How I Found Out What HOME Really Means

Last week was a cold one in Colorado! It snowed about 6 inches for us in Fort Collins and on Thursday it got down to -4 degrees. So there's that. We've also been fighting all kinds of sickness in our house, so that's been fun too. Thankfully we've somehow been able to keep Aspen from getting sick! I hope it stays that way. Speaking of Aspen, ole girl is sitting right beside me and she is just babbling up a storm. If you didn't get to see my update on her this week, check it out here.



This week I want to get real with y'all. When did you guys figure out where/ what "home" really meant to you? To be honest, I can say that I just figured it out about 2 years ago, and I'm 25 years old. Some people think of a structure from their childhood as home and some people think that a town is "home". Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder coined the term "home is where the heart is" and I think he was on to something with that. But what does it really even mean? I'd like to share my story with you guys and how I figured it out, for myself at least.


I was born in Atlanta, GA in 1993. At that time our family lived in Lithia Springs. I don't remember much about this house, obviously, just memories from pictures and home videos. You know, when they used the giant video recorders?? "If the red button is on that means its recording!!!!" kind of deal. About two years later we moved into the house that I would consider "Home" for the next 14 years of my life. This house was in Douglasville, and that was the town that I considered home too. All of my friends pretty much lived here and I went to school in the next county over, only a few minutes away. I guess you could say I thought of all of these things as "home". My school, my church, my house, my family, and my friends. But as I grew older, things changed.



I have never been someone that likes change. I can thankfully say today that I am more inclined to change and enjoy it much more than I used to, and that's because things HAD to change. You get to a point in life where things will either stay the same, or you can take a different path and (for me) actually start living your life.


When I was 16 it was time to move into a new house. I was DEVASTATED. I couldn't imagine life in a new home or a new town, but life happens and this is where it was taking us. A few years later I moved into my first college dorm and then the next dorm a year later. College is FULL of moves. 6 for me. I finally moved into my next and last college house in Athens, GA. We stayed there for 3 years. I lived there with 3 of my friends and we absolutely LOVED it. When people say that college is full of some of the best years of your life, they aren't lying. We had so much fun together and still to this day I think that all of us wish we could go back to that house in Athens sometimes.

That was home to us.

Home because we loved each other and shared some amazing memories there together. We were safe there. Well most of the time. :)


After graduation I moved to Greenville, SC for my first job and had a cute little apartment. It was nice and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't "home", you know? I was there alone and didn't really make many friends. Anthony was in Colorado adventuring life at this point and I was too chicken to move that far from my family, so I stayed somewhere close and just settled. I was fine, but I wouldn't say I was thriving or anything. I had a job I enjoyed, and that was about it. This is when I started to think about what "home" really meant.


So I thought about it and decided that home was with my dad, my sister, and all of my grandparents and my friends. After all, I was only a couple of hours away from them, so I wasn't too far from "home" and that was comfortable.


Anthony and I visited each other going back and forth, but after a while that starts to suck. Everyone in my family got to be with the person that they loved and with their own families every single day, and I was stuck 3 hours away, alone, without the person that I wanted to be with.


It didn't take long after being alone in Greenville to decide that I wanted to be with Anthony, whether that mean CO or China. It would be sad to leave my family, but I'm old enough to make my own decisions and things have to change if I ever wanted to have a family of my own. We wanted each other to be family.


About a year later Anthony and I decided to move out to Colorado together as we excitedly started our own family. That was a tough one! BUT as my Nana said, "It's better to be across the country and be happy, than right next door and miserable." That was so true. I loved that she said that too, because it was so hard for me to leave everyone. What I did know, was that we had so many adventures ahead of us. Things were changing BIG, and this time it was good.


I finally understood that "home" wasn't a place or four walls for me anymore. "Home" is where your heart is THE HAPPIEST. For some people that may be a structure or a town that you enjoy, but for me it has grown to be something much more than that. It's wherever I have the most joy. I've finally got my very own family, and that will always be where home is for me. That is joy


No-one says you can't have more than one home though. We still refer to Georgia as "home" when we talk about it because all of our family is still there, and so many people that we love more than words. Thankfully, travel is really easy these days and we can visit each other whenever we want to. We also have such great technology these days that we get to see anyone we want pretty much anytime we want to. Which is more than some people that even live in the same town as their family.


I hope this helps you guys think about where home is for you! Also, I hope this shows y'all that even though home is sometimes a building, it isn't about what you put inside of it, or how it looks. I know I talk about these things a lot, but I promise I am well aware of the things that matter in life. Life is about so much more.


-xoxo

Emily







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