mental health

Home is Where The Pizza Is

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The concept of home has always been a difficult one for me.

I’ve always been incredibly lucky and had a place to call home- family, food, a bed to sleep in, everything. But I always felt out of place. I remember so many times throughout childhood and puberty feeling an intense ache and hunger to go home. But I was sitting in my bedroom on my bed, so I should feel like I’m home, right? I used to think this meant I didn’t belong. Maybe I was an alien? Or it was just a matter of time before some Princess Diaries shit happened and I was swept away to Genovia.

I could never quite place it, so I was hell bent on finding myself a new place to call home after college. I traveled to a few states throughout school, so when my overpriced piece of paper with BA on it was in hand, I upped and moved 1,600 miles away on a whim with two weeks notice to a state where I knew two people.

I had been to this state before, so I sort of assumed to feel at home immediately.

HA. That shit didn’t happen. I was trying to plant roots, but it felt like the harder I tried to get my life together, the quicker it started shattering into a million fucking pieces. I yearned for home, but I wasn’t sure where that was anymore. It wasn’t where I had been, but would running somewhere new help me find that? I looked at new states, jobs throughout the country and beyond, apartments in new cities.

But I decided to stick it out. Mostly cause I was broke as fuck.

When my entire world crumbled and I had to start from scratch, I began to slowly stack the bricks on one another. I took some of the best parts of home and mixed them in with my new home. I picked up sewing and photography again. I bought shitty art at the thrift store that made me laugh. I began to build my own life. I started exploring the city alone, finding things to claim for myself. Most importantly, I began to build a network of people.

I branched out to old friends who were willing to brave the distance and remind me I was loved and cared for miles and miles away. I reached outside of my comfort zone to create and curate new relationships with people who saw me now, not before.

Loneliness has always been one of my biggest fears and deep-seeded issues (seriously, with all the money I’ve spent talking about this in therapy, I could’ve bought some goddamn friends), but I began to truly take stock of the people who helped me get up when I was on the ground, the people who pulled me back down to earth when I floated too far out, and the people who valued me for me, even when I felt I had no value.

The more I stretched my reach and spread my wings, the more I felt like I finally had a sense of home. I realized that home is not a dope ass living space, where my heart is (aka my dog, obviously), or the address beneath my embarrassing license photo.
Home is when I feel a sense of belonging and purpose and connection. I take home with me wherever I go.

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