Home is a weird concept. A very basic and universal concept but also weird. I’m sitting in Atlanta’s airport and someone just asked me where’s home, and I responded “Austin.” And that’s the truth. But when I was in Austin a couple weeks ago and people asked if I was going home for Thanksgiving, I said “No, Connecticut is too far.” Connecticut as home is the truth. And I still remember the first time while I was in college when I referred to Boston as home and my parents cried a little. But then, it was still the truth.
So yeah, home is this weird thing. It is super fluid and it can mean a lot of different things. It’s your billing address, but it’s also your childhood home. It’s a place and it’s a feeling. I feel it when I see the Prudential on the horizon from the Mass Pike. I feel it when I see the glittering dome of the Capital in Hartford. I will feel it in a couple hours when I jump in my boyfriend’s old gray Mazda when he picks me up from the airport.
I’m traveling home after a week spent with my godmother in Snellville, GA. A town about 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta proper. And here’s the thing, I feel home there too. My mom has been gone for 2 years now and my Godmother is her closest approximation. My mom was Southern in her values and in the way she raised me and therefore, being with my godmother’s home, despite the fact that I’ve only been there a couple other times in my life, is amazingly comforting. Atlanta is a place I’ve spent maybe a sum total of 30 days within in my 26 years of life, but it has a familiar buzz and a homey-ness too.
My godmother and I baked cookies for one whole day while I was there and I realized that her kitchen was a better representation of where I come from than my childhood home is. My childhood home has been co-opted by my Dad’s fiancée’s family and it’s no longer a place I recognize. Bristol is still home, but the dwelling isn’t really, and hasn’t been for about a year. Too bad, so sad I know. But the truth nonetheless.
So you see home is this really complex concept. Maybe it’s just me. But I doubt it is. Maybe the old saying is right, and home is where the heart is. If that is the case. I’ve left my heart in a couple places in my life and with a couple different people. I think I might be slowly collecting more and more homes as I move through this life. Multiple homes with no mortgages to speak of, not a bad way to do it.