As I ride around New Orleans with my friend Mike, it sort of hit me that I am way too comfortable in a city this is not really mine. I wasn’t born here and I damn sure didn’t live here, no matter how many times I’ve visited the area. I am actually curious as to when this place became my home. What makes a place a home.
Does birth make a place home? Is a certain city you home just because you were brought into the world there?
If your family moved, is that former city still your home? What about adoption? Can they still call that place home?
Does living somewhere make your home? Everyday people look over the simple things in their lives. You get up every morning and involuntarily walk to a certain room or follow a certain routine. You drive to places everyday, not realizing you automatically know where to go. When giving directions, you can either give street names or basic landmarks that you are so accustomed to seeing. Hunger can be solved with quick thinking and a swift turn. You back roads and short cuts. You have your own special spots that you cherish. This is the home that raised you.
Does your college choice make your home? The first thing that crosses your mind when going off to school is not the place but the college itself. No one realizes that the school has a city or town attached to it and it sort of becomes a part of you. By the time you graduate, this place will be etched into your memory bank and you will always be able to recollect a random thought from those years. This is a place that you spent four to six years and during that time you learned an entire campus and found your way around the city. If you want clothes, you know where there are deals and where you can get a certain item. You know where every food location is and when they open and close, although it is slightly shameful. You know where every CVS or Walgreens is because sickness is a thing. You know the club scene and the bar life. You know all of this and for that reason it makes you forget that this is not your town but it sort of became your home.
Does your family make your home? When life gets stressful and things get to hard, talking on the phone with a family member sometimes makes it alright. A simple hug from a mom, dad or sibling can calm the soul. Just sitting in the same room with the television humming in the background can be relaxing. Is the feeling of closeness and serenity these people bring home?
Do your friends make a home? They might not be legitimate family but they may as well be. You met them as strangers and over time, you became to see them as more. No one can really pinpoint the time and place, but it surely did happen and you’re glad. These are the sisters and brothers you never had. You trust them with so much. They are like the second string quarterback of your family. They may not come before your blood family but they will always be there for the same purpose: to just be there for you. Loving these people is an amazing feeling because they sort of just became a part of you and now share life experiences with you. They make you feel like home.
Is the place where you want to be home? You have spent countless hours imagining this wonderful life you will have at this new city, state, country or continent and now its turned into a longing. Is it possible to be homesick of a place you’ve never been? You add new details to your fictional life, create senarios and tease yourself with ideas of a family. This place seems to turn into a home everyday and maybe even someday.
If you were wearing the ruby slippers and chanting those magical words, where would your home be? Home can be so many things, places and people and it gets confusing sometimes. Yet as cliche as the saying is, home really is where the heart is.