Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!
I wrote a few weeks ago about finding home. I recently moved back to the South, 3 hours from where I grew up, and realized that I had been missing this comfortability and familiarity. There are several other aspects of our new residing location that I had been missing. However, this week I realized an even deeper meaning of "home." One that doesn't include walls, a door, and windows. One that doesn't include a certain lifestyle or scenery. I realized that my childhood taught me 'home' is actually anywhere you want it to be. You just have to let it reveal itself. I have never been scared of going to new places or even living in new places because I am certain that I will always find home.
I have always believed that every person we meet is for a reason. (Yeah, I'm one of those universe-y people). And I've always believed that we are supposed to connect with people on meaningful levels, learning about different life and culture from all over the world. I haven't done as much traveling as I would like, but I'm fortunate to have done a fair amount nationally and internationally. Whether I spent a long time or a short time in these different places with different people, it was meaningful, full of experiences, and full of connections that have lasted. It's impossible to keep up with every single person I have felt connected to; but they are still in my head and heart and I genuinely hope they're well. But that isn't my point today.
Today, my point is that in that moment in time, with that person or in that place, I felt a sense of home. For the purpose of this blog, let's break down that sense of home to the characteristics I mentioned earlier: comfortability and familiarity. But how do you find a sense of home in a country that speaks a different language than you and lives a lifestyle that you can't even begin to understand? One way - connection. I'm not only talking about a connection to people, but a connection to the land, space, and environment. In certain places I have visited and lived, I have felt connected to my surroundings; specifically the mountains. In other places, I have felt more connected to the people; specifically the people who I create art with.
I think the ability to find home comes from a personal awareness and ability to completely open up. I'm sure there are several reasons to withhold emotionally due to past experiences, and I know it's not easy for everyone. But had I not opened myself up to what could be...well, you know the cliche. If you don't try, you'll never know.
Now, there are various degrees to this. I feel MOST at home whenever I'm with my husband. But still, had we not taken a chance on each other we wouldn't have known we are each others soulmate. I could talk about this, and him :-), for hours but I'll save that for another time.
I find myself often saying "I'm on my way home" even when I'm out of state or out of the country. I used to correct myself, "Oh, I mean to the hotel." But I think I need to listen to my gut instinct a little more. I do have multiple 'homes' all over the world. I hope this somewhat hippie perspective comes across the right way. I'm not suggesting we need to moving all over the place (unless that's what you're into) but I am saying that we need to allow ourselves these opportune situations to be shown that home is not four walls. Home is what you make it, where you make it, and what you allow it to be. Another cliche, but it's the truth.