Until a few weeks ago I always thought of my hometown as my home. There never was a difference between the two for me. While I was there passing through, I realized that it is my hometown. And not my home. It may have to do with that my parent's house finally sold. Or that I haven't lived there in 10 years. Or that every time I visit the town it's more desert-worn, wind-blown, and just plain tired.
But I believe it also has to do with my frame of mind: I know that place with never be my home again. It won't be the place I return to grow a successful career and raise my children. It was a wonderful place to grow up but it can't provide the opportunities I want for my future astronauts, engineers, artists, and athletes.
That place is no longer my home. Just my hometown.
Looking back on when I moved to Utah 6 1/2 years ago, I knew I wouldn't be here forever. At the time, it was about us and we, and maybe our individual feelings about our place of residence were things we should have been more open about. Though neither of us really knew the bumpy road that was ahead of us and what life would bring.
I've stayed here for 3+ years since we became me. I've enjoyed it here, everything from the weather to the recreation to places I've lived and the people I know. I suppose I haven't taken advantage of the social experiences I could be having, being in this place has been more about stability and what is familiar. There are parts of me that love this place. Those same parts would be just as happy and at home in Colorado, Wyoming, California, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. And I'm sure a few other places too. But honestly, this place has some wacky politics that make me want to tear my hair out. I'd like to live somewhere that isn't so cooky.
It's the people that have made this place home.
I had a very sudden realization this summer… home is where I am. Home is where my stuff is. And even then, it's just stuff. It's the parts of me that make this apartment my home. Not the history I have here or the future it will bring me. It's home because I live here.
Home could be on the side of the road during a 2 month road trip. Home could be a studio apartment in the city. Home could be a lawn with a fence and a mailbox. It doesn't matter what or where. As long as I'm there the place will be home for me.
I find myself thinking frequently of the next place I will call home. Where will it be? Who will I meet? What will I experience? I look forward to the new experiences in a way I haven't ever before. I don't feel the urgency to pack up and run across the state line, but I am feeling the peaceful acceptance that my time here is done. I'm ready to move on.