After living here and living there, “So where’s home?” has become a difficult question to answer. Another version of it is, “Where are you from?” which typically assumes a succinct, “I’m from X,” response. I don’t know whether to feel privileged or lost as I begin my answer with, “Well (pause)…”
At one point in my life I’d answer the former with, “Wherever I sleep.” At that point I belonged to the world. It was much easier that way. Defining terms and recounting one’s history gets old. Appearing novel gets old. Sometimes you just want to own a space, be one of those ppl who grew up in one house close to their cousins.
But that’s not me. I’ve had over a dozen house keys since age 11, none near extended family.
When, in my adult life, I finally felt as if a place was home, I was surprised and happy, content to have finally arrived. A few things made it possible: good friends, regular involvement in my church and regular involvement in my community. (When I say involvement, I’m talking about meaningful connections not simply showing up–really contributing.) And of all places, I lived in Lacombe, Alberta where it gets super cold in the winter and you go skating on the lake. Before then, I’d had two of the three or one of the three, or all three for only a summer. Now I had all three for a year and a half. And then just around the two year mark, I left. It was hard but as with every move, it’s what was needed at the time.
That was seven years ago. I’ve moved again since then. I’ve been here now for four years. I almost have all three components…the community piece isn’t regular enough but that’s slowly changing. So I’m…almost home.