this foreign place is my hometown, and my family insists that it is in fact, my “home.”
To me: home is someplace familiar, inviting.
The town in which I went to school in, the town in which I learned to ride my bicycle and later, learned to drive a car.
This town was home to me, even though everyone insisted otherwise.
Now, living in a new city, I catch myself calling this place home.
But, when my heart is craving the company of family and friends – I reject even the slightest possibility that this is my home.
Home is so undefined.
When my heart aches for home, it’s always a different place that it longs for.
Home is not a permanent location.
Home is temporary.
Home is what we miss when we’re away.
But more importantly: home is who we miss when we’re away.
A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams. – Dr. William A Ward
And my confusion with what place to call home, leads me to believe the following words:
…This world is not my home I’m just passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue…