I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “home.”
Until I went to uni, I had the same answer about where home is: New York City, where I was born and raised. But in the ten years since I took that first big leap into university, I’ve moved around quite a bit. Most notably, in 2018, my entire family was uprooted, by choice. My mom and dad made the bold decision to sell our Brooklyn house–the one they lived in for 26 years and the only one I ever knew–and retire to Portugal. I was shocked and a bit upset, but was consoled when they told me they were selling it to close friends. When my parents opted to completely overhaul their lives, I did the same and pursued my Master’s degree in London.
In the past 18 months, I’ve lived in London, my parent’s house in Portugal, and back in my childhood home in Brooklyn. And I’m still unsure which feels the most like home.
Is home where I grew up?
Is home where I made a city my own, truly forging my own path for the first time?
Is home where my parents live now, the people I feel closest to in the world?
It’s all of the above if I’m being honest–and with that reality, comes pain. I’m constantly missing someone, something, somewhere.
Though I had a thought the other day while riding the subway, the location of many of my life’s great revelations.
My home isn’t a city, a country, or a person. My home is my body, wherever my body may be.
I can take a walk, listen to my favorite music, practice yoga, drink a gin & tonic, wait for a train, put together an outfit, read a book, visit a museum, lift weights, eat a delicious meal, talk to a friend, sit in the park. No matter the time zone I’m in, I’m me, I’m safe, I’m home. I’m in my body.
I feel enormously grateful for this sense of peace I have with myself, and it didn’t come easily. I only found home in my body by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, being in situations where if I didn’t have a choice but to have trust in myself.
There are still locations that feel more like home to me, yet I’ve learned that as long as I have myself, I really can thrive anywhere. And what a beautiful gift that is.