Re-Defining Home

Most of our boxes are unpacked. We’re having our first visitors this weekend. The cats are no longer freaking out (much). I have a fully stocked pantry again. I suppose all of this means that we are settling in, finding our place. Making our home here.

“Home is where one starts from.”
-T. S. Eliot

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I’ve been in motion for most of the last two weeks; unpacking, running errands, seeing friends, going on Seattle adventures. Taking advantage of the good weather. When I have made time to sit down, it’s to zone out with chocolate and a romance novel – I haven’t had the mental energy for anything more substantial. I also haven’t made the space to reflect because I haven’t quite been ready. Moving felt big to me, too big to handle all at once. I’ve had to edge around it, inspect it, examine it in chunks.

I am finding that moving away has made home take on a different meaning.Home is Seattle, because I live here now, because Alex is here, because my life is here. Home is San Francisco, which I unexpectedly fell in love with and where I did a lot of growing up. Home is my parent’s house, where I always revert to a slightly-more-mature adolescent which is both charming and annoying. I am finding that home doesn’t have to be one place, and how lovely that is.

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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When I miss my now-faraway friends, I think about how lucky I am to have so many people in my life who care about me. When I visit with my Seattle friends, I am grateful to have connections here to ease into a new routine. For some reason, this particular transition has reminded me in a new way about my priorities and values – experiences, giving, relationships – an important reality check that was probably a long time coming.

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”
-Maya Angelou

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And even as I miss my SF life and create a new and exciting Seattle one, I’m mostly aware of the privilege I have in getting to choose these things. Choose where to live and where to grocery shop and where to go to school. I think about how many people don’t have choices, or who are told they don’t have choices, and it fires me up. While I’m trying to figure out where to put all my shit, so many people are figuring out how to live in a world where home isn’t safe for a variety of reasons. It makes me want to work hard to create a world where everyone’s biggest concern is how to not lose their minds in Ikea. Where people don’t have to worry about where their food comes from, or whether that copy is an ally or an enemy, or whether they have access to healthcare, or whether they can walk down the street safely, or a whole host of other threats to fundamental needs. I want to build a community where we can tackle those questions together.

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