I was going through and organizing and deleting old photos on my computer the other night (anyone else ever do that?) and I realized it was exactly a year ago this week that we were moving.
I’ve written about it before. We moved twice last year. Granted it was just 2 blocks away while we did a remodel on our house. But, nonetheless it was a move. And moving while 8 months pregnant, and then moving back with a 3 month-old were probably equally tough in different ways and are both on my list of things-not-to-do-again.
But we did it. And for the past 6 months we have been making this place, this house, our home.
. . .
I read somewhere that our generation, the millennials, on average will move 10 times before the age of 30!? If I think back and count the number of houses, apartments and places I’ve lived just since graduating college it’s somewhere around 6 or 7. I think moving, whether it’s across town or across an ocean, challenges our sense of home.
Thanks to Edward Sharpe’s song I am so tempted to buy an etsy canvas with the words “home is wherever I am with you” scribbled in beautiful handwriting. The idea is both comforting and confusing. I mean I get the whole idea of feeling totally “at home” with a person. And I’ll admit when I was single I held onto this idea; that once I was married and doing life with my husband, I would feel at home whenever I was with him. It wouldn’t matter where we lived or where we went, I would be at home.
And there may be some truth to this, but for me a sense of home is deeper than just being with the people you love.
A sense of home is deeply rooted in a place.
In a house and a community with streets and stories and people and purpose.
For me, a sense of home takes time.
If you just moved give yourself grace. I think it takes awhile to feel at home somewhere new.
It grows slowly over months, maybe years.
It develops out of conversations and comfort and shared experiences.
It ebbs and flows, like the seasons.
Some days home feels like being in love, giddy with new things to explore and other days home feels frustrating and little things makes you furious, like noting being able to find parking at the Bodegona…again.
By home, I mean both a house and a city.
Home is running into people you know around town and having a favorite coffee shop.
There’s a certain familiarity in being home. Like knowing which cupboard has the water glasses and where the extra toilet paper is kept.
When you’re home you see it all, the good, the bad and what needs fixing.
At home there is room to plan and dream and change. Because you’re staying long enough to do those things.
You see the mold growing in the corner above the kitchen and that crack in the counter.
You can sit on the lovely balcony with ivy growing around the railing and dream of the plants and and white lights that could be hung.
There is a certain “knowing” that comes when you live in a place for a long time. A knowing like how the weather will be in November or when high tide will come or when the jacaranda trees will bloom. No one tells you these things, you just know. Because you’re home.
There are certain rhythms that make home feel like home. Work to do, errands to run, dishes to wash, laundry to fold. There is dinner to be made, friends to visit, toys to put away and a couch to cuddle.
Sometimes in the fun and adventure of travel and suitcase living, these are the simple things I miss. Mundane and often the source of my complaining, they do make up a large part of home.
I love traveling, and I love traveling with Gerber and Elena. But when we travel we are visitors, explorers, just passing through.
But home, home is where you plant roots and stay.
Where you don’t need a map or GPS to navigate the streets.
There are a few places I still like to consider home, Santa Barbara being one. And where I grew up being another. But the truth is when I am there, although it feels familiar and comfortable, I am still a visitor. I come in and out for a set period of time.
When I am here I say, “Yeah, I’m going home in May to see my parents.” But when I am there, I say “Oh, I’m flying back home on Sunday.” It’s confusing, even to me. Maybe it’s what happens when you feel at home in more than one place.
When you move to a foreign country, I think your sense of “home” changes even more. It’s a weird feeling that the place you now call home, will always view you as an outsider.
But for now, my home is here. In Guatemala.
. . .
Last time my mom came came to visit she brought these hooks down for us. (well let’s be honest, for me. Because my husband would probably never pick out metallic letter-hooks from Anthropologie. But he likes the function and I like the fashion so they work 🙂
When you walk in our front door it’s one of the first things you see.
H O M E
And it’s a little reminder that this is my home. Our home. And I don’t plan on moving anytime soon.
What makes you feel most at home? How many times have you moved since college?
P.S. Even if I am not on the etsy canvas bandwagon yet, I really do like this song. Perfect for a Wednesday.