A couple of days ago, a friend asked me if I was going home for the holidays. This is one of those situations that a normal person would have a pretty straightforward yes/no answer to but for some reason, Dunni had a minor existential crisis.
See, the concept of “home” is one that has evolved for me quite a bit over the last few years. As a kid, home is simple. It’s where you’ve likely spent most of your life. It’s where you grow up; where you wake up; where you stay up. It is the house or apartment or thatch hut where your family lives. Back then, home had a single, unambiguous definition.
Now, however, things are a bit more complicated. What is home? Is it where I grew up and where my parents live? Is it the house I’ve lived in for the better part of the last 3 years? Admittedly,it’s been more complicated to define than it is now. During my summers in Seattle, there was an added dimension to this with a third candidate in the running for this coveted title of “home”.
Maybe home is wherever I’m sleeping next. Or maybe its where I slept last. Maybe its where my family is. Or maybe its where my friends are. Maybe its all of the above or maybe its none of the above. Somehow, I believe all these definitions are valid to an extent and yet some of them are contradictory. As such, I have come to hold a more ephemeral definition of the word.
To me, home is the feeling of crashing into bed after a long day of work or school. It is the comfort and safety of waking up, stretching out and knowing you are where you belong. It is also a long and often frustrating conversation with mum, which, regardless of the contents ends in “I love you too, bye” or a 12 hour Skype call with friends while writing that paper that had been left to the last possible moment. Home is my childhood bedroom and my college dorm room.
For me, home is not a place. It’s a feeling. And it’s a feeling I get from the amazing people around me and the wonderful experiences we enjoy together. So, as long as I have them, I will always feel at home.
So I guess I’m not going home for the holidays because, you know, I’m already there. Hope y’all get to be home for the holidays too. Merry Christmas!