My very first night at my new apartment, I sat down to write about all the uncomfortable and exciting feelings of moving out. About 2 paragraphs in, I gave up because I couldn’t figure out how I really felt. I didn’t feel like I expected to, and I wasn’t as impacted as I thought I’d be. And I thought that was a little sad. After a couple months here, I’m going to try to refurbish my thoughts on it.
I’ve never lived anywhere other than my childhood home on Santa Fe Trail. 19 years and I never moved. After choosing to live at home my first year of college, I felt like it was time to go. So I found a roommate (frisbee player, UTD student) and found an apartment. Finally moving in is exciting and it is scary. As I walked out of my childhood home with the last of my stuff, to begin living just 27 minutes away, I was torn between the gravity of this turning point in my life and the lack of fanfare or emotion. I was sad to leave. I am nervous to fully support myself. I am excited to exercise my new freedom. I am afraid I will miss home too much. So many chaotic and tired thoughts swirled beneath the surface as I walked out the door while the rest of my family went about their day.
Moving out felt like finishing the first season of a good show. I was so kinda sad but also ready to leave the show behind but I look forward with anticipation to the promise of another season. It just hasn’t aired yet (Ha, no binge-living life unfortunately). New season, new home. * I’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
What has been most interesting to me as my time “out of the house” has grown, is how the idea of “home” changes with time.
I have always been a home-body. I like to be at home. I like the security, the comfort, and the familiarity. And for me, home has always been the same place - Lucas, Texas. When I go on vacation, when I go to school, when I go to work, my heart and my mind understand that this is not where I belong and I fairly quickly desire to go home.
But I have a new home now.
Part of me wanted it to be a scary and harrowing process to adjust to my apartment, because that would mean my childhood home really meant something special. But it was easy (“easy” of course being a cover for a number of complex, muted emotions, but easy nonetheless). I guess it is just a natural part of growing up - leaving the nest. My first steps out of my old home were not earth-shattering. So maybe I wasn’t so attached to the place I called home as much as the idea of one? What does home really mean then?
Turns out the sign in everyone’s kitchen is spot on - “home is where the heart is”. Sometimes I feel like my heart is being stretched apart by the friends and family I bid farewell to as they move far away. So I think my heart was ready to move too. Not only has my idea of home shifted away from the Dallas suburbs where I grew up and made friends, my concept of home has changed.
It’s impossible to truly capture the gradual, subtle changes that have come with the “growing up” of the past few years. I mourn and miss every friend that moves away either physically or emotionally (are you tired of me mentioning that yet?). I have dragged myself through loneliness and sought out new relationships. I’ve learned to rest in the eternal solidarity of Christ but also lost touch with the passion and urgency of His call. I can’t say I’ve simply grown in one direction or another. I don’t care any less. I don’t really stop missing someone. But I’ve changed. My home is not where I wish I could be. It’s not with the person I used to be. My home is in Christ. My home is here. I’m not sure how or why I know, but I know now - my home is here.
* Not sure how well this metaphor fits thematically with the theme of the post, I just thought it was funny.