Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home Is...

I have a friend on Facebook who started a conversation about 'Home.'

She's lived in New York for at least 4 years now and she said that she's tired of people asking if she's coming 'home' to Ohio. She no longer views that as 'home' even though that's where her parents live.

Someone told her that, no, that IS her home because it's where she's from. But I want to know why does that mean you're 'home'?

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right. ~Maya Angelou

I grew up in a very small town in Ohio and I HATED it. I've been told that we lived in a very strange town, that most towns are not like that. We were not accepted there, we did not fit in there, and I did everything I could to get out of there. And now my parents no longer live there. All the places that I once called 'home' are simply buildings that I see in pictures. I haven't driven past them since my family moved from Canal Fulton. I feel no need to go back to Ohio. It's stopped being home.

I'm getting a bit sentimental, if you couldn't tell.

Home is not where you live but where they understand you. ~Christian Morgenstern

Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's that, every year, we change what we do. The traditions that we held onto for so long disappeared a few years back and we just make it up as we go. I don't mind it so much, but I think we all have days where we think of what we had once and miss it. Not because it was a good story, or a relevant one, but because it was our story.

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. ~John Ed Pearce

Humans fear change and I've had a lot of it in the past three years of my life. And I think part of it has always been that I didn't leave my parents - my parents left me. They moved before I ever did. I didn't have a permanent mailing address until I got married and moved to New Jersey/New York.

Even now, I don't plan on being in any apartment for longer then a year. The longest we've lasted is a year and a half. In 5 years, I've lived in as many places, hopping back and forth between states.

I feel more at home in Hong Kong then I ever did in Ohio. I learned more street names in my 3 years in New York then I ever did in the 22 years in Canton.

You know, people always say 'home is where the heart is.' I like how Robert Frost thought of it:
Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.

Where thou art - that - is Home. ~Emily Dickinson


  1. I still refer to my parents' house or going back to Missouri as "going home." Mainly because that's what I've always called it. It feels weird to me to say "my parents' house" because I lived in that house, too, for 22 years so I feel like it was/still is mine. (Although, don't tell my parents or they will probably ask for back pay on the mortgage. ha ha) But I also call our condo home, too. I don't think there is anything wrong with having multiple "homes", especially after reading some of the quotes that you posted.

  2. I think it tends to be different with everyone. If they have wonderful memories of where they grew up or where they were born, etc. and they don't like where they are now - then the place with the most peace that gives them happiness is 'home'. I don't think I'd ever call a place that held no sentiment for me 'home'.