Wednesday, November 19, 2008


A conversation took place between a myself and a friend that resulted in me making a statement that caught me by surprise.

The conversation was about someone else who had recently returned back to area they they spent a lot of time and energy trying not to live - the area considered 'home.' I responded with, "It's funny really, how much time we spend in our youth trying to get out only to find as we get older that it's not so bad after all and we want back in."

It may not sound like an odd statement, but for anyone who knows me (or reads this blog) you know that I refer to my home town affectionately as "hell." Hell - was the name I chose, not because it more often than not feels like it due to the weather and not so wonderful climate, not because its flat and half a year empty farmlands look sad and lonely, not because when at first observation - it looks as if the economy has forgotten about this part of the world - but because the memories I have growing up, growing into my own are my own personal hell.

I am a 'pleaser' - I like 'pretty' things and am most comfortable when calm and love fill the air(yes I know how strange that sounds). I did not live like this in hell - in fact, calm and love were there, but in bits and pieces. I was born and raised in this tiny town - where everyone knew everyone else's business, kids played randomly with neighbor kids all day long without a care and front doors were left unlocked to come and go as we pleased. There was not a movie theater or big restaurant in town - our nearest form of entertainment or mall was 45 minutes away so we took to entertaining ourselves in other 'not so productive' ways. (insert cow tipping here) I grew up in a small 2 bedroom home that I spent most of my school years in, with a couple of people I would consider my 'friends' and the rest people with whom I had to attend school and often times be the center of their gossip.

I wasn't a radical, I wasn't the bum, I wasn't the popular chick, I wasn't so many things - but I was me - a teenager trying to find her voice in a sea of so many others and unfortunately it is a dog eat dog world out there so when I finally got the chance to leave there, I packed what I could carry and was gone, vowing never to return.

Over a decade has passed since I 'lived' there, but I still visit because my family is there. My visits are brief and often haunted by things I'd rather not remember, but I find that as I get older, "home" is a little less painful and a little more of a place where I came from instead of a place I am trying to escape.

I've traveled many places in this great big world and I've realized that it really isn't so big after all. Yes, there are amazing places to see and little things that make it different from place to place, but 'home' is not what defines you but more a place that holds a piece of your foundation.
Home is where you hang your hat
Home is where the love is
have been quoted many times to fill the gap and my lack of feeling as if I had a home. Neither truly encompass what I feel, although the latter is still my favorite. Home, however, is my beginning, my start and yes, there is much about 'home' that made me who I am today. I am not ready to 'move back' to hell anytime soon, but I am ready to return home to visit instead of continuing to run away.

What does HOME mean to you?


the cubicle's backporch said...

For me, "HOME" has two different meanings. My original home was Indiana and when we moved to Kentucky I always said that Indiana was home. Now that I'm back in Indiana and my family and friends are in Kentucky, I realize that Kentucky is my true home.

Kimmylyn said...

Since I have had kids the meaning of home takes on much bigger emmotions now. My home town before I had kids was just the place that I struggled to find me.. and now when I go back it is a place I know my boys will find tradition.

auntie said...

Home for me is wherever my family is.

This post reminded me of the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" :)

mommaof4wife2r said...

home is where there's always comfort food and hugs all around.

April said...

What a great post! You always post the "thinkers"! Home to me, I always considered where I was happy and loved. Of course as I get older, I find that i miss my "hometown" and wouldn't mind living there again.

Kellan said...

Another great post! It's so true - we often seem to gravitate back to where we came from no matter how hard we once tried to leave!

Take care - Kellan

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this one. I moved around a lot growing up so no place was ever home for long. Home was more where my family happened to be at the time. Recently I had a chance to visit my grandmother's hometown one last time for her burial. She hadn't lived there in 8 years so I had no reason to ever visit. It felt like going home to me. She had lived there my whole life so it was one of the few constants that I had as far as places go. The visit was amazing for me. So much had changed, but the memories were still strong. I was glad to have that experience.

skiplovey said...

I have similar feelings about where I grew up although its not a little town and most people would really love to live there. I don't think of it as home though since I've lived so many places since then. It's where I grew up and where my parents live and its nice to visit but I can't ever see myself moving back (besides the fact that I could never afford to live there EVER.
I guess home to me is where my big guy and my little guy are, be that here or somewhere else down the road.