Somewhere along the first semester of college, I started referring to my college as ‘home’ rather than its name. Instead of saying, “I have to go back to Rhodes to pick up my jacket” I started saying, “I have to go home to pick up my jacket.”
There’s a lot in that word– home. Home is where you make your morning coffee, the place you return to every night and it’s the place that means the most you.
When I started calling Rhodes home, I almost felt bad. To complicate the matter more, I still consider Jackson, Mississippi, my home. Did I need to choose?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that home, for the rest of my entire life, will only continue to grow. Never again will my heart just be vested in one place.
Odds are that after my four years in Memphis, I’ll move again. And I may move again. And again. And maybe even again. Some of my favorite Mumford & Sons lyrics are, “where you invest your love, you invest your life.”
What is home if it’s not where the people we love are? Where we feel seen, understood, welcome at the table? When I start to think of home like that, it becomes a more fluid and forgiving term.
No longer do I need to pick and choose my home for that season of life, but I can carry home with me wherever I go.
Home is being fully known and fully loved. Home is where your best friend knows your coffee order. Home is showing up, being taken care of, being safe.
If I wait to live somewhere else for eighteen years like I have in Jackson, Mississippi–I may spend my whole life waiting to call a concrete place “home.” And what a waste that would be.
I’ve learned so much from people who, even when they are somewhere for a short period of time, give themselves fully to the place. I have learned the most from people who create home, meaning and light. Whether it be living somewhere for a summer or living somewhere for a lifetime–we can’t wait to feel completely secure and settled down to create home, or else we’ll be waiting a long time.
I don’t want to wait to create home, because I need to feel grounded, seen and safe. I believe that we all do.
Instead of picking and choosing, why not invite expansion and beauty into our lives?
Why can’t Memphis and Jackson both be home to me? I’m learning the process of flying high and building home, a paradox for sure–but one that ultimately invites vulnerability and passion into the everyday of our lives.