Home is where the heart is?

As I sit at my parent’s new house, my toes freezing in the nippy Washington cold, I have begun to think about the concept of home. Years ago, being raised in a military family, I was always told, “home are where the Navy sends you.” But as I sit here in this new place with a new house, new weather and being 45 minutes away from the nearest Target, I begin to rethink that word home. Now I will not deny the importance of family and the home they provide, but I think there is a point as you grow up where home isn’t where your family is. Here me out, this will begin to make sense in a bit. At the end of last year, I began to think about my future and what I would do once I graduated. At about the same time I received the news from my parents that my dad had gotten orders to Whidbey Island in Washington, pulling them away from our home in San Diego to a town 30 miles and about 2 hours away from Seattle. That moment I thought that God had sent down a message, telling me that I should move to Washington. To be honest I had contemplated moving to Seattle, being that they have a bustling theatre scene and it would be somewhere new. I had an itch to leave, being that I had lived in Southern California for 8 years of my life, longer than anywhere else. But what should have been met with excitement what met with tears. I didn’t know why it bothered me so much, I hadn’t lived at home full time for three years since moving to Irvine for school, and yet the idea that they were leaving to a completely different state was so heartbreaking to me. I guess it was the idea that I was actually leaving.

 But as the school year began and I started talking to professors and friends, I began to realize that while my parents had left, my home was there in California. As I sit outside freezing my ass off in the 45 degree weather, I realize that I couldn’t ever get used to being happy here.  And that word, happy, is the key. While I could get used to the cold, being that I lived in Northern Illinois for 4 years, where they don’t kid about cold, I wouldn’t be happy. I would miss California’s wussy seasons and the lack of snow. I would miss bitching about the weather for no reason and the bustle of commercial America hard at work. If I wanted to go live in the middle of nowhere, I would. I don’t care if people think its shallow or weak, it’s how I live. I don’t see stars at night and I have to drive out somewhere to experience wildlife like deer and eagles. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I don’t want to live in a place where you get pulled over for driving faster than 60 miles per hour, that’s insane.

So coming back to my point, I discovered that home is where the heart is, but the problem is finding out where your heart actually is. I thought it was with my family, because that’s where you’re supposed to feel at home, with family. But I realized that I also had created my own home and family in California, with my friends and the adults I went to church with and looked up to.  I am comfortable and happy in Orange County, so why change that? I will feel plenty of discomfort once I graduate and have to start paying rent and have to get a job, so there is no reason to create more for myself.

 While this might seem like a stupid dilemma, I mean of course you should stay where you’re happy, why is that a question, the problem is that now I have to deal with the fact that my family is no longer an hour and a half drive away.  I will not be able to go home as much during the holidays, this could be the last Thanksgiving I have with them for a while, with airplane tickets always getting more and more expensive. I made my decision, but don’t ever think that this kind of choice is an easy one. And I guess that’s what becoming an adult is really about. Not drinking, or getting your license or a job, but the steps you take to creating a life of your own, working towards your own family, your own set of values and your own lifestyle that you define, not your parents.  It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one we all have to create for ourselves.

Alright that’s it for now. I’m going back inside, it’s too cold out here. 

Originally posted Nov. 24th, 2013