There is this song, “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetics. It has been on the radio, so many people have heard it at least once. It started playing when my iPod was shuffling yesterday and I thought it was perfectly fitting for this moment in time.
The chorus repeats, “Home is wherever I’m with you.”
Yes, in the song I believe he is talking about his partner in a romantic relationship, but I think it can apply to anyone in your life. With all the changes going on in my life, I have been thinking about this a lot. Where is home? Where do I want to be.
I have historically felt that home is a place. Illinois. Iowa. Where I grew up. Where my parents are. That has always been home. Then I started moving around and visiting different places. They became home too.
Since my sister told me she was moving away from here I have been convinced that I need to stay. I need to give this home a chance before I leave it. I have a good job, I have just started making friends, the area is beautiful and I think it deserves that chance. I find myself moving around every couple of years or so and the area I was in previously almost gets forgotten. I always say that I will stay in touch, we will still be friends, things won’t change, our lives won’t move forward.
But they do.
People grow apart.
Sometimes I want those relationships back. I want to live closer to my college roommate so we can remain better friends. I want to live by my friend from elementary school for the same reason. I want to go back to my original home because I miss it. I miss the people. The familiarity.
But do I, really?
I have been speaking a lot to this subject with my sister due to extenuating circumstances. We tend to stay close to the people we are near. They know of our day-to-day lives. And when we move away from them, we might stay in contact with just one or two people long-term. In order to stay close to the majority of people, you need to be near them. Moving around is wonderful. I get the opportunity to see new places. Expose myself to new cultures. Make new friends and connections. However, it is much harder to form those life-long friendships.
I spent the past week visiting an old friend of mine in Idaho. I found myself “homesick” almost immediately. Not for the home in Illinois that I have always known, but for California. I thought I missed the heat, the good food, the opportunity, the day-to-day. I have been back for just 12 hours and I have already realized this wasn’t true. I am “homesick” for my family. My sisters and my niece. They aren’t here. They are vacationing visiting some old friends in a place they once called home.
I am learning more and more that location is almost irrelevant. When I think about where I want to live or visit, no place every really pops out and grabs my attention. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the people. The people that you love. Previously, I felt that if I picked up and moved again with my sister I would be doing it for any reason other than wanting to. I want to make my own path. I don’t want to follow in someone else’s footsteps.
Is there anything wrong with “following” someone you love? Someone who is your home? Some relationships and friendships will last. Some won’t. But we only get to do this one time. Shouldn’t we spend it with the people we care about most? The people who feel like home?
I don’t think I will suddenly pick up and move somewhere else. I do have a great job. But I am starting to look at the situation differently. I am considering “who” instead of “where. As a nurse and a fitness instructor, I can basically find work anywhere. People need my everywhere. It is simply figuring out what I want. Simply use lightly.