A slightly disturbing thought recently occurred to me – I’m not sure where to call home anymore. Sure, my real home is in Chicago, in the house I grew up in, with my family. But I think I’ve spent less time there than anywhere else lately. Can I call it home if I’m never there?
[[note: this post is not meant to be depressing, just getting some thoughts out there. no, I am not getting myself down over this]]
I spent last summer at home in Chicago. Then first semester at school in New York. After a week-long ski vacation in Idaho, I was in Chicago again for just two weeks, then was off to Stockholm for 5 months. Now I’m back in New York after another short week and a half in Chicago.
I know there are people who travel and move around much more than I do – I even have some close friends like this. I honestly don’t know how they do it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love traveling – but I miss having a “base” to call home, somewhere I can always return to. The closest thing I have right now is in Chicago, but most of my life isn’t there. I only have a few close friends there, and no connections beyond high school. And I’ve grown a lot since high school, and I’m hardly the same person I was then.
At the moment, I really miss Stockholm. I know I was only set to stay there for one semester, but in the last couple of months it really started to feel like home. Yes, I missed all of my family and friends in the States – but I had a really solid group of friends in Sthlm, and by the end I really knew the city as if I had lived there for years. Realistically, I don’t think I can call Stockholm “home”, but sometimes I wish I could. Those five months were unforgettable.
Then comes NYC, the next closest thing I have to home. But, here in New York I’ve never lived in one place longer than 9 months at a time – recently, even less than that. I have to move to a new place again in just a month and a half. But I have all of my college friends here. I have all of my “professional” connections here. I still have some family nearby. And I feel like I have my own life here. While moving around so much makes it difficult to get settled here, I know have a great group of people to lean on in NY – to call home.
At the moment I think I’m okay with having more than one place to call “home”. Is it easy? Not exactly – you don’t have the comfort of everything falling back into place every time you return. But it pushes me out of my comfort zone, and forces me to rely on my family and friends for a sense of belonging – which I know I need more than anything.
Do you have one place you call home? or many?