Homefront

Truth - There is absolutely no place like home. With adulthood however comes this nonstop striving to make place somewhere else. The cliché is home is where the heart is, but what happens if you are unable to put your heart anywhere else. Home is what you make of it and that can be anywhere or with anyone. Home is a haven, fortress, and safe house. It's where you go to get away from all of life's problem or at least get the sound advice to potentially tackle them. How do you recreate that mythical place? How do you make a brand new homefront?

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." Maya Angelou

There really is not a straight forward way of going about it. What I realized as I wrote that initial question is that the word recreate was problematic. Remaking, recreating,  and reminiscing all begin with that important prefix "re-" meaning again or back. There can only be one original, that's what makes it unique. Everybody knows the remakes are never as good as the throwbacks. We all recognize the sequels require the initial offerings to build from. There is nothing like the first time. We have to stop trying to build replicas of our homes and instead construct our own novelty homes. Sure, it's okay to take bits and pieces of what made your home so special but it is impossible to perfectly copy what you had there. The fundamental essence of what that place, those times spent there, and the people you shared it with are irreplaceable. Let got of that place and cultivate one of your own. We can have multiples homes if only we allow ourselves to do so.

To think that I am exempt from this perpetual struggle to call a place home and be fully settled, at least temporarily, would be an understatement. I think I take comfort in knowing that my time in a place is ephemeral. I'm not going to be here forever and in taking that sentiment to heart, it not only gives me hope for the future but let's look past now. In that there are things to be challenged. There is something to be said about living here and now. Being present is exactly what makes home ... home. It's this nexus in the abyss where nothing else and no on else matters except for the people and things there. Life might go on outside of that home but when you're there time stands still. Home can still be made though even if it is fleeting - that's the real trick that we all have to figure out especially in our twenties. How do I make this place where I might not be very long, in the grand scheme of things, into a place where I want to be? Home is about safety, comfort, and love - we deserve every day when we head to our residences. Make it so and embrace it wholeheartedly. Home can only happen if we let it. That's how you create the homefront.

One of my good friends texted me to tell me that they were so happy I was home and I wondered why since he lives 10 hours away in New England. He said that I looked exponentially happier across all my social media from my snapchat story, facebook photoshoot, and tweets. He was absolutely right, I haven't stopped smiling since I made it back home. You should have seen me once I left the Cleveland city limits, I was bouncing in my seat, blasting the music, and grinning until my face hurt. I was yelling those damn lyrics like it was my day job and was on the verge of losing my voice because I was so excited to be heading home. Don't get me wrong, unlike way too many of my times venturing home from my college days, I actually really like my life in Cleveland for the most part. I knew I would dearly miss my supervisor, but honestly beyond that I hadn't formed irreplaceable attachments yet. I had my budding friendships and my students but all of those are still works in progress. Home is that place where my relationships are strongest and I value that.

What is it about my house that makes me overjoyed with happiness? I think it's a combination of the memories made there, the physicality of it as an open concept (HGTV for days), and my family members. There are literally no people in the world that I love more. I just see them or hear their voices and immediately light up. I am so happy. I cannot even put together the words to express my merriment. Everything is okay. I am carefree. I have no worries, no hardships, and no problems. The worlds disasters are outside of these walls. The tough realities do not materialize here. The social disparities cannot reach me. For once I am normal. I get to be myself, and I mean my whole self. I have nothing to hide. I don't have to lie, pretend, or play a part. I get to laugh ridiculously loud and actually mean it. I'm not concerned about keeping up appearances, impressing people, or proving that I belong. I get to dress, speak, and act with all my identities in full force. There's no negotiating who I am here, I just am. Even more so it's reflected all around me. This homefront is one that is for me and me alone.

*Where is home for me next? Who knows after grad school wherever my first job takes me? Ideally I want to live in Georgetown, DC but the Midwest will do too!

My deepest desire in life is to have children, and with them a home where they feel the same things I have in my home. I want them to know unconditional love, selfless compassion, and unrelenting generosity. I want them to laugh until they can't breathe, roll on the floor, and cry. I want them to hear their names called with affection and have it echo through the halls. I want them to see their picture on the mantle, on the fridge, or in a wallet and know that they matter here most of all. I want, no need, for them to know that they they are valued, cared for, and loved wherever they are but most of all at home, like I always have been. I am forever grateful to my family for the home we have been afforded and grown ourselves. It truly is one a kind. This will always be my homefront. X

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