Homes Sweet Homes

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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:

“Welcome home!”
“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?”

YIKES!

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!

Home is…

Chicago, Illinois.

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,
Stephanie

 

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24 thoughts on “Homes Sweet Homes

  1. Reading this post made me feel like home. What?!! I know! So spot on defining “Home” with no boundaries; fluid and ever changing but still familiar in the best ways. Love you always.

    1. Awww this is so sweet! This post was very much inspired by my time at home in Michigan =) Thanks for always making me feel “at home” when I am there! Love you!

  2. I love your list about what Home is. I was born and raised in NYC and that is my “home.” I relocated to PA, right outside of Philly and called that my “house” for a long time. But as my husband and I laid down some roots in our “house” and started a family, it started to feel like “home.” Home is where the people you love are. Home is where you are comfy cozy and happy. Home is your happy place!!! 🙂

    1. Roots are definitely everything!! A house is just a structure, and your roots make it a home. I love this perspective =) And yes, home is definitely your happy place!! Thanks so much for reading, Christine!

  3. this is such a great post – for me home is wherever I am as long as I’m with my family! the actual geographic location means nothing to me!

    1. Yes, family is so important, I can definitely relate to this perspective! Thanks for reading and visiting Citrus & Sun, Hal!

  4. Stephanie,
    I loved this writing so much I forwarded it to my friend who moved to Florida because of her husband’s job.
    She loved it so much so she has subscribed to your blog!
    Happy New Year!
    Judy

    1. Judy, thank yo so much for passing this post onto your friend in Florida! That means so much, and I am so happy that she connected with these words! Happy New Year to you!!

    1. Yes, I love how you used the words “settled” and “secure.” I truly believe that parts of our lives other than our physical home can bring us these feelings! Thanks so much for your thoughts, Emily!

  5. Home is where family is. It’s also anywhere I feel welcomed and comfortable. It is great that it’s so convenient for us to travel nowadays, it just brings the other side of the world a lot closer. x

    1. Great point about travel, Nita! It’s so nice to have so many avenues and options for travel. It makes it so much easier to get to all of the places that you might consider home.

  6. I really feel to this one!! Especially having moved half way across the world from my “home”! Home to me is a place filled with so many fond memories & familiarities. Food is definitely a big way for me to connect back to home; I feel “home” whenever I eat a specific food that brings back those memories!

    1. Eve, I can’t even imagine what an adjustment this move was for you!! I know my move to Chicago was difficult, and that was only a 5 hour distance! I love what you said about food and memories, and how this part of your life relates to that feeling of home =) This is so special!! The carrots that my mom made at Christmas dinner always remind me of home!! =) Thank you so much for reading and sharing these thoughts!!

  7. This is so beautifully written. I love your definition of where home is and i am weirdly reminded of Thor: Ragnarok, you know when the father tells him that Asgard is not a place but the people?

    1. Thanks so much, Purity!! I actually have not seen Thor, but I asked my husband about this and he knew exactly what you meant and was able to explain it to me! =) Love the connection!! Thank you for reading!

  8. 💜😘💜Love,💜Hugs😘✝️Believe✝️😘💜
    ‘Home is where you are Loved the most!’
    Not sure where this is from?
    I only know the words seem right.
    Home is where ‘your people’ are.
    Home is where you feel comfortable, safe and cared for.
    Sometimes, home is just a phone call.
    Once again, Miss Stephanie, you have written Beautiful words for all of us to enjoy.
    Amazing!
    I truly love the picture at the beginning of your ‘blog.’
    💜😘✝️Know You Are Loved✝️😘💜
    💜😘Take Good Care and Please Be Safe!😘💜
    Me
    Aka
    MJOXOXOX

    1. Julia, thank you for such a heartfelt comment! You and your family are definitely ‘my people!’ =) Thanks so much for always opening up your home to all of us for so many years!! I hope to be back soon!

  9. Home is where your heart is!!! Family, memories, etc… I loved reading this post! I am so glad you had a wonderful time at home over break and that you were inspired to write this post! I enjoyed reading what places felt like home to you!!! Stephanie- you write so beautifully! I know your writings are clearly helping others and making them reminisce! Nice job!

    1. Erin, this just made my heart smile. Thank you so much! YES, home is where the heart is, and being back in Michigan was definitely an inspiration for this post =) I am so happy you had a wonderful visit with your family, too!!

  10. I love this! Such a nice reminder that home sometimes is more than a physical structure. For me home is anywhere I am with my husband. But also I have the feeling of home whenever my dad hugs me, or when I meditate.

    1. This is so sweet, Laurient! I feel the same about being anywhere with my husband =) It’s so nice to have that person who makes us feel like home! Thanks so much for reading!

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