What is home? The cliché answer is: Home is where the heart is.
For me this Christmas was an exercise in going home. After a really busy fall where all my time has gone into adjusting to a new job, a new house and a new life, it has been nice to simply go home.
It started with going home to my parents’ house for the first time in a couple months with all my siblings in attendance. I then got to spend time with both sides of my extended family, all my aunts and uncles and cousins, coming together, to eat, catch up and just simply be together. Finally, at the time of writing this blog I am reconnecting with my childhood friends that I spent the better part of my life growing up with. Now that we are all grown up we are spread across the country and this time around Christmas is the one chance that we have each year to all get together in one spot.
More than anything else home is not a place but rather a feeling, a feeling of peace, a feeling of safety, a feeling of contentment, and a feeling of fun.
My life has always been busy, but particularly this fall has been very busy; I am always on the go and often running on less sleep than I should be. Even when my body is not doing anything my mind is running a mile a minute, either processing what has happened or planning for future actions and projects.
Going home is going to a place where all that fades to the outside. When I am home, I can slow down, I do not need to reflect on the past or look to the future, I can simply be. People are not looking for me to plan or to analyze, they just simply want me to show up and be there. I can do that!
I am currently in a space where everything is new, which means that I do not know the best way to handle or respond to a situation; there is a greater risk of making mistakes. I do not have the confidence of familiarity. I do have supports that I am developing, but I have quickly discovered that the world outside of the University bubble is much tougher.
Going home is going to a place where you do not fear judgement or failure, you are free to be yourself without being measured or evaluated. In our day to day lives that are full of constant judgement and measurement it is really relaxing to have a break where you can just be yourself.
With the constant movement and adjustment of a new environment, a new job and a new world, it is hard to find contentment, or even to create the space to think about contentment. Instead contentment gets deferred to a later date, it is something that you are striving for but never finding.
Going home creates the space to find this contentment in the here and now. Instead of striving for it, you are living in it and it feels great.
I have been having a lot of fun this fall, both through my work and through all the many other things that I have been doing.
Going home though gives me the opportunity to have fun with people I care about. And because I am living in the moment without worry about anything else, I am able to enjoy the fun on a much deeper level.
I recognize that it is important to live in a world that is constantly moving, full of complexities, where my outputs needs to be evaluated and measured to make sure I am succeeding and making as big of an impact as I can. That being said it is nice to get away from all of this and to go home. By going home it also helps give me insights, energy and clarity of vision to better tackle life when I leave home again and return to the “real world.”