I left my childhood home later than most kids do when they “grow up”. Some of my friends had children of their own by the time I moved out. I lived with my family until I was almost 22 years old. I waited until after I graduated college, and even then I probably would not have left had I not gotten the opportunity to move to Utah and live with my friend Bri and her family.
I came home to visit during the holidays and came to the strange realization that I was doing just that: visiting. I would probably never live in this house again (don’t hold me to that statement, mom). I felt like I was living in limbo; I was living somewhere new that didn’t feel like “home” to me yet, and my childhood home was no longer my home (at least in a literal sense).
When I returned to Utah after the holidays, I missed my family even more than I had when I first left home in August. The homesick feeling had finally arrived. Not two weeks after I flew home to Utah, I had to fly back to Oregon because my Grandma Dixie was moved to hospice care. Even though I didn’t make it to Oregon before she passed away, I was able to spend a few days with my family and that was well-worth the trip.
Her death made me question my decision to move away from home because I felt so guilty that I hadn’t spent more time with her during her last few months. But the longer I stewed over that guilt, the more I realized I had actually made more of an effort to stay in touch with her after I moved. I actually called to check in on her instead of relying on updates from other family members. Because we really do make time for the people we care about, even if we are states away.
I no longer feel in limbo because my home is with my people, no matter where I live. My home is with my parents, my brothers, my fiancé, my friends, my new coworkers, my old coworkers. I still think of and refer to my family’s dog as my dog (although it can be argued that she only really belongs to my dad, because he is the only reliable caretaker of the Kemper Family Farm Animals).
There will be people that I don’t see for a long time, that I fall out of touch with, and that’s okay. They are doing their own thing and I’m doing mine, and when we get together in one or five or ten years we can pick up right where we left off. There are people, like my mom, that I talk to every day, and when we see each other it’s as if I never left in the first place.
Don’t feel like you have to stay in the same place because it’s home. Your home will follow you wherever you go, and new people will become part of your home along the way.