12.03.2010

There's no place like home...

Home.
Why did Dorothy so desperately want to return home? She was in an awesome magical wonderland full of amazing creatures and new friends. There were bright colors everywhere with people constantly singing and dancing. Sure there was the whole ordeal with the 'wicked witch' but honestly, who doesn't have a trial or two to face every once and awhile?

After a brutally honest conversation with my sister (in which she told me she felt as if she didn't have a home) I began to wonder where I consider home. Is it Seattle where I spent the first 12 years of my life? Or perhaps North Carolina where I spent the next 12 years? Or is it New York City, where I work, pay bills, have friends and generally live my life now?

As the child of divorced parents, we no longer own either of the houses my siblings and I grew up in. I don't have the luxury of traveling back to North Carolina, swinging open the door to a house I've always known, putting my suitcases in my trophy filled room and laying on the bed I've always had. On the contrary, I'm usually sleeping on a couch or in a guest bedroom. I had to throw away all my trophies, wall hangings and paint over the silly colored walls of my childhood.

When physically, your home is gone, what's the next step?

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you"- Christian Morganstern

"Homes really are no more than the people who live in them" -Nancy Reagan

I think for the first time in my life, I feel somewhat the same as my sister. We are homeless; but only in the sense that we physically do not have the home we've always had. Even though I would love nothing more for us to still own that beautiful house on Whitehall Way in Cary, NC, we don't. And to be honest, that's OK.

I was spending so much time trying to figure out where my official home was located, that I never really stopped to realize- who cares? I don't have to have a home right now (I'm in a transitional period for heaven sakes!!) However, I am lucky enough to have a bunch of 'mini homes' instead.

What are 'mini-homes' you ask? Simple. Anywhere that memories are woven into the scenery. Where friends or family still lives, or any place that brings a smile to your face thinking of stories from your past. A place where people greet you with a warm embrace; help you celebrate successes, comfort you in losses and generally love you for who you are.

So far, I have 'mini homes' in Renton, Cary, Greenville and New York City. Shame on me for feeling as if I had to choose one home... every person I've met along the way, in all my mini homes, has helped shape me into the delightfully odd person I am today. I am so lucky!

One of these days I'll have the amazing opportunity to create my own home with my future husband. We will own the property, decorate how we like, raise a family, make all new friends, and I will be proud to announce to the world that my list of homes is growing!

I think Dorothy and I had it all wrong. The tragedy is not 'not being/having a home'. The tragedy is not appreciating and celebrating all the 'mini homes' in your life.