Hello, hello! How we are about half way through January is absolutely beyond me! It was just November, and then it was Christmas and New Year’s and now it’s almost February!? What? Things have been going swimmingly around here, and it feels good to be home. I am actually writing this from my parent’s kitchen, while my mom hustles and bustles around the kitchen, wiping the counters, putting things away, and getting ready to cook dinner. The news is on in the back, Teddy is sitting on my lap, and Misu is asleep in the armchair. My dad is at work, but he will come home soon, saying “Dad’s home!!!”.
I am happy to be here, feeling relaxed and full and comfortable. This week here has gotten me thinking about ‘what’ is home, not WHERE is home. In general, I think that home is something that evolves over time. Home is one place for 18 years for many of us, and then when you go to college, home is still that place because it’s difficult to find that warmth in your dorm. People go ‘home’ for a weekend or for the summer. But once you leave college and go off on your own, home starts to take this new, unidentifiable shape. You don’t live with your parents, but your little apartment doesn’t exactly feel like ‘home’ with the same meaning the word has had for the last 18 years. But then you start to refer to your childhood home as your ‘parent’s house’ and not as home. “I’m staying at my parent’s house.” “I’m at my parent’s house.” Home suddenly has a different meaning, something between the home of childhood and the home of adulthood and I think that in-between definition of the word tends to stick around for awhile, until you create your own idea of home- a warm place that feels safe- with yourself or with someone else. It takes time, but I suppose it comes eventually.
Last week, I watched one of my favorite movies, Garden State, with my parents, and there is a scene where Zach Braff talks about ‘home’ and how maybe life is just one big mission to try to chase down that feeling of home that we have when we’re kids, but it becomes this elusive idea as an adult.
I think what he says is partly true, in that you do find that home might become a place you keep all of your stuff if the people that made it home aren’t there, but I think it’s possible to get it back, wherever that place may be.
Whenever people ask if I miss home, I tell them that I miss sitting in my kitchen with my parents and really, THAT is exactly what I miss when I am away. I miss sitting at the table in the morning, eating breakfast and drinking coffee, staring at the birds and the backyard with my parents. I miss sitting in our kitchen, warm from the space heaters, while my mom moves about and then eventually my dad comes in and the dog goes crazy.
We don’t have to be talking or interacting, but it’s the warmth and comfort and safety of this space with these people that is home to me. I don’t miss this house or this town or this state, or even this country (for the most part), but I miss this warmth that is at home. My roommates fill the void nicely, creating noise and commotion and energy in the apartment, and Luis, of course, fills the space of feeling loved and having someone to love, but parents are special people that can’t be replaced. So that’s what I miss when I am abroad. I am trying to soak up the minutes, half listening to my mom chattering, while typing this.
I really believe home is where you feel these feelings I keep mentioning. It can be in the house you grew up in, or a new house, or a tent in a far off land. Home for me, is anywhere that I can sit in my kitchen while my parents mingle about.
Or where I can bake cookies with my dad. (Even black and white can’t save that photo)
But then again, with that being said, I am excited to be back in Madrid. I feel refreshed and energized, ready for a routine, and ready to tackle 2018. I am excited to do fun things, keep working on Bruja’s Bakery, keep blogging, and go on new adventures.
I feel lucky that I can call two places home, and that I have people in both of those places that make it feel like home. Nothing and no one can replace the home that I have with my parents, but it’s comforting to know it’s an attainable thing anywhere in the world. Now, if my parents decided to move to Spain and only had a kitchen with a stool and a space heater where I can sit, I wouldn’t complain one bit.
What do you consider home?