I have ever so many homes.
Some of them are more solid, and some of them are the tents my heart has pitched as I have gone along.
It is funny, I never really realized how many places take up space in my heart, even places I thought I would never want to return to. I was fortunate enough to get to visit many of my heart's homes a few weeks ago.
I went to visit my friends (who are really much deeper than simply friends) in California where we all went to college together, and most of them still reside. I don't know if there will ever be a feeling so warm as returning to those people. I felt so loved and so interesting...so worthwhile while I was with them. So known. Especially after a year that was filled with so much loneliness, I felt so joyful and alive to be there! We just did the regular humdrum type of wonderful things; we ate, and slept, and laughed, and cuddled, and ate in-n-out, and caught up on our lives. We had a bonfire at the beach (oh, is there anything more wonderful than a bonfire at the beach). We built a sandcastle and the next day my legs were so sore! I do think that nothing was ever more worth the sore muscles than 3 hours of sandcastle fortress digging! Mikael took me to the ballet...
and then Mikael and I went driving down pch one dark night. We got all the way down to Pepperdine and that is when I first realized that, despite leaving that school after one brief semester, and thinking I was miserable while I was there, it had cemented itself as one of my homes for a time. I had little memories pinging all about my mind as we drove down the highway. I thought of how devyn and I used to steal salt packets from the taco bell because we thought it would save us money (I think we were both unaware of the fact the salt is like $1.50...). I thought about late night photo shoots and dorm room silliness. I thought about my solitary hikes to the ocean and how I loved them. I thought of ocean devotion, and malibu yo, and that one time Dev and I volunteered to be a part of that crazy research study even though we had no idea what it was. And for that time my heart felt a small stinging loss for that home. But a bittersweet loss, because leaving that home led me to so much greater places.
Then I started thinking about all my homes. I thought about my APU home, and my little apartment in Denver home, and my Pepperdine home, and my Broomfield home (I actually got to visit my broomfield home as well in a surprise turn of events! oh, Heather what fun we have together...). All these places are so dear to me now, and each of them have changed me and shaped me and taught me more about what it means to be at home. And I started thinking about New York.
Sometimes you leave a place for a short while and you realize that it has somehow become your home unwittingly. I think a part of me wished for that. I wanted to go to California and think to myself, "wow, I really miss New York. I can't wait to get back there!" But that did not happen. In fact, I rarely gave New York a second thought while I was there. I cried on my last California night because leaving this beautiful, wonderful home felt nearly unbearable. I was never more certain that New York was not my home.
I got back to the city and resumed my life. I looked for things to do and I kept busy and I remembered that New York is full of many wonders. so much beauty and inspiration haunts you here. I have found a way to feel at home here. I think you must always find a way to feel some sense of home wherever you are, there is always something to find comfort and happiness in if you let yourself find it.
New York is not my home. But it is one of the places my heart has pitched a tent. And, someday, whether it be this year, or the next. or five, or ten years from now, when I leave my heart will sting for the loss of it. There is good to be had here, and I am going to have it all while I can.