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Finding ‘Home’


[Photo credit: *MaryElise*]

“One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time. ” ~ Hesse

When I was 9 years old, we moved to a brand new city, away from the apartment that I had known as home since the day I was born.

When I was 10 years old, I was uprooted completely and moved across the ocean to a brand new country…Away from everything I knew as ‘home’.

And now, I’m uprooting my life once again…to define what home is for me but this time, I’m doing it alone. Because for the past 5 years, at least, home hasn’t been this house. It hasn’t been this chaos. I’ve found home in the little things…the times I spend with my brother and dad alone. And every thing that I’ve bought with the purpose to keep me rooted. I’m a very sentimental person. I don’t buy things on impulse usually and everything has a story to it.

So I’m having a real hard time figuring out what to leave behind…because as I move forward to define my own life, I’m afraid that I might not have a home to come back to because this family might fall apart without me. My brother’s promised me that he’ll keep my things safe for me. He knows what every keepsake means to me. But do I give that responsibility to a boy who has enough burdens on him as it is?

The other night, I went through all of my books and put aside hundreds to be sold at a yard sale…because I can’t take them all. I have boxes of pictures…I have posters and flags and little knick-knacks that each have meaning and define a moment in my life.

I feel like if I don’t take the things that matter, I won’t stay rooted no matter where I am. Because when I leave, the turmoil might cause me to be ripped from my extended family. I don’t even know when I’ll go back to Turkey again…

I am redefining home…because apart from Turkey, I don’t know what home is…not really. With every passing year, my family has disintegrated more…pushing me further away. I’ve done all I can to keep myself grounded and not let that part of me fade away.

I know deep in my heart what matters but I’m afraid that without the physical reminders, the memories will fade away.

Maybe I’m just scared.

Because for the first time, I’m redefining ‘home’on my own, thousands of miles away from where I belong.

What is home to you? Do your parents still live in your childhood home where you can go back and see physical reminders of your childhood? Are you sentimentally attached to ‘things’?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LivingWicked May 4, 2009, 12:30 am

    God I am emotional wreck today. I am bawling.

    I think that all of it should come with. But remember too, that the holes you create by not bringing everything with you will fill up with new sentiment.

    My parents moved us every year pretty much. So, I have a different idea of what home looks like. I am trying not to do that to my kids… but I get the itch for change at about a year. I am sentimentally attached to some stuff, but not really much. Photos and letters… stuff like that are what I really cling to.

    LivingWicked’s last blog post..Accidents Happen?

  • topsurf May 4, 2009, 4:14 am

    When I moved out for the first time, I packed everything up. When I got to my new place and opened and unpacked what I wanted out initially. I promised myself what ever I didn’t unpack and left untouched for 6 months I then would get rid of because I really didn’t want it. That worked for me, but you have do what will work for you. I wish you luck as you start packing up and move on through the next open door. *hugs*

  • Miss Tricky May 4, 2009, 7:54 am

    I know we don’t quite know eachother yet, but I would love to offer what I do.

    I have a steamer trunk. One. In it is all my pictures, letters from first boyfriends, journals, knick-knacks from friends, my son’s first things-everything that I hold dear. I have been homeless since I left my mom’s house at 16. I have not lived at the same address for more than 12 months since then, but I have my trunk. When I left my husband and Illinois sick and poor and with clothes and toys in garbage bags in my two door tiny car, the trunk was the first thing I put in.

    You will find a way to keep your center.

    Miss Tricky’s last blog post..Snippet…

  • PrincessQ May 4, 2009, 8:24 am

    That’s a good idea…though that would be something I buy after I move.

  • NotAMeanGirl May 4, 2009, 8:32 am

    Home, to me, is where my happy is. It’s not a particular place or a physical structure, but it’s based on who I am with and how I feel when I am with them. Home can be anywhere you’re happy.

    Someone very wise once told me, “Home is a state of mind. A house is where you store all your crap!”

    Love you hon!

    NotAMeanGirl’s last blog post..Wordless Weds- Growing Like a Bad Weed

  • Cassie May 4, 2009, 8:40 am

    My home is anywhere I can be with friends/family. My parents did live in our childhood home until three years ago, my brother lives there now.

    I will say that the house my parents live in now feels just as welcoming as the old house. I think it has more to do with their presence than the actual bldg.

    There are days, at my own house, when I feel like an imposter, like I shouldn’t be there. THEN I remember all the hard work it took to get there and the hard work it’s taken to STAY there and I settle down again.

  • f.B May 4, 2009, 9:54 am

    we’ve moved a lot. so there isn’t one house. but there is a place out of all the places we lived that feels like home — Jersey. whenever I go back, I remember how much I miss it.

    f.B’s last blog post..finicky and probably not free

  • Velvet May 4, 2009, 10:07 am

    I’m enjoying your “journey” both literally and figuratively because I so understand what you’re going through.

