“Home is where the heart is.”
“Home is where you make it.”
“You can always go home.”
“There’s no place like home.”
When it comes to quotes about ‘home’, I can hear them over and over again and they still ring true. After certain life events, I have come to accept that as much as I want home to be a backyard or a front porch that I’ve played on my entire life, that isn’t the case for me. My children will never visit their grandparents where I once grew up or play where I played. I envy people who grew up in one house their entire lives and will continue to take their children back there to relive memories, but I don’t have that, and in return that has made me appreciate seeing home in different forms.
When I think of home, I first think of my brothers. They are my constant in life; the stability in my childhood memories; however, if I had to choose now, then home would be wherever my husband is. Isn’t it amazing that when it comes down to it, we stake our feelings of home in other people, not places and things?
It’s memories and feelings that make us feel home. Certain smells and tastes take us back to being home and songs and movies will put us there too. Like my mom’s sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving or watching the original Grinch on Christmas Eve. There are a million tiny instances that culminate our vision of home. Wherever we have a feeling of upmost content and happiness, feelings of safety and joy—that’s home. The physical place where we happen to feel these emotions is where we label it, and for me, that place is Tennessee.
Tennessee is not where I was born. I was born in Kentucky and moved to southern Indiana before I was a year old. I lived in Indiana until I was about 9 years old and from there, moved to Tennessee. Tennessee is where I grew close to my brothers. Where our sibling relationships turned into the best of friendships. It’s where I met some girls that became my sisters and will be my forever friends. Tennessee is where God provided me with the love of my life in the form of a high-school sweetheart. I found God in Tennessee, lost Him for a short time, and then found Him again. It’s where my faith was created and developed and where I realized a church could be a home too. It’s where I hope to raise my children and where I hope my family will reunite for good. Tennessee is where the strongest of my relationships were formed and where every time I come back, I feel whole again. If that’s not home, I don’t know what is.
What I’ve learned is, if you want to find where you call home, then move somewhere else. It wasn’t until I left Tennessee that I fully realized its significance in my life. So I guess that whole “you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone” quote rings true for me too. Moving has taught me to value home, but to also welcome new experiences. Appreciate what you have and where you came from, but strive for something more. Plant pieces of your heart everywhere you go instead of wishing you were somewhere different, somewhere more like home.