Home Sweet Home: Reflections on the New Year

2014

“Throughout the past year, I’ve been constantly redefining my concept of home, wondering if it’s where I’m from, where I have roots, or where my heart is. While these three “homes” may never be one and the same, I would never trade the joys I have encountered in my travels amongst them. Happy New Year, everyone. I hope it leads you somewhere you can call home.”

While skimming through some of my previous Facebook updates the other day, I came across the status that I posted on New Year’s Eve one year ago. I realized that I have been inadvertently searching for new “homes” throughout 2013 as well.

While I still face the geographic dilemma of where I feel most at home—whether it be my hometown of Peachtree City, my current apartment in Alpharetta, the small mountain town in North Carolina where my parents now live, the lovely city of Charlotte where most of my family resides, or that quintessential college town called Athens. I identify strongly with each of these places in different but equally powerful ways, and I miss them when I am away as one longs to visit old friends.

Ah yes, old friends… Perhaps home isn’t even a place, but rather a sentiment. To me, the feeling of being home is a combination of comfort and familiarity, with the liberating luxury of being unapologetically oneself. I feel completely at home in the company of my loved ones, no matter where we are.

I have been fortunate enough to discover that other people can make you feel at home just by being themselves. Just one year ago, I was conflicted about my career path, and I remember feeling out of place with my position and circumstances. Little did I know that in a few months I would have the opportunity to follow my passion for writing as a Marketing Representative for a technology company. For someone who often needs nothing more than a good book to feel at home, this job is a dream come true. Even further still, I could not even have imagined that I would soon be working with some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

At the office, I truly feel like a part of a family, and I am grateful to spend the majority of my waking hours with such genuine, caring people. While I have settled in and decorated my cubicle to reflect my personality, I feel at home when I am at work because of my coworkers, not my surroundings.

I mull this over as another year draws to a close, and with the next year I am sure to encounter more “homes” as my life unfolds—more new friends who feel like old friends, more fine books with characters that might as well be real, more unknown destinations that somehow seem familiar, and perhaps even more definitions of what home means to me.

After all, maybe that’s what living really is—finding new “homes.”

Happy New Year, everyone.

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