What is home? Is it a place within or outside you, a sense of place, of view, of familiarity? Is it any four walls that contain your personal symbols? More importantly, can you carry home with you even when you don’t have a physical structure to call your own?
These are the questions I ask myself as I hang pictures, do paint touch-ups, measure windows for curtains and floor spaces for rugs in my new living space. As I do, memories of homes lost in my life, through design or default, surface.
The first home I lost was by design. In my final year of graduate school, I made a strategic decision: to give up my garden level apartment that had grown too noisy and house-sit my way through my final year to save money. The experience showed me how little I could live on, how mobile I could be, how resourceful I was.
In the end, it showed me how important home is to me.
Each time, I was surprised how quickly I became attached to a new routine and a new place—the furry friend, the views, the walks.
Each time, I grieved the loss of that familiarity and learned to let go a little more.
Each time, I saw my own ability to survive and refined my definition of survival itself.
I have lost one home since graduate school, a prank played by a cosmic jokester to remind my ego it wasn’t running the show. That experience reminded me that sometimes you have to lose home to find it again, to define it in terms that are deep and genuine, to trust that something better will come along and needs only the space of emptiness to appear.
Your Story: Have you ever lost a home or had fear about losing a home? How can you use that experience—or the fear of such an experience—to live more deeply and more genuinely now?