Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Travel is always an adventure, but I have to admit, I'm a total homebody at heart. While I am capable of sound sleep almost anywhere, I always feel best in my own bed. I am so glad to be home from camp!

Maybe I'm just an easy going person, but I've always been able to make a home wherever I ended up. Only once in my life was I ever truly homesick. My junior year of college I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Oxford, England. While I loved everything about the opportunity, five and a half months away from my friends and family took a toll on me. I think, though, that part of my homesickness stemmed from the knowledge that my little flat in Kidlington, England was temporary and would never become home. Three short years later I moved moved across the country from a very amazing life in Long Beach, CA to the East Coast and didn't feel those same hollow feelings. In all honesty, I thought I would. I wasn't sure that I could survive on the East Coast without those things that made me think of home. (Though the weather this week has me reconsidering!)

Despite the difficulties in leaving behind those same friends and family members (I miss them terribly every day), I was able to make my new location my home. Since that first move into an apartment nine years ago, I've lived in four different houses and each one has been perfect for me at that time. Over the course of those nine years I've had some very wonderful events take place as well as some heart-wrenching devastations.The good and the bad have helped shape me. I feel like the homes I've lived and thrived are reflections of each stage of my life.  Finding the best in each house/location has made it much easier to make those structures home.

Basically, I know that I am blessed to not only have always had a roof over my head, but to have lived in an honest-to-God home. There is a big difference between a house and a home. Like making a good marriage, making a home requires effort and patience. Weeks into my relocation when I was still getting lost and melting in the deadly August heat/humidity combo, I wanted to run back to California. I wanted to get my little apartment that was three blocks from the beach back and pretend it was all a bad, humid dream. While my friends who are still in California think I am all kinds of crazy for staying here this long, I'm really glad I stuck it out. I managed to find the positives in my new location, meet great people, find a school I love and learn the seemingly mismarked highway system (I know I'm headed north, but I'm on the westbound highway? Huh?) Note: The fact that I just called it a highway and not a freeway is a testament to my belonging here now.

When beau invited me to share his house it was also an invitation to share his home. I think that in the seven months I've been here we have managed to turn it into more of a home. While the textured application to the glass and the soon-to-start kitchen renovation help, there is also an intangible, indescribable element to home-making. It is different for everyone, but it is so worth finding.

Dorothy totally had it right: There is no place like home. (Even if home changes every few years...)

Anyone else out there feel the same way I do about home? Or does home have to be a permanent place? Are you ever too old to feel homesick?

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