Home can have many doors. It can be a physical structure, a place, or a feeling in your heart. The word “home” can mean something different to everyone. I do believe in the phrase “home is where the heart is,” but I also believe that our heart can be found in many different places and parts of our everyday lives.
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
I recently traveled back to my hometown in Michigan for the holidays from Chicago where I have lived with my husband Chuck and two cats for 3 years. During our stay, the word “home” was brought up a lot by the two of us as well as others:
“So happy you’re home.”
“When are you moving home?”
“How long are you visiting until you head home?”
“What day should we leave to go back home?”
“It feels great to be home.”
“This meal feels like home.”
“I can’t wait to get home and see the cats.”
“Do you miss home?”
The more I used the word “home” or heard other people asking me about home, the more confused I became with where home actually is in my life. These anxious thoughts followed me all the way back to Chicago, and actually made me feel like I had no idea where I belonged.
I know, so dramatic, right?
But honestly, I have struggled with this idea of “home” ever since I moved away from my hometown in Michigan. Is Chicago my home? Yes, I do live here and I absolutely LOVE it. Is Michigan my home? Technically no, but I will always consider it home. Is the town where I went to college and lived for 5 years my home? No, but why do I feel at home whenever I visit? Everyone wants a place that is home to them, and many of us are lucky to have that place. But what if home can have many doors?
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I love more than pulling into my parking garage after a long day at work, or from being on vacation. I always have that feeling of relief that washes over me when I walk into my front door and feel instantly comforted by familiarity in my living space. But I have realized that there are many other parts of my life that make me experience that feeling of home.
I believe the feeling of home is unique for everyone.
When I think of what this feeling is for me, the words comfort and contentment come to mind. When I feel “at home,” I feel completely at ease and safe despite what might be going on in my life. So I put together a list of places, things, and experiences that give me this feeling of warmth and peace within my soul. Writing this list helped me realize that home might not be one specific place, but can be many things in your life. Some things on this list feel more like home to me than others, but they all give me that feeling of ease and comfort. As you read my list, think about what your personal feeling of “home” is, and where/what/who makes you feel this way!
Grand Blanc, Michigan.
East Lansing, Michigan.
Long talks with my mom over coffee in the morning.
A glass of wine with friends after a long day.
Hearing an old favorite song.
Listening to my dad sing and play the piano.
Seeing my cats sleeping peacefully.
Writing in my journal.
Sleeping in on Saturday mornings.
Walking the nature trail in my hometown.
Watching a scary movie with my brother.
My mom’s Christmas dinner.
Phone chats with my long-distance friends.
Being surrounded by Michigan State Spartan fans.
Anywhere with Chuck.
The sound of rain.
Watching old home videos of my family.
Putting on a pair of my favorite slippers.
Looking out my window at the bright lights of the city.
Sleeping in my own bed after being on a trip.
Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
I’m sure that I will end up adding to this list, but writing these initial thoughts down made me realize that home is all around me no matter where I physically am, and I simply need to be better at recognizing its presence.
What makes you feel at home? Maybe it is your actual home where you carry out your daily life. Maybe you have more than one home. Maybe it’s a place where you are surrounded by the people you love. Maybe it’s a place your visit each year, or a specific person who has been in your life for a long time. It might be a certain food, a song, or a movie. Maybe it’s all of the above and more!
Home can have many different doors. You might not necessarily need to be at home to feel “at home.”
I would love to hear about elements of your life that make you feel at home. Share in the comments below!
Wishing you zest and light,