This I Believe

Jennifer - Thomaston, Georgia
Entered on November 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place

Finding Home, Again

Throughout my entire childhood, I waited for the moment when I could feel completely free from my parents. Living under their reign, I felt trapped and misunderstood. I could not wait for the day when I could pack my things, move out, and come and go as I pleased. There were things that I thought I needed to accomplish that I could not accomplish within my parents’ home. I wanted the freedom to smoke when I felt like it, eat what I wanted when I wanted, drive wherever and whenever I chose, and not make my bed if I found it unnecessary. I simply wanted to break away from all the things that reminded me most of home (from Southern cuisine to church on Sunday).

I am on my own now, and I find myself being just like my mother—replicating all that I wanted to break away from as a child. There are differences between us, but we are more alike that I’d like to admit. I realized this when I visited her recently. As I sat in her kitchen eating pumpkin pie, I realized that she is like her mother…and her mother like her mother…and so on. The lineage struck me like lightning striking a tree. It split me into tiny pieces, struck me to the heart. I feel at home when I’m with my mother now. That has never happened between the two of us.

I now find myself, even through all the changes I’ve made in my life, longing for things that remind me of home: the smell of home, the taste of it, the comforts of home, the touch of it. I’ve found, too, that the things that I call change are really just another aspect of home. The things and people that I value the most, I cherish them because they resonate from within spelling H-O-M-E. They remind me of the comfortable familiarity of getting “lost” in the lower cornfields reading a novel—allowing the breeze to capture my attention for hours. The slow-paced, loveable, distinctive existence that I call home has created values that cannot be altered from my core.

I believe that I’ve finally found home. I didn’t find everything appealing about my upbringing or my parents: these statements are coming from a woman who, as a child, had many childhood tragedies. However, I found a home with my parents. The things that I value most about them are my solid place of refuge. This, I spent my entire childhood trying to escape and my entire early adulthood trying to recapture. I deeply believe that whatever I found appealing as a child, that is what I hold onto as an adult, and that is what I call my home.