Greg is always telling me I should write on the site, so here goes.
I recently learned something. It’s the kind of thing you never really expect to learn, so when it comes to you, it’s something of a shock. It really sunk in as we were talking on the way home from a trip to visit his parents. I don’t remember the exact contents of the conversation, but it was the talk about “home.”
When I was a kid, home was the place that my parents provided for me. Coming home was not a really big deal. Everything was taken care of for me: dinner, transportation, bills, everything. There’s a certain amount of nostalgia that accompanies thoughts of home when I was a kid.
I moved away from home for the first time when I was 19. I moved into a college apartment complex on the spur of the moment. I decided to move out and had moved in to the new place in less than a week. I was pretty excited to live on my own with my own rules, not quite anticipating the expenses and everything that comes along with “living on your own.” Coincidentally, Greg and I now live in that same apartment complex, but we’ll get back to that in a second.
I lived on my own for the next seven or eight years, in various apartments and houses. The strange thing was that I started to think of myself as having two homes. I would go home to Mom and Dad’s and then I would go home to my apartment. It didn’t matter than Mom and Dad just lived a few miles away. It was still home. I figured that when I got married it would be the same thing, just on a bigger, more inclusive scale. After all, I was inheriting a new set of parents. That means another home to which we could go.
I was wrong. And here’s the lesson. Any place that Greg and I are living is HOME. There’s Mom and Dad’s house, on both sides. Those places, while full of memory and loved ones, aren’t home. It’s a place where I used to live, just like my last apartment before I got married is a place I used to live. I was really surprised to discover this.
We recently moved and I think of the place that we used to live with more nostalgia and wishful thinking than I do of any other place I have lived. Our first little one-bedroom apartment that was crammed to the rafters and much too small for a growing family feels more like home than my parents’ house. After only living here, again in the complex that was my first home away from home, for only a month and a half, it feels more like home than any other place. We were excited to be coming “home” to this new apartment after spending the weekend at Greg’s parents’ house.
And I think this is what I’ve learned. Home is more a state of mind than a place. Any house that Greg and I share will be “home.” We are building home with each other, every day. I think that shift of feeling or understanding or whatever you want to call it is a big key to marriage and relationships. It’s a reflection of the commitment and togetherness that we are experiencing. Home becomes an outward symbol of the hard work and effort, the sacrifice and love, that makes our lives meaningful.
It seems to me that HOME is the best place to be, especially when I can be there with my best friend and all the memories that we are building together.