Home Is Where the Heart Is
By the time I was 16 I’d moved cross-country twice, lived in 3 different states, 6 different houses, and had gone to 7 different schools. Ironically, I’ve managed to consistently move every four years of my life. The only consistent thing in my life was an affectionate orange tabby cat named Hunter; I’ve had since I was 5. Eventually I abandoned the white picket fence fantasy and settled into the various white walls. Since the next move was more than likely inevitable no effort was really placed in adorning the walls. Magnitudes of boxes remained unopened trapping forgotten memories. The moves became less about where and more about when.
Eventually you reach that point in your life when you realize that the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore. You still have some place to put all your stuff but that idea of home is gone. I refused to grasp this concept and condoned myself to misery as I yearned for my original house where I’d spent the majority of my childhood. My torment created an embellished reality. I felt I was the only one missing out on this vital piece of childhood. I became homesick for a place that didn’t exist.
Perhaps this transition is rite of passage, a cycle or something; an emotion you won’t experience again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, for the family you start.
After the final move, which landed me in suburban Pennsylvania, was I able to resolve. My inability to completely adapt to the various confines was due in part to my conquest for security and stability. Morals that had been instilled in the floorboards, where I’d teetered forth taking my first steps.
I missed the idea of it all. I believe that family is a group of people who miss the same imaginary place.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.