Recently, the idea of home has been on my mind again. I still don’t know what it is about that word. I like to think everyone has at least one happy memory of what it feels like to be home. To be connected to a place, to a lifestyle, and to the people they’re with in that location. To be content.
I wrote about this almost exactly two years ago: Home.
I highly suggest you read that post to fully appreciate this one. That was when I had just moved to Colorado. I was perfectly happy here. I still am. But I still don’t feel like home.
And now the Midwest does not feel home either.
Well, it does feel like home as long as my family still lives there, but I know I can never live there again.
I feel like a man displaced with nowhere to go, except that I can go anywhere I want.
I guess that’s why I quit my job and bought a van instead of continuing down the traditional path of climbing the corporate ladder and buying a house in Boulder or the surrounding area.
Then it finally hit me, as cliche as it may be:
Home is where the heart is.
What I’ve found about myself is that my heart is not necessarily connected to a geographic location (as of yet). It is connected to people. People that allow me to be who I am, and do what I love.
“Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.” – Frederick W. Robertson
I have made a lot of acquaintances in Colorado, but I have truly connected with very few. People have come and gone. Passed through. Stopped for awhile. Made me feel like I was home.
I have visited friends in Utah, Wyoming, and Minnesota. Come and gone. Passed through. Stopped for awhile. And thought, “maybe this could be home.”
But it never is.
I never truly feel content. That’s my biggest fear in life. To never feel contentedness in where I’m at or what I’m doing.
That can be a great driver and professional motivator, but when I imagine a happy, full, and fulfilled life, the feeling of home and content is ever-present.
But does it matter if that place has to be stationary? Do I have to be in one place with one group of people for the rest of my life?
The ideal answer is yes. But I’m finding my reality is no.
I’m finding I can be anywhere as long as I’m with the person or people I care about and there is a climbing and outdoor community. I’ve never once ever in my wildest dreams believed that I’d ever live in the Southeast, but just recently, I’ve been convinced I could even make that work despite the horrid heat and humidity. Maybe not long-term, but I’d be willing to give it a try and prove myself wrong. And it’s only because of whom and what is there. Not where it is.
That is all that matters because when I have those deep connections and emotional support, I am content. I am content to be wherever I am. I am happy. I am home.
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. – Maya Angelou