March 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
I couldn’t have picked a more nebulous subject to tackle. But now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. I’ve been preoccupied with the idea of “home” for most of my young adult life. Even if haven’t decided what it means to me.
This post originated, like many others, in the pages of my journal, as a series of questions. Most of the questions I ask don’t have definitive answers. I ask them anyway.
Is “home” where one has roots? My roots are in the Midwest. I was born and raised in Illinois. So was most of my family, and most of them never left. I love my family dearly, but I’ve always felt out of place in the Midwest. That’s why I’ve worked so hard to escape from it. Which poses another question: can you settle for “home,” or must you stop at nothing to find “home”?
Does one rely on their instincts to locate their “home,” or does one slowly forge a connection with a place until it becomes “home”? I chose Portland not because I had a leg-up on living arrangements there. I chose Portland because it felt right to me. I trusted my instincts to guide me.
Is “home” even a place to begin with? If you subscribe to the belief that “home is where the heart is,” then home is a mindset, not a physical locale. I’ve always construed that mindset to be a contented, satisfied one. Though the word “heart” suggests a feeling more profound than “contented” or “satisfied.” I also object to the singular form of “home” in this context. It denies the possibility that one can have multiple homes in their lifetime.
Can you have more than one home? Illinois was (is?) home. Western Mass was another home. Oregon is starting to feel like home despite the rough transition I experienced at the beginning. That’s three. Who knows how many more homes I’ll get to have?
It’s something to think about.
Before I get too philosophical for my own liking, I’ll close with a song. One of my absolute favorites.