One of my good friends described his 20-something self as being a gypsy. At first I laughed, jammed to the Lady Gaga song, and let the thought escape me. But as I think back on my life – and as I started having a ‘home’ identity crisis – I realize that I’ve never felt at a loss for a familiar homey place. Home has always been Campbell, California, even while spending extended chunks of time elsewhere, namely: Los Angeles. However, as I creep through my 20s and (attempt to) adjust to life post-college, I’ve come to question the definition of the word “home,” and how much weight the concept actually deserves.
Having a sense of “home” is important – no doubt. It gives comfort and promotes security; it touts familiarity and community. But what part of your twenties is comfortable? [insert 1 bedroom, 5 person NY apartment here] What part of your twenties is familiar? (Literally none of it.) So why is this such a criteria in creating a place to call home? We’re young, we’re (self-declared) fun, and we’re looking for adventures and exposure to this vast and exciting world. And we should be. That’s why clichés like YOLO and “now’s the time” actually hold such truth. We are only in this stage once, and if there is a time to make change and take chances, that time really is now.
With so many moving pieces and countless variables influencing our lives, home shouldn’t have to be a place – not right now, anyway; it can be a starting point, or a basecamp, not needing to traditionally root ourselves somewhere. Sure, it can be where your parents live or what your mailing address is, but it can also be your favorite spot or whenever you and your friends travel to meet up – no matter where you are. I’m not saying that home isn’t important, but I am suggesting that it doesn’t have to be tangible.
I’ve struggled a lot with happiness this past year; it’s been a long haul figuring out what direction I’m going and making sure it’s the direction I want to be going. I’ve given up a lot for this search: relationships, fun Friday nights out, and a career path that I had forever thought I wanted. And while it’s been a fight, there’s one thing I’ve learned: home (and happiness) lies within me. I’ve learned to better love and accept the person I’m becoming and the place I’m destined to have in this world. I am constantly home – every second – because I create it; I create the environment and the happiness that surrounds me, involving others who contribute to that goal and enhance my experiences.
Home isn’t an address; it’s me. It’s my family. It’s my friends. It’s my passions and dreams. Home is wherever I go, because I know that what I’m doing is me giving myself to this world, doing my best to make this planet a better place than I found it.
You’re your home; you’re your biggest advocate; and you’re your greatest asset.
There’s no place like home, because there’s no person like you.
Hugs from my transient home to wherever you are.