I moved when I was five years old, and then I lived in the same house until I was twenty. I had the same bedroom for over a decade. Home was very much a specific place that I could rely on.
And then I moved out and I moved again and again and again.
We haven’t ever found a singular place to call home. The house I have lived in for the majority of my life still sort of feels like home in a way, but I’m now a visitor there.
For a while, my husband and I wanted to find someplace to call home. With all our moves, we knew that we hadn’t landed yet. We hadn’t found a place where we could settle down and live for years on end without thinking about moving again.
But more than that, I wanted a feeling of home. I wanted that place that was constant and unchanging. A place that felt reliable. A place that was always there. A place that felt more familiar than anything in the world.
I wanted a place where I could always feel like myself. A place I never had to pretend in. Somewhere where it was safe to laugh and safe to cry. Somewhere that would always forgive. A foundation to my life that never shifted.
Going home when I was a child was safety and peace. I was taken care of at home. I didn’t want anything more or less. I was happy.
I wanted that feeling again.
And after years of being an adult, I have realized that that feeling of home only exists when you are a child. Nowhere will ever feel like home quite like it did when you were young.
Because part of home was the fact that I had a mother and a father to take care of me and to take care of the house. Now I’m in charge.
So I’m worried about housing markets, interest rates, insurance, and bills. I’m worried about paint colors and furnishings. I’m worried about what’s for dinner and what I need to clean up next. I can’t ever sit and be completely still in my house again. Home is a feeling that doesn’t contain worry.
I can’t ever be completely at home because I am the one making the home. I am the one providing safety and peace. And while I can enjoy it in some ways, it will never be the same.
But that isn’t a bad thing. I am so grateful that I got that feeling of home when I was younger, because some people never have it in their lives.
And I know that my kids can feel how I did. That makes me happy–a different sort of happiness.
Home is different now. But different isn’t bad.
And I know that when this life ends, I’ll be able to find that feeling of home again, just like I felt as a child. Because I think that what I was feeling when I was kid–that feeling of safety and security and love–that was heaven.