“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
If you’re anything like me, you run from your problems.
The second shit hits the fan, you’re out. You keep one foot out the door. Your bags are packed. You bolt, speeding down the highway that is life with your hair blowing in the wind or something like that.
You throw your hands up making some sort of dramatic gesture and laugh to yourself while saying, “Oh well, I tried” and peace out.
When things get hard, you leave. You don’t bother getting settled, because you’re never in the same place for long enough anyway.
Side note: don’t run. Don’t be like me.
I was 10-years-old the first time I moved.
I left everything I’ve ever known behind. Friends, family, my school… and I ended up in a tiny town that I never quite found my place in.
As soon as I graduated from high school, I packed my bags and moved back to the city where I lived on campus for 4 years before bouncing from apartment to apartment the two years following.
I’ve never quite felt settled. Not even when I was a little girl and my home was the only place I knew, where my family ensured I was taken care of and comfortable and loved, and since 10 years of age, my life has been uprooted in some fashion due to trauma or a natural disaster caused by the environment or my own doing, like moving to DC on a moment’s notice.
I’m kind of all over the place.
On my recent trip back to New Orleans, something strange happened to me and I felt a feeling I hadn’t felt in quite awhile. A feeling I’ve only felt a handful of times since I was 10.
A wave of security came over me.
It was the feeling of someone saying to you “you’re going to be okay.”
The feeling of someone answering their phone when you’ve been trying to get ahold of them.
The feeling of being able to simply… breathe.
I’m not sure if I can say that home is a tangible place.
It most certainly can be for some people.
Home can be the house they grew up in or the town they’ve lived for a few years.
For awhile, home, to me, was my grandmother’s house. The piece of land where I grew up during the first 10 years of my life and continued during the ages 22-24.
But after my grandma’s passing, we no longer have that house. It’s been sold. It’s no longer home.
A tangible home is one that I sort of don’t have.
But I’ve been looking.
So how do you know when you’ve found your home?
Home, to me, has evolved into more of a feeling than a physical place, and I felt it when I was back in New Orleans driving down Magazine St., hugging my mom and friends, drinking PJ’s Coffee in the morning and breathing in the humid air, wincing every time the tires hit a pothole, hearing the words “darlin” and “have a good one” leave people’s mouths.
It’s the feeling of being in a room full of people and knowing you can be yourself and they will still love you because they know you.
It’s the feeling of feeling like you belong.
Home is the place you go when you want to be loved.
So if you’re going to run anywhere, make sure you’re running towards love. Wherever that may be. Whoever that may be. However long it might take you. Not all those who wander are lost.
And when you find the love, you’ve found your home.
Tell me your thoughts!
What does home mean to you? Is it a place? A feeling?