Sunday, March 29, 2015

Where is home for me?

I was asked a couple of times recently where I call home. Is it where my parents live? Is it where I live? Certainly the connotations of the word "home" leave something to be desired for the 28 year old single guy who's lived in ten states. Well, let's go down the rabbit hole.

I live in Iowa, as you might guess by the many "I Live in Iowa: Week XYZ" blog posts. I started the series out of surprise that I do in fact live in Iowa, also because weekly updates seemed the appropriate bite size quantity, and fitting to the length of time I expected to stay when I moved here. I didn't know how long I would stay, but four years was not exactly what I was thinking. Now that my 401(k) is vested and the project I have been working on for four years is all but launched, I stay because the sunk costs of relationships developed and the ease and comfort of my job make it easier to stay than to go somewhere else. Certainly people don't think about leaving "home" the way I think about leaving Iowa.

So perhaps where my parents have lived for ten years, in Wisconsin, is home? Well, I did spend about six months there in late 2010 and early 2011 and I go to visit for Christmas and other holiday's, but having spent much less than a year there, it's hard to call it home. The main friends I made there around my age, have either left, live somewhere else, or we might not be close enough to really call each other friends anyway.

When asked where I am from, an easier question, I simply say, "the USA". Yet home and where you are from are certainly not the same thing. Home, to me, seems to be a state of mind, a settling with your immediate environment, your house, your own bed, your family.

Ah, family, how synonymous home and family really seem to be for us? It is easy to imagine myself having a wife and children and living in a house that we call home, yet imagining such a time is as close as I have gotten to that idea. I have to live in the present. I cannot live my life feeling unfulfilled because I don't have those wife and children relationships. About two years ago I met a woman, divorced, two kids, my age and we had a nice hour long chat, one of the things she learned going through her divorce was that her husband, if she ever had another one, had to be "the bonus to her happiness" instead of the source of it. It's a really interesting thought. In the context of where "home" is for me, it is a way for me to say, perhaps home for me one day will be with a wife and kids, and that would be great, but I can't live my life hoping that "some day" I will have a home. Some day may never come.

Instead, I can take comfort from what I know will come, regardless of the path from here to there, and that is my home is in Heaven. That doesn't mean I won't have trouble with the earthly concept of home for the next 60 years or so, but it is a comfort, the comfort, because that home never changes, regardless of where I live or my relationships here on earth. In other words, "...we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." - 2 Corinthians 5:1

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