We moved from our apartment of 1 year and 8 months – the place of all of our first memories and joys, and pains, and excitements, and fights, and everything that has gotten us to this point – to a quaint house to which we have no emotional attachment to (yet). Why? Because it was as if the Lord presented to us just when we needed it.Frank has been a little emotional about the move; he misses all those memories we made in our little apartment. He loves all the times we danced in the kitchen; he loves that time I tried to use my new, cheap blender and it exploded, getting peanut butter all over the kitchen walls; he misses watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit while eating Subway (our first movie meal in our apartment); and he misses the fancy dinners we made for date night and eating them at the bar. I miss all of these things too, and look back on them with sweet fondness. But I don’t feel the same emotional pain that he does… it’s odd. To me, we moved from one place of living to another place of living. That’s all I've been able to get to so far. Obviously I realize that we moved, but it has not hit me yet that I might miss living in that little space. Will it ever really hit me? Or will I just smile at memories? Is that okay? Will I become emotionally attached to our new place? I know I will be invested in this house, but when we eventually leave it will I miss it? I've been thinking through this and I've concluded that maybe the reason I don’t have much feeling in this situation is simply because I am content with wherever I am at. Yeah, this can definitely be a good thing! But I’m feeling like the reason I am content just living anywhere is because I do not feel completely at home anywhere. Somewhere along the lines in my life, I traded a physical home for an idea of home. I think back at every place I can remember living, and each have held its own memories, but none of them have left a mark of “feeling like home” to me. What feels like home to me is hearing thick South Carolina accents, being held by my husband, smelling pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce on a dry Fall evening, tasting the salty breeze of Charleston, laughing with my closest friend over dinner on a couch, seeing the baristas from the Midnight Rooster, looking at black and white photos of old and gone family members, reading Harry Potter, dancing with my darling, watching a thunder-and-lighting storm, eating good Southern cooking then thinking about how bad it is for me, seeing and breathing in beautiful flowers, reconnecting with the breath God gave me through yoga, kayaking on a still and strong river, swimming under the sun, connecting to the earth with my bare feet, and so many other details and aspects of life that make me experience home. I can’t physically sleep in or eat in any of these ideas, but they are what makes home home for me. Not a house; not a dorm room; not an apartment.
I am content with living wherever I need to live, but home is not a physical thing for me; it’s an idea of home that comforts me. I cannot hold it, so it cannot get lost in a fire; I cannot stand in it, so it cannot rot from rust and mildew; I cannot sit in it, so it cannot break. It is the experience of home that I live in, not a physical structure which houses many of these experiences. As I’m working through my own identity, I am realizing this about myself. These questions that I've had about home and belonging I guess I've been realizing are best as ideas for me, experiences. Not physical. And I think I like it that way.