Home. It’s where we are from. The place where we grew as people. Where we learn how to walk, talk, use a spoon, ride a bike. It’s where our families are, our childhood friends. We know the back roads, the short cuts, the best routes.
Then home grows too small. We can’t stretch our legs or run far enough away. Like Alice, we’re sticking out of every open window and pushing the roof off. Eventually, we push the familiar away, not wanting what we are used to.
We’ve spent the first 16, 17, 18 years trying to figure things out. Then we want new things to figure out, a new puzzle. If we push hard enough, we’ll break the plastic. We trip and fall into the unexplored. Diving into dark water only to find a shore on the other side. We become Lewis and Clark, exploring sites unseen.
But time passes. We get use to being away. We lose touch with who we were, where we were, who we knew. We transition, forming into a new mold, melting into the cracks. Starting a new life is easy. But making it stick is hard. Meeting new people, trying new things, going to new places, it’s easy until you have to find your way back. We become well traveled, more knowledgeable but with nobody to share with but our own minds. We try activities and foods that we would possibly never try at home. But the novelty wears off. We get updates from home, “____ is doing this,” “_____ is doing that,” and start to wonder, when will “here” become “home?”
When will the navigation turn off and the short cuts turn on?
When will the friends you try to make become the friends you’ve always had?
When does here become home?