Redefining Home

For as long as I can remember, home has been where my family lives. Even when we moved to a new house, home remained constant despite the change of address. When I moved across the country for college, there was no doubt in my mind that my parent’s house was still home.

But now what? Now that college is over and I’m officially off the parental payroll, where is home?

I pay my own apartment rent, and my interior decorating is sufficiently homey (not to be confused with homie, yo), but does it count as home without relatives? Without roommates? Without ownership? What really makes a residence a home?

There’s no place like home for the holidays (according to ~7382 artists who have covered that Christmas song), but did I go home for the holidays, or did I go to my parent’s home? It’s the weirdest thing leaving “home” (my current apartment) to travel back “home” (my hometown/childhood home/parent’s house) and vice versa.

I’ve lived in four houses, three apartments, one town house and one dorm room throughout my 23 years, and this is the first time I’ve encountered this feeling of homelessness. Of course I don’t mean that in a literal sense, but more of the identity associated with home.

For now, I will consider both locations home. Over time it will sink in that I’m a guest at my parent’s home, but until then, home is where the heart free food is.

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One thought on “Redefining Home

  1. Mom says:

    I understand completely! I make a determined effort to ask when you’re heading “home”, not back to Memphis. I ask your brother if he’ll be getting to Ohio, not home. I ask the other if he’s driving down for a visit, not coming home. You all have your own homes now, whether you rent or own, with a family or on your own. Just know, you can always come “home”. Home is that place with unconditional love. Where you can open the refrigerator, just to see what’s there. You can claim the best seat in the house (next to the fireplace) to watch a Christmas movie or college football game, but fall asleep half way through and someone will cover you. You can come home with a couple suitcases, complete with some dirty laundry, drop them in your old room and head out to spend time with old friends. Dad and I are always happy to have you come home…from your home. We’ll take 5 minutes or 5 days; whatever works for you. You always have the key to our home because you have the key to our hearts. We love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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