    My parents do still live in my childhood home. But I don’t see that as “home” anymore. For several years after I moved out (8 to be exact) I did see it as home. But when I turned 30, I focused on not creating “temporary homes” anymore and made a permanent one here in DC. Temporary homes were like, “I’ll just live here until ____ happens,” and “I’ll only be here until X arrives…” whatever. I finally stopped living for tomorrow and started living for today.

    And keep all the knick knacks you want. In 5 years when you unpack a box of them, they will either bring you complete joy or you will barely remember them. And at that point, you can part with what you need to.

  • PrincessQ May 4, 2009, 10:55 am

    Well, that’s Turkey for me

  • PrincessQ May 4, 2009, 10:57 am

    It’s always interesting to me what people get out of my ramblings…but I’m glad to find people who understand what I’m going through because I don’t feel so alone…

    I’m creating a temporary home…for now…because I know that I want to travel but I’m not sure if I will end up in DC…or somewhere else. There isn’t much rooting me anywhere these days…I hope to change that in the next year.

  • Caroline May 4, 2009, 12:22 pm

    I would not leave anything behind . . . if you don’t have room for it, I would put it in storage. Somewhere no one can access until you can go back and get them later on. There is just too much uncertainty, and your brother can’t be around all the time to protect the things you hold dear. If you don’t trust storage, I recommend those clear plastic boxes that you can slide under your bed in your new apartment for easy (and cheap) storage. But I wouldn’t leave them behind . . . .

  • Devyl May 4, 2009, 12:43 pm

    I grew up redefining home every two-three years. My father would get transferred, we’d pick up and move into a new home, place all of our stuff in a manner that most resembled the previous home, and settle in to get to know our neighbors.

    What I most learned from these experiences is:
    1) It is okay to hang onto things that help us hold onto the memories.
    2) We do not need nearly as much as we think we do, when it comes down to it.
    3) Home is in your heart. Corny, but true.
    4) Any dwelling – cardboard box, vehicle, apartment, house, mansion … cave – can be made into a home. Bring some memories, but leave plenty of room for the new ones you will make.
    5) Memories cannot be taken away from us. If we want them, they are always there for us. If you are afraid of losing them, write them down. Nothing can bring on a flood of memories like a few key words.

    I have friends who can go back to their childhood homes and still touch the same pillow, the same book, the same knickknack, as when they were three years old. All I can think is, how can you bring more good things when the old good things are so crowding up the closet that there is no room to even slide them over? My tween can hear a song, or a word … she can see a certain color or shape … she can even taste something, and any one of those things will invoke a memory.

    I ask her how she remembers things that do not even come readily to my own mind. Her answer? “It made me happy, Mommy.” That simple sentence is the major difference between she and I. Luckily, she was provided a happy childhood, one that she would want to remember. My sister and I prefer to forget most of ours.

    If we all tried to stay in the same place forever, life would end. How hard would it be to have a relationship where each party still lives at home? How would you raise your children – have two so each party could raise one in their family home? Eventually the home would be so crowded no more people could fit, much less family pets and “things.”

    Yes, I am deliberately leaning towards the extreme, because I want you to realize: it is okay to move forward. That is how life works. As long as your heart remembers home, you will continue to have home.

    I have a hard time answering questions like “where is your hometown,” because I have two: the one where I was born, and the one where I spent my high school years. Both are incredibly meaningful, filled with people I love, and pull at my heartstrings.

    Home is where you make it, how you make it. And it can encompass your past, present, and future, if you welcome them all.

    Congratulations on moving forward and expanding your heart and home.

    Devyl’s last blog post..Name That Tune (#124/365)

  • Jaime @ Fast Times May 4, 2009, 2:02 pm

    Maybe you are scared, love. But that’s not a bad thing. There are so many things that make up what home is, not just where you sleep. I’m proud of you for moving out, because it takes a lot when you feel the burden being shifted from you to someone else you love. It was hard for me earlier this year, but I’m happier for it. You just have to trust that people learn to take care of themselves, because you can’t be there to pick up the pieces forever.

    Have you thought about renting a storage unit? They have small ones, units of every size.

    Jaime @ Fast Times’s last blog post..Back to normal?

  • LiLu May 4, 2009, 2:16 pm

    I’m a firm believe that ‘home’ is an emotion, not a physicality. 😉

    LiLu’s last blog post..An Ode to Mr. Colbert, Or YES, New York Was Fabulous.

  • PrincessQ May 4, 2009, 3:24 pm

    Yeah. And I’m moving in with good people…They’ve made me feel like I belong already

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