Home. It’s a word that is quite small in size, yet bursting at the seams with meaning. Its concept is greater than any mundane definition within the confines of a dictionary. Interpretations vary wholly from person to person and the heart of its meaning can only be learned over time. At 23, I am still learning what home truly means. One thing I have recently learned (as cliché as it sounds) is that home isn’t a place we love; Home is where we love.
My husband is in the US Army. One year ago, we moved from where I was born and raised in Rhode Island to North Carolina (700 miles). This coming year, we are scheduled to move from North Carolina to Washington (2,900 miles). Having lived in the same home for the first 22 years of my life makes this new life of moving exceptionally difficult. Rooting and uprooting. A new place. A new house. New friends. A new routine.
I was homesick for a few months. I missed Rhode Island. I missed my family and my friends. I missed my home (or so I thought). All I needed to do was change what home meant to me. I undoubtedly still love what I left behind, but that isn’t comparable to the love I have for my husband and my daughter. The comfort and security that I once had in Rhode Island, I also have in my husband. No matter where the road (or the Army) takes us, I will always have that love. That is my home; a home that can only grow with my family as time passes.
This past July, my family and I spent 2 weeks with my parents in Rhode Island (in the same house I grew up in). For the first time, it didn’t feel like I was going home. My husband and I spent time during those two weeks revisiting many of the places we both loved and fell in love in. We were home not in location, but in each other’s company as we strolled through memories and soaked in nostalgia.
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