Home is where the heart is. This adage is so well known that it seems to lose its meaning. It is thrown out casually in conversation, it implies depth, but seems to mean very little. The concept of home is abstract and means different things to different people. For me home is a fluid thing. I travel a lot and have lived in many places. Home can be the apartment I live in. Maybe the place I grew up is home. The place I went to college is my first home apart from my family. I call any hotel, room, or tent my home when I sleep and have my stuff there. My heart is many places that are not home to me. I have friends who live all across the United States and scattered over the world. Part of my heart is with them, but my home sure isn't.
Yesterday I took two flights and drove an hour and half to arrive in Houghton, New York. Through out my journey my excitement grew. Memories of the time I spent in college played through my mind. I thought about where I call home. I have three homes. My first home is the house and city where I spent nine of my developing years. Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico is my childhood home. My parents still live there. I dream about going back to my house and walking through it, looking at the familiar books and paintings. Sometimes I long to sit in the side yard and read a book or bounce a basket ball. I remember what it was like to walk to the corner and take the bus downtown where I met my friends. We would spend the morning walking around, have coffee at a little cafe and lunch on the town square. I think of my school which is partly in a basement and partly on the top floors of buildings, with the bright blue pillars in the auditorium. My heart yearns to be back, to remember. Oaxaca is my home.
My second home is Houghton, New York. I arrived at the Buffalo airport where two strangers met me, helped me use the pay phone and drove me out in the middle of no where to a beautiful campus. They dropped me off at my dorm. I went home for Christmas and did a study abroad in Fiji. Sometimes my friends invited me to their homes on breaks, but for the next four years I lived in Houghton. I spent all my summers working at a camp. I grew close to several families in the area. Sometimes I spent breaks with them, often times I showed up for dinner hoping to be fed. Besides academic learning, I began differentiating myself from my parents. I began discovering who Kristin is and what she likes. None of my friends knew my family. It was just me. I learned to do things for myself and paid some bills. I did my homework without my parents having to ask me and sometimes I studied for test. Houghton is a peaceful place. A place where I can think clearer and relax more, it is my home.
I currently live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have lived here now for four years and I've lived four different apartments and have had five roommates. I'm working for my eighth company and a year and half into my Masters degree. I have an active group of friends in my church. This is where I live. When I leave to go some place I experience the satisfied feeling of arriving home. I like walking through my house and looking at everything. I breathe deeply of the dry air. This place, too, is home.
Where is my home? I don't know it all depends on your definition and what the intent of the question is. I don't really belong in any of my homes. There is one place I know I belong, it also is my home, but I have never been there. Heaven is my ultimate home and sometimes my heart yearns to go there. What a strange thing home is. It can mean so many different things. I think instead of home being where the heart is; I think home is where your heart finds peace